Phoenix Housing Rises as Canada Buyers Seek 55% Desert Discount

Bob Major returned to Phoenix in October in search of more bargains like the four empty houses he bought in 2010 at rock-bottom prices. The retired builder from Vancouver instead found real estate about 20 percent higher and stiff competition. “There’s been an extreme turn,” Major, 66, said in an interview at a Chandler, Arizona, pizzeria, sitting beside his wife, Wendy. “We put bids on 30 properties and only got two.” The Phoenix housing market, down 55 percent from peak values with more than two-thirds of borrowers owing more than their properties are worth, is starting to recover as demand grows and inventory shrinks. Sales rose in November for the 12th straight month on a year-over-year basis, and distressed real estate accounted for the smallest share of purchases since 2008, according to research firm DataQuick. “The laws of supply and demand are finally taking hold,” said Jim Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting LLC in Phoenix. “We’ve cleaned house. This market is poised to make a significant jump.”

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