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Of Valley Homes for Sale, a Third sit Empty

By Catherine Reagor
The Arizona Republic
Oct 31, 2007

Of Valley homes for sale, a third sit empty By Catherine Reagor The Arizona Republic Oct 31, 2007 Vacant homes are a big reason why Valley home prices are falling. At least one out of every three homes for sale across metropolitan Phoenix is empty, and owners are motivated to cut prices to sell.

Many empty houses are owned by investors who can't find renters and need to sell. Others are owned by people who moved to other houses in the Valley or elsewhere and can't afford two mortgages. Some empty homes for sale are new houses that home builders are offering deals on. And a growing number of vacant houses are owned by lenders that foreclosed on the properties and want to cut their losses by selling them quickly and often cheaply.

About 36 percent of the Valley homes posted on the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service are empty. That's almost 20,000 of the record 55,000 houses for sale now. The prices on many of these empty homes have been reduced several times, according to listings.

"There's a whole collection of must-sell sellers in the Valley's housing market now," said Jim Sexton, president of the Phoenix real-estate firm John Hall & Associates. "It's a great time to buy, but sellers have a lot of competition now." These empty, bargain homes aren't clustered in just a few neighborhoods. According to the MLS, vacant homes for sale are scattered throughout most
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