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Valley sees dip in home sales

PHOENIX — The Valley’s housing market is changing and so far, it’s not for the better.

A new report from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University revealed that sales of single family homes dropped 17 percent from December 2012 to the same month in 2013.

The news was worse for homes priced under $150,000. Sales of homes in that price range dropped nearly 50 percent during the same time period.

“Buyers are starting to lose enthusiasm,” said Michael Orr, director of the ASU Center for Real Estate Theory. “There are not so many bargains out there for investors. Generally speaking, most areas are seeing more sellers than buyers right now.”

Orr said that there is speculation that a rise in interest rates is to blame. He also said that young people may be part of the reason.

“It does appear that the millennial generation, those aged 20 to 35, is participating in housing, at least in house purchases, much less than previous generations and is preferring to rent,” said Orr.

One bright spot is the luxury home market. There was a 21 percent increase in the sales of homes worth over $500,000 over the same time period.