ANDREW HOLM, ABR, CDPF, eCertified
The Holm Group Scottsdale
Office: 480.767.2738 Cell:480.206.4265
Email: andrew@theholmgroupaz.com

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New Listing Heritage Heights – 3143 E. Malapai Dr Phoenix

Here is a beautiful new listing that just came on the market today in Heritage Heights in Phoenix AZ.  This home was listed yesterday with HomeSmart  and is available to show this weekend.  There are two other homes for sale in Heritage Heights that are priced between $420 and $499 if you are interested in seeing those as well.

Location for this Golden Heritage semi-custom home in well established Heritage Heights! You’ll enjoy the quiet cul-de-sac (resident traffic only) and the mature neighborhood borders Phoenix Mountain Preserve w/ majestic views, hiking/biking paths, walking distance to elementary school & moments from Hwy 51! The open floor plan joins the large living room w/fireplace to family room and dining area. You’ll enjoy the big kitchen and breakfast area that lookout to the backyard with extra large covered patio and fenced diving pool. You’ll also enjoy the use of the community pool and rec room, as well. Great neighborhood, location, schools, shopping, and amenities.

The Holm Group has represented several buyers or sellers in the Heritage Heights area and is happy to address any questions on this home or of the other homes that are on the market either as a rental or for sale.  Give Andrew a call today at 480-206-4265 w/ Berkshire Hathaway Arizona.

143 E. Malapai Dr Phoneix AZ 3143 E Malapai Dr Phoenix AZ

Are couple of pics:

Heritage Heights Homes For Sale 3143 E. Malapai Dr Phoenix

 

If you are looking for other homes in the Heiritage Heights click here:

Heritage Heights Homes For Sale


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AZ Central – Northgate Center sells for $22.825M

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Najafi Companies of Phoenix sold Northgate Corporate Centre at 2625 W. Grandview Road in Phoenix to Griffin Capital Corp. of Los Angeles for $22.825 million. Jim Fijan and Will Mast of CBRE in Phoenix negotiated the sale of this 131,850 square-foot class A office building. Northgate Corporate Centre is 100 percent leased to Houston-based Waste Management Inc., with about 10 years remaining on the current lease. The property sits on 13.37 acres subject to a long-term ground lease with the Arizona State Land Trust, which expires in 2095.

Major deals

REO asset manager John Mitchell of LNR Partners in Miami Beach, Fla., as special servicer, sold Black Canyon Corporate Center at 10835 N. 25th Ave. in Phoenix to Younan Properties Inc. of Woodland Hills, Calif., for $7.14 million. Eric Wichterman, Mike Coover, Jeff Wentworth and Sean Spellman of Cassidy Turley in Phoenix represented both parties in the sale of this 94,203 square-foot office property.

Brookfield Asset Management of Toronto sold Tempe Towne Centre at 20 E. University in Tempe to Tempe Towne Center LLC in Tempe, a holding company owned by YAM Management, for $5.25 million. Barry Gabel and Chris Marchildon of CBRE in Phoenix, in conjunction with CBRE’s National Loan Sale Advisory Group, represented the seller. The buyer of this 21,737 square-foot office property was self-represented.

Horlacher Foundation Inc. of Mesa sold 19.3 acres west of the southwest corner of Greenfield and McDowell roads in Mesa to Blandford Homes through its McDowell Citrus 100 LLC for $3.2 million. Brent Moser, Mike Sutton and Brooks Griffith of Cassidy Turley Arizona’s land group represented both the seller and the buyer, who plans to build high end executive homes on 35,000 square foot lots.

MJA Investments of Lincoln, Neb., sold two office buildings of Redrock Business Center at 17100 E. Shea Blvd. in Scottsdale to A2Z Properties of Scottsdale for $1.925 million. Erick Wichterman and Mike Coover of Cassidy Turley negotiated the sale of this 21,190 square-foot property, representing both the buyer and the seller.


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Andrew Holm – The Holm Group Scottsdale AZ

Andrew Holm - The Holm Group

A new year, a new caricature.. :)

What do you think of using this caricature in some of my marketing materials?


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AZ Central – Luxury home sales up 34% in metro Phoenix

A rebound in the jumbo mortgage market is helping sales of luxury houses while sales of lower-priced houses have been falling in metro Phoenix during the past few months.

Sales of single-family homes priced above $500,000 grew 34 percent from October 2012 to this October, according to Arizona State University. At the same time, the number of sales for houses priced below $150,000 have fell by 49 percent. But that drop is also due to fewer houses in that price range for sale.

The luxury home market continues to gain ground with the stock market booming and the growing availability of jumbo loans, said housing analyst Mike Orr of ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

Jumbo loans were very difficult to obtain after the crash because they can’t be backed by federally owned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Lenders are liable for all losses on loans not backed by one of those insurers.

But during the past few months, banks flush with cash have jumped back into the jumbo loan business. Now the interest rate on mortgages for $500,000 and more is slightly lower than rates for conventional mortgages.The average rate for a jumbo loan is currently 4.59percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That compares with an average 4.62percent rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for a mortgage below $400,000.


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AZ Central – Phoenix-area rental homes a red-hot commodity

Crowds of people swarming open houses. Multiple bids on properties from desperate home seekers. Palpable fear over losing the “right” place to a ravenous market.

Map: Metro Phoenix rental market

Sounds like a typical day in metro Phoenix’s housing market, where buyer demand exceeds the supply of homes for sale.

But this frenzy is focused on houses for rent.

In the Valley’s most popular communities, desperate renters are submitting applications for multiple single-family homes to secure a place to live. Some would-be renters are dedicating as much as 20 hours a week to finding a new home. And when they find the right place, some feel pressure to offer much higher than the listed rent.

Greg Gale, a senior loan officer for Nova Home Loans, had only three weeks in August to find a new home. He launched a full-court press.

Gale applied to rent four properties, losing one after being a day late. He later found the property he wanted — a 4,600-square-foot home in north Scottsdale — and drafted a cover letter for his application, including his personal story and a promise to treat the house like his own. He included pictures of his children.

Gale admits he “pulled all the heartstrings” and believes it helped him get the house.

The unprecedented demand for rentals is fueled by former homeowners whose houses were foreclosed on or sold in short sales and now need a place to live. Some of them can no longer qualify to buy a home. For others, the housing bubble sullied the aura of owning a home.

In addition, new residents are migrating to the area for work. And members of households who had lived together out of financial necessity during the downturn are striking out on their own as the economy improves.

With the trend showing no sign of slowing, more investors than ever are buying homes to rent. Popular areas such as central and north Phoenix, south Scottsdale, Glendale, central Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert are hot spots for rentals.

Multiple indicators show demand for rentals has never been higher:

More rental contracts were signed in June and July than in any other months in the past decade, according to the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

The percentage of single-family homes purchased to be rented out hit a record 32 percent in July, more than triple the typical rate, said Mike Orr, a real-estate analyst at Arizona State University.

In July, the average rental home was empty for only 38 days, tied for the shortest period in 12 years, Orr said.

The vacancy rate for big apartment complexes recently hit an almost six-year low as of June 30, according to commercial broker Marcus & Millichap.

“It’s a crazy rental market right now,” said Liza Asbury of Realty One Group. “There are multiple offers for properties. If it (the home) is nice, it is definitely going fast.”

One renter Asbury represented lost out on a high-end home in Paradise Valley because a competitor bid $400 more a month than the listed rent.

Number of renters growing

The biggest factor in the hot rental market is the number of people who have experienced a foreclosure or short sale and can’t qualify to purchase a home.

Brett Nadler and Shelly Johnson are new to the rental-home market. Johnson was living in an apartment after a recent foreclosure.

A new couple, they have been searching for a four- or five-bedroom house since the end of May, hoping they could find a home to accommodate them, Johnson’s two sons and Nadler’s son and daughter. But it has been challenging.

In late August, they attended an open house at Power Ranch in Gilbert, hoping to get into a neighborhood where Johnson’s kids could continue attending the same elementary school.

“Everything rents really quickly,” Nadler said.

“You find a house on Craigslist, and the next day, the posting is gone,” Johnson said.

Ana Garcia is looking to rent for the first time. In fact, she was a landlord herself, owning 16 low-income properties in Mesa. But she lost the houses to the bank last year, and her own home in east Mesa was foreclosed on this year.

She’s living in her foreclosure home but needs to find a new place quickly. She said it’s hard work to find a nice place. “By the time you realize it, they are gone,” she said.

The properties that stay on the market are often dirty or have other issues. She recently saw a property that had termites, but the owners refused to get it treated because they didn’t feel they had to in order to rent it out.

A diabetic, Garcia said the situation has created a sense of panic that has aggravated her health problems.

“It’s there 24/7,” Garcia said of the anxiety. “Your health suffers.”

Most-popular areas

Both homebuyers and renters are flocking to the same parts of metro Phoenix. Areas near freeways, shopping centers and jobs are drawing the most new residents.

In the central Tempe ZIP code 85282, an area south of ASU and flanked by freeways, the typical rental home stays vacant for less than 22 days.

Rentals are also scarce in several central Phoenix and south Scottsdale ZIP codes. In 85012, a north-central Phoenix neighborhood, there are only 13 homes for rent and 37 for sale. A year ago, double that many homes were on the market in the neighborhood, stretching up Central Avenue to Glendale Avenue.

In ZIP code 85031, an affordable west Phoenix Maryvale neighborhood, there are only 12 homes for rent and 18 for sale.

In Gilbert’s 85298 ZIP code, where many of the area’s new homes are selling, there are only 28 homes for rent, and the average rental house leases in 34 days. The typical house rents for less than $850.

Many of the communities with the highest rents are taking the longest to rent.

North Scottsdale’s 85266 ZIP code, which encompasses an area stretching north to Carefree, has the longest average time to lease a home of any sizable ZIP code: 138 days.

In Paradise Valley, ZIP code 85253, it’s taking a landlord more than 100 days to find a tenant. There are more than 250 homes for sale in the upscale enclave and 62 for rent. Paradise Valley has metro Phoenix’s priciest homes and rentals. The average rent for one the area’s mansions is almost $4,000 a month.

Renting is the new buying

The demand for rentals has spawned a new phenomenon: Some landlords are holding weekend open houses to show off properties to several prospective tenants at once.

The events are often crowded with desperate home seekers.

Sean Badding, who owns five rental properties in the Valley, had more than 30 people attend his open house in July for a two-bedroom, one-bath home at the edge of the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District that he offered for rent at $1,050 a month.

Twelve people submitted rental applications, Badding said, and he rented the property immediately.

“The location makes the biggest difference. A prime location, whether it is rent or sale, allows you to get it off the market as soon as possible,” he said.

Chris Doyle began advertising his 2,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, 21/2-bathroom house at Power Ranch in Gilbert for $1,195 a month on Aug. 22. He had eight calls in the next few days, and four families showed up at an open house on Aug. 26.

He got that traffic despite not including the address in his advertisement or erecting a “for rent” sign in front of the home until minutes before the open house. Doyle said a yard sign will usually bring as much traffic as ads on Craigslist or elsewhere, and many landlords advertise with yard signs only because demand is so high.

Doyle raised the monthly rent on the home by $100 a month, but it didn’t dampen interest.

“I saw the demand was there,” Doyle said.

Desperate renters

Renters are dedicating as many as 20 hours a week to looking for the right home, and their searches can still take months, numerous renters and real-estate agents said.

Gale, who rented the house in north Scottsdale, said his wife, a stay-at-home mom, would gather listings from Internet searches or their real-estate agent and start driving to as many properties as she could get to in a day.

“There was a week where she went out every day or twice a day,” Gale said. “It’s literally a frenzy. You pull up to a house, and there are two other people there.”

Carmen Mioni searched for nearly four months for just the right townhouse in north-central Phoenix with a patio for her large dog. She looked at more than 75 properties on the Internet and visited 10 in person. Still, she couldn’t find exactly what she wanted and signed a lease on a less-than-ideal townhouse — the patio was too small for the dog.

“It was the best option I had because I was running out of time,” Mioni said. “I just went with it because there wasn’t going to be another place.”

Mioni said she also had to sign a longer lease than she wanted — 18 months instead of 12 — to get her rent down to $1,000 a month, where she needed it.

“It’s totally frustrating because your options are limited,” Mioni said.

Landlords’ market

Investors are responding to the demand and to home prices that are still well below boom levels.

In July, nearly one in three homes purchased was bought to be used as a rental, the highest percentage ever, ASU’s Orr said.

Typically, the percentage of homes bought to rent is 8 percent to 10 percent, Orr said. During the past two years, it ranged from 20 percent to 25 percent before hitting 32 percent in July.

For those who have the cash to buy, there is a historic spread between how much it costs to finance a home and monthly rents, so investors who buy at the right price can rent the house right away for more than the cost of a mortgage, taxes and insurance, while at the same time getting generous tax breaks.

The rental rates haven’t risen much despite the high demand — data show rents flat or rising slightly — but the price of housing has dropped 60 percent from the peak and only now is beginning to recover, Orr said. As a result, the “ratio has changed in favor of the landlord,” he said.

Kathy Karneth, who owns an investment property in Tempe and has recently flipped several houses, said her biggest problem is finding good deals on houses with the inventory so low. She will soon begin direct-mailing residents in certain Tempe neighborhoods — she buys only in Tempe — hoping to find a struggling homeowner willing to strike a deal before the property is formally listed on the market.

“It’s a very strong market,” said Alan Langston, executive director of the Arizona Real Estate Investors Association. “Something else is wrong with the property if it’s not rented immediately.”


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AZ Central – Rascal Flatts opening first of 11 restaurants in Phoenix

Country band Rascal Flatts is opening the first in a nationwide chain of restaurant-and-live music establishments at CityNorth in northeast Phoenix.

The band is teaming with Valley restaurant industry executives Philip Lama and Eric Soe to open the first of 11 restaurants later this year at the retail, housing and office development, which opened in November 2008 at 56th Street and Loop 101.

According to the Rascal Flatts Restaurant Group website, it will be a 14,000-square-foot facility that seats 163 indoors and outside. It also will include an exhibition kitchen, raised lounge, two full-service bars to seat an additional 144 customers, state-of-the-art performance stage, green room and dressing rooms.

An additional 500 guests will be able to stand to watch performances.

Additional locations will be in Washington, D.C., Columbus, Ohio; Madison, Wisc., Pittsburgh, Pa..; Raleigh, N.C.; Minneapolis; Long Island; Charlotte, N.C.; Tampa and Boston.

CityNorth representatives declined to comment Tuesday pending finalizing the lease.


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AZ Central – Phoenix area housing market sees signs of health

The rapid run-up in Valley home prices this year could signal that the long-awaited housing recovery is finally happening.

Metro Phoenix’s median home price has shot up more than 30 percent in the past year. The number of houses for sale is at a six-year low, and realistically priced homes are drawing dozens of offers, mostly from investors.

While those conditions sound similar to the boom that led up to the worst crash in Arizona history, housing analysts say this situation is different.

The 2005-06 run-up was driven by investors. Median home prices climbed 50 percent before plummeting 65 percent.

But in the current market, experts say, several factors are keeping prices in check and should prevent another boom-and-bust cycle: tighter loan regulations, a reduced role for investors as prices rise, and the return of more traditional sellers and buyers.

One immediate sign that the housing market isn’t in danger of overheating is that the median home price in Maricopa County increased less than 1 percent in June. That is attributable to a shortage of homes listed for sale, which has pushed prices higher but is starting to discourage investors from buying.

If the supply of homes for sale starts to increase, the pent-up demand will still push prices higher, but at a moderate rate, for the next few months.

“The housing market is healthy, not overheated,” said Mike Orr, real-estate analyst with Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.

 A different market

Buyers, sellers and even the types of homes for sale now are much different than they were during the boom. Fewer buyers qualify for loans, and most sellers owe too much on their properties to make a profit.

During the boom, there was little to rein in the market. Loose loan underwriting, a lack of understanding about how much buying was being done by investors and lax lending-industry regulation all contributed to a market out of control.

Too many investors put down little to no cash when they bought a home. Too many homes were speculatively built. And too many loans were made to borrowers who couldn’t afford them. Those factors led to record foreclosures that triggered the market crash.

For almost two years during the boom, home prices climbed 4 to 7 percent a month in a market in which there were hardly any trustee sales, foreclosure resales or short sales.

Between February and May 2012, home prices climbed about 5 percent a month before the June slowdown.

Orr said the increase in the metro Phoenix median price is being driven by sales of the lowest-priced houses to investors. It doesn’t mean all homeowners will see that kind of increase in value.

Instead, most people will see a 10 to 20 percent increase in their homes’ values since the start of the year, Orr said.

Hot activity in one niche

Over the past few years, lower-priced homes sold by lenders to investors through foreclosures or short sales have dominated the market — as much as 75 percent in 2009.

In contrast, during the boom, the market was dominated by sales of new and existing homes.

Investor deals have driven up the area’s median resale home price from its recent market low of $112,000 in August 2011. Despite the rise in metro Phoenix’s home prices during the past year, the region’s median home price of $146,000 still has recovered to only the pre-boom level of May 2003.

But the long-awaited transition to a healthier, more traditional market is beginning, analysts say. Foreclosures and short sales have slowed, and the number of regular and new-home sales is climbing. About one-third of 9,700 home sales in May were foreclosures or short sales. In the same month in 2011, more than 50 percent were distressed-property sales.

Many traditional buyers and sellers generally have not yet benefited, although market experts say that as sales in the distressed market continue to decrease, normal sales — and prices — should rise even more.

“Investors are being priced out of the market,” said Chris Broglia of Gilbert-based Solutions Real Estate. “Buyers are being enticed by lower interest rates, and more regular homeowners see they can finally sell again.”

The median price of a regular home sold by a homeowner reached $174,900 in May, about $50,000 more than bargain foreclosure homes.

“The distressed market is drying up; normal sales are on the rise … both great signs for the Phoenix-area market,” said Matt Widdows, founder and chairman of Phoenix-based HomeSmart.

However, he said prices haven’t risen enough to motivate many traditional buyers and sellers to return to the market, and that’s why the number of homes for sale is so low. Only about 8,000 homes are on the market that don’t already have a contract from a buyer.

New breed of investors

Leading metro Phoenix’s housing market out of the crash, large investment companies and smaller-scale buyers have paid cash for foreclosures and short sales, improved the properties and rented them out. Most are investing for the long haul, but their impact is forecast to diminish.

During the boom, a different type of investor dominated: speculators who put little to nothing down on a home. When they saw prices stall and then fall, they walked away and lost very little.

Since 2009, investors paying cash have been able to win most bidding wars on metro Phoenix’s foreclosures and short sales because they don’t need an appraisal to match their offer price, and they can close on the sale faster than a homeowner using a mortgage to buy.

These wealthy investors and investment groups ranging from Wall Street investment funds to private foreign investors won’t walk away from their homes and money, housing analysts say.

But as prices climb and foreclosures slow, the number of investors purchasing in the area is expected to shrink.

“Investors will soon be priced out of the housing market,” said Beth Jo Zeitzer, a real-estate attorney and president of Phoenix-based R.O.I. Properties. “Consumer confidence and normal home sales have taken over the market.”

Home sales that don’t involve a foreclosure or short-sale deal now account for more than half of all sales.

 More signs in yards

Getting traditional buyers and sellers motivated again seems to be the combination needed for the market’s continued recovery.

Interest could be growing. Housing-market watchers say more homeowners who don’t have to sell are putting up “for sale” signs to test the waters. Supply hasn’t climbed yet but could in the next few months.

Zeitzer said it’s finally the regular homeowner’s chance to sell and make some money. But of course the market isn’t favorable for all sellers.

People who bought before 2003 and didn’t take out second mortgages have the best chance to sell for a profit.

Phoenix real-estate agent Diane Watson of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty recently said she was going to start going door to door to talk to homeowners about selling because so many don’t realize prices are up and they can finally sell for a profit, albeit a small one.

“I have lots of potential buyers but wish I had more sellers,” she said. “But with the market turnaround, I think we will soon see more regular sellers. Some homeowners are waiting until it (the weather) cools down to try to sell.”

Mary Brierley-Peterman of HomeSmart is working with a homeowner who bought in 1999 and is ready to make a traditional sale.

“Regular houses priced right in the best locations are drawing offers,” she said. “Both regular buyers and investors are looking at these homes.”

Mark Stapp, Master of Real-Estate Development program director at ASU’s W.P. Carey School, said today’s 30 percent annual appreciation rate “isn’t sustainable. … But housing appreciation will continue as long as demand persists.”


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AZ Central – Another northeast Phoenix infill project planned

Cachet Homes is planning a second infill development in northeast Phoenix if rezoning to allow for 100 homes on the parcel is approved.

The developer has its eye on property now used for boarding horses at 44th Street and Grovers Avenue, north of Bell Road.

It would be Cachet’s second new development in northeast Phoenix. The company also is involved with a 200-unit apartment project on Cactus Road west of Paradise Valley Mall.

Matt Cody, president and owner of Cachet, said the horse property consists of 20 acres south of Foothills Elementary School. It is the home of Santa Rita Stables.

The property’s assessed value is about $2 million.

A representative of the property owner, Santa Rita Stables Holding Co. LLC, could not be reached. The property apparently never has been developed beyond its current use.

Escrow opened in May and is contingent on the rezoning. A first hearing before the Paradise Valley Village Planning Committee will take place at 6 p.m. Monday at the Paradise Valley Community Center, 17402 N. 40th St. The request is scheduled to reach the City Council at its Sept. 19 meeting.

Rezoning of the 5-acre parcel for the apartment project on Cactus Road was approved earlier this year, and developers are waiting for leases in the current building, the 33-year-old Paradise Valley Medical Center, to expire, Cody said.

Cachet will team with Joe Meyer of Southwest Next Capital Management to construct the apartments, which will provide an upper-end housing alternative near the mall.

The property will include two four-story buildings that will wrap around a central courtyard with a pool. Parking will surround the buildings.

Both projects should be under way early next year, barring any unforeseen circumstances, Cody said.


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AZ Central – Metro Phoenix home prices continue to rise

Metro Phoenix home prices continued to rapidly climb in May.

The median sales price of a home in the region is up 32 percent from May 2011, according to the latest report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

During last month alone, the cost to buy a Phoenix-area house climbed 7 percent to $147,000. The region’s home prices have rebounded back to early 2003 levels.

More regular buyers and investors coupled with a shrinking supply of homes for sale are propelling metro Phoenix home prices higher.

ASU housing analyst Mike Orr said in his report “high demand and low supply” remain the dominant factors in Phoenix’s housing market.

The number of homes for sale in the area is down 50 percent from May 2011. Currently, 8,550 homes are listed for sale and don’t have pending contracts from buyers.

Moderately-priced homes continue to draw the most buyers and bids.

“Most houses below $250,000 priced realistically are attracting large numbers of offers in a short time, and many exceed the asking price,” said Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at W. P. Carey School.

He said a Chandler owner recently received 84 offers, and a Glendale owner snared 95.

The Glendale house closed within four weeks for 17 percent above the original asking price.

“Needless to say, this is not something we would see in a normal market,” Orr said.

Metro Phoenix home prices can’t continue to climb at the “extremely fast rate” recorded in the past few months.

“The most likely time for prices to stabilize is during the hot summer months of June through September,” Orr said.


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AZ Central – Phoenix-area housing prices on the rise

More metro Phoenix homeowners may soon be able to sell for a profit, albeit a small one, as home prices in the region continue to rise.

Arizona State University’s latest real-estate report shows the median home price in the Phoenix area climbed again in April to $140,000 — 25 percent higher than the year before.

Helping push up prices is a limited supply of homes for sale and a growing pool of buyers. If those trends hold, the outlook is for home prices to keep rising, which could be good news for many owners who for years have owed more than their houses have been worth.

The report highlights some significant movements in the market:

Fewer houses for sale: Supply has dwindled as a smaller number of foreclosure homes go up for sale, and the number of homes on the market is at its lowest since the pre-2007 boom. There are about 8,800 houses for sale without a pending contract from a buyer. In 2008, there were more than 50,000. The total number of sales was down, as well, about 12 percent lower than in April 2011.

Declining foreclosures: The number of foreclosures was down 62 percent from a year earlier, to approximately 1,600.

More new-home sales: After years of stagnation, closed deals on new-construction homes were up 43 percent, to about 900, which is still far from the boom years.

“If prices continue to climb, more homeowners will be enticed to sell,” said Mike Orr, real-estate analyst with ASU and publisher of the “Cromford Report,” a daily analysis of metro Phoenix home sales. “Some homeowners might be surprised how much their values have gone up since last year.”

Regular home sales, between a homeowner and a buyer who plans to live in the house, are up 57 percent from last year, but still less than half of all sales.

Metro Phoenix’s supply of homes is so low that bidding wars have become the norm. Orr started a survey among real-estate agents to track how competitive homebuying is in the region.

So far, the most competitive purchase he has documented was a home sale with 76 bids in Chandler. Of the offers, at least 65 came from regular buyers.

Regular buyers have been scarce in the Phoenix-area market in recent years, with few new residents buying and existing homeowners unable to sell their houses to move up.

But the winning buyer of the Chandler home was one of 11 investors. These buyers, who offer cash up front without contingencies, often still win the house.

“Regular buyers definitely outnumber investors trying to purchase houses now,” Orr said. “But investors continue to win out in bidding wars because they can pay cash and take the home off the lender’s hands without an appraisal.”

The number of homes for sale in metro Phoenix is so low because the slowdown in foreclosures has left fewer lender-owned and short-sale houses on the market. Those types of sales have been among the most common for the past three years.

Many regular homebuyers and investors had been waiting for home prices to hit bottom before trying to buy. After several years of fluctuations, most market-watchers now agree Phoenix home prices hit that bottom in August.

Potential buyers seeing the rapid run-up in home prices during the past few months are now rushing to try to buy, Orr said.

But with supply at a low and little sign of a coming jump in new foreclosures, it’s not clear there will be enough homes for sale to meet demand.

The only way supply can truly increase and slow the bidding frenzy for houses is if regular homeowners can start to sell again for a profit, even a small one. When they can, more will put their houses up for sale.

Rob Shaw, a Phoenix-area real-estate agent with HomeSmart, said that there are regular homeowners who can now sell for a profit but that appraisals aren’t keeping up with rising values. That means traditional buyers, who must get an appraisal to secure a mortgage, may not be able to close the deal.

“We are encouraging sellers to consider marketing their homes to cash-only buyers to avoid having to get an appraisal,” he said.

Metro Phoenix’s median home price is back to the mid-2002 level, which means the values still are far from rebounding to boom prices. But many of the area’s current homeowners who bought in 2002 or earlier may be able to sell for a profit now.

The big question for the market is where buyers and sellers will find a balance. As prices rise, more owners will sell. But if prices rise too much, buyers will lose interest or no longer be able to bid.

“Phoenix is a volatile housing market,” Orr said. “I always tell people we are the dot-com of real estate. When the market is doing well, people jump in, and when it goes bad, panic sets in fast.”