More ordinary buyers are finally getting into the Phoenix-area housing market as home prices continue to rise and investors find fewer bargains to snap up. That’s according to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which reveals the numbers for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of November.

Phoenix-area home prices reached a low point in September 2011, followed by a sharp rise that’s expected to continue into 2013.

However, according to the report’s author, Mike Orr, the market is unbalanced, with not enough homes available for the many buyers, especially at the lower end.

Ordinary buyers, who usually need financing, still face multiple bids and tough competition from investors offering sellers preferred all-cash deals. In fact, almost half (48.4 percent) of the single-family-home sales under $150,000 in November were all-cash purchases.

However, the percentage of homes bought by investors declined from 35.5 percent in August to 27.5 percent in November. Orr says investor activity peaked around August and is on a long-term downward trend. With the possible exception of a brief, normal holiday spike in December/January, he expects a continued drop in investor activity.

Sales activity stayed relatively level, dipping just 1 percent from November to November. The most expensive types of sales, new-home sales and regular resales, are up 32 percent and 84 percent.

Almost every area of the Valley has seen prices explode over the past year, led by Pinal County, including Eloy, Arizona City and Maricopa.

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at

$28.7B brought to Valley’s economy by Phoenix airport system

A new economic impact study conducted by the Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business found that the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport system had a $28.7 billion impact on the Phoenix area economy in 2011, more than $78 million every day.

The study found the airport system, air travelers and tourism supported nearly 250,000 jobs with a payroll of $10 billion. Sky Harbor alone continues to employ nearly 33,000 people. That number jumps to 43,000 including Sky Harbor Center.

The study found Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport supported 54,990 direct jobs on and off the airport with a payroll of $3.1 million. The direct impact of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, including the Sky Harbor Center, is $9.5 billion.

Each day, Phoenix Sky Harbor sees more than 1,26600 aircraft arrive and depart, an average of 111,000 passengers arrive and depart, and handles 828 tons of cargo. The airport also brings a daily impact of $79 million to the local economy. Though Phoenix Sky Harbor, Phoenix Deer Valley and Phoenix Goodyear International airports are owned and operated by the city of Phoenix, no local tax dollars are used to operate them.

Public art calendar features photos of city artwork

Celebrating more than 25 years of excellence in public art, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture has created a 2013 public art calendar, featuring 12 pieces from the city’s collection of site-specific projects.

Projects include Waterworks at Arizona Falls, Ponderosa Stables, Ed Pastor Pedestrian Bridge, Black Mountain Police Station terrazzo floor, Little Canyon Trail public art, Social Invertebrates at Phoenix Convention Center and Sky Harbor International Airport Terminal 3 terrazzo floor.

Calendars are $10. Proceeds benefit the Public Art Maintenance Fund, which maintains 150 site-specific public art pieces and more than 1,000 portable pieces dating back to 1915.

To purchase a calendar or for more information, contact Scott Steventon at (602) 534-8334 or

• Briefs compiled from staff and wire reports

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