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(AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)
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Maricopa County home sales up 18 percent, near prerecession numbers

(AP Photo/Bill Sikes, File)

PHOENIX — For the first time in a decade, single-family home sales in Maricopa County have increased by nearly 20 percent.

The Wilcox Report, authored by Valley title agent Fletcher R. Wilcox, said sales volume of previously-owned, single-family homes in the first quarter of this year were up 18.1 percent when compared to the same time period in 2016. The data was used was from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

According to the report, Maricopa County had not seen home sales figures along these lines since 2006, prior to the real estate recession. Wilcox said the report showed the housing market was reaching a point of true recovery.

“Most of the people that went through a short sale or foreclosure, there used to be a waiting period or a penalty box before they could get a loan again,” he said. “Most people are through that penalty box period and they can buy again.”

But the removal of bank restrictions was only one reason sales went up. Wilcox said other factors, such as a promising real estate market and a booming population, also contributed.

“We have more people than we’ve ever had before, we have more jobs than we’ve ever had before and we have people that are no longer in the penalty box,” he said. “They all want to buy and own a single-family home.”

The report measured sales volume, which takes into account the total dollar amount of homes sold in a given time, not just the average price or number of sales. Wilcox said it was a good barometer of the county’s real estate market.

“When that market is healthy and strong and there is tight supply, that means it’s going to be good for new home building,” he said. “It’s going to be good for townhouses. It’s going to be good for retail.”

KTAR’s Tom Perumean contributed to this report.

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