News Article From: 12-13-2007
Phoenix home resales slowed to crawl in November, an article from The Arizona Republic, reports that the median price in the Phoenix area fell 7% to $240,000 in November, compared with $259,000 last year, according to Arizona State University's Realty Studies. Home sales in November suffered a 35% drop with only 3,280 sales, compared with 5,040 a year earlier. Jay Butler, director of the center said, "When there is a lot of uncertainty, people become reluctant to make major commitments." In mature neighborhoods close to freeways, stores and schools, sales prices are remaining stable or increasing, he said. One bright spot is that homes continue to get more affordable. The market for houses priced at $200,000 also continues to increase. The percentage of homes sold in that price range increased from last year's 16% to 29% in November.
Tougher Standards Drive Up the Cost of Homeownership, an article from Realtor Magazine Online, reports that even borrowers with excellent credit are beginning to feel the pinch of the mortgage crisis. Fannie Mae, followed closely by Freddie Mac, has imposed an extra 0.25% upfront charge on all new mortgages that it buys or guarantees. According to Fannie Mae, the new fee is needed "to ensure that what we charge aligns with the risk we bear." The National Association of Home Builders said the fee is "a broad tax on homeownership" because more than 40% of all mortgages outstanding are owned or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie.