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Valley fourth-cheapest place to buy a home

PHOENIX — Phoenix is now the fourth-most affordable city in the nation when it comes to buying a home, a study said.

Economist Jim Rounds with Elliott D. Pollack and Company in Scottsdale said Valley homes remain affordable even though home prices have jumped by almost 30 percent in the past year, but he sees something on the horizon that causes him concern.

“If home prices go up by another 20 to 25 percent, we could another housing bubble burst and then prices will become even more affordable, and that’s not a good thing,” he said.

One thing working in Arizona’s favor is that more people are starting to relocate to Arizona. Certainly not in the boom numbers of a decade ago, but enough that home demand will stay high and hopefully prices will keep rising.

“Right now we are seeing growth, in prices that cannot be sustained and it has to do with current supply and demand,” said Rounds. “We still have homes that were built being rented out by investors. Those homes are not on the market for sale so they’re not part of the current supply. We hope the investors put the homes back on the market at a steady rate, not all at once.”

Interest.com ranked the 25 largest metropolitan areas for home affordability. Only Detroit, Atlanta and Minneapolis were ahead of Phoenix.