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Aug 28, 2013 12:37 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Tucson's housing market, impact of rising interest rates

TUCSON - With record low interest rates on the rise, could this effect Tucson's rebounding housing market?

A look at the mid-year numbers show a slow but positive recovery.

Since January 7,323 homes have sold an increase of 139 over last year.

Average and median sales prices are up eight percent.

According to the Pima County Recorder, foreclosure notices are on the decline by 42 percent.

Although July sales decreased nine percent from June, it's still an increase of 20 percent over last year, according to the Tucson Association of Realtors or TAR.

Homes selling around the $250,000 mark are starting to get competitive.

A sign of a vibrant market says Realtor Nicole Brule-Fisher with ReMax Trends. She's been an agent for 11 years.

Fisher says 'days on the market' are decreasing, and sales overall are increasing.

Affordability is here she says, "We haven't seen rates this low, ever."

In July, conventional loans accounted for 40 percent of sales, cash 29 percent according to TAR.

Fisher says getting a loan, or even refinancing continues to prove difficult.

"And having to provide lots of documentation, sometimes it doesn't seem particularly reasonable, where good people are being put through the mill," Fisher said.

Valerie Ritz is both a homeowner and buyer.

"I'm looking to downsize, I have this large house," says Ritz.

Her four bedroom, two bath Oro Valley home is listed for $255,000.

"This is my favorite part of the house, it's what sold me, the huge kitchen and all the storage," describes Ritz.

Rising interest rates aside, Fisher says homes around $250,000 are moving fast, with competing offers.

"You know, if you're on the fence. And you're beginning to evaluate if it's the right time, it is the right time," says Fisher.

With a 42 percent decrease in foreclosure notices there's also been a 30 percent decrease in sales of foreclosed homes compared to last year.
Fisher says it could be the effect of more short sales or loan modifications.

Digging deeper, how is the housing market faring in other parts of the country?

Home prices in Las Vegas had the biggest gains over last year going up 24.9 percent.

New York showed the smallest increase at 3.3 percent according to the Standard and Poor/Case Shiller survey of property values.

For more information on the homes featured in this story, Realtor Nicole Brule-Fisher has created websites for both listings.

309 W. Sugar Loaf Road Oro Valley, AZ 85737

4400 N Paseo del Barranco Tucson, AZ 85745

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