Buyers are still taking advantage of our affordable housing and low interest rates.

According to Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc, (ARMLS) the number of residential sales rose 5.1 percent in May over April with 9,809 sales. This is the third month in a row for sales to go over 9,000.

Additionally, sales in May of 2011 were up 8.1 percent over May of 2010. May’s sales numbers are the second highest sales since August of 2005, according to ARMLS.

New listings declined again in May by 3.8 percent over April. This downward trend began last November with an inventory of 45,353 compared to our inventory of 31,661 in May.

According to the principle of supply and demand, when supply is down and demand continues to go up, prices are affected in a positive way.

To confirm that, ARMLS reported a small 1 percent increase in the median list price for May.

Although this is a 5 percent increase over the decade’s lowest median price set in January, it is still the third lowest of the decade behind this past December and April.

ARMLS uses a Pending Price Index to predict the future of our market. It takes the properties that are currently under contract in the system to predict prices for the next three months.

Even with the few positive signs in our housing market, ARMLS predicts sale prices to increase in June and decrease in July and August.

In conclusion, although we are showing some signs of recovery, we are still in a difficult market. Pricing of future inventory will be critical to residential resale.

• Linda Berg is branch manager and designated real estate agent for the Ahwatukee/Tempe office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. She has been a Realtor since 1978 and past-president of the Southeast Valley Association of Realtors. Reach her at (480) 753-3122 or www.azmoves.com/Linda.Berg.

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