Phoenix House Prices Aren't Crazy When You Account for Mortgage Rates & Income

From February 2019, mortgage rates fell from 4.4% to 2.8%, while personal income increased 9%.

John Wake here with the latest on the metro Phoenix real estate market. You can send me questions, comments and suggestions by replying to this email.


When you account for lower interest rates and higher incomes, Phoenix house prices aren’t crazy unaffordable… yet.

In February 2019, the median single-family house sale price in metro Phoenix was $282,000, and the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 4.4%. The monthly principal and interest payment on a $282,000 mortgage would be $1,412 per month.

In February 2021, the median single-family house sale price in metro Phoenix was $379,000, and the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 2.8%. The monthly principal and interest payment on a $379,000 mortgage would be $1,557 per month.

The median house price went up 34% but the monthly principal and interest payment only went up 10% due to lower mortgage interest rates.

Nationally, personal income increased 9% over that same time.

The huge house price increases so far could be explained by, 1) falling mortgage interest rates, and 2) rising incomes.

Future Price Increases

From now on, however, Phoenix house price increases will likely be due to two things;

  1. Price expectations – Buyers and sellers naively extrapolate the past price increases into the future, and

  2. Changes in supply and demand due to the pandemic.

Whatever the reasons, Phoenix house prices will continue to increase extremely fast for the foreseeable future due to the extremely low number of houses for sale.


Click on the graph to go to the full-size, interactive version.

Phoenix Real Estate Market

Just Listed For Sale

I still can’t figure out why more houses aren’t hitting the market.

When prices eventually start to level off, will some investors rush for the exits? That would be rational.

For Sale

I was hoping inventory would start increasing but at least it stopped falling.

Under Contract

The number of houses under contract to buyers is similar to last year but that’s because supply is so incredibly low, not because demand is weakening a lot.

Solds

Still running similar to last year despite the crazy low number of houses for sale.


This information can vary a lot in different parts of metro Phoenix. Your real estate agent can find the data for your specific city or zip code at The Cromford Report.

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