Phoenix condo, townhouse market tough on buyers

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PHOENIX -- Phoenix is number one on Realtor.com's list of Turnaround Towns, but that isn't good news for those looking to buy a condo or townhouse.

"It seemed like there was just a lot of inventory out there and it was like 'which one do you want?'," Andrew Provencio said.

Provencio had been looking for a condo for a whole year, but gave up after a dozen different offers went nowhere.

"I ran into a lot of Canadians and people from Europe and everybody is paying cash and then there's financing issues with the banks because the investors own most of the projects so the banks won't do conventional financing," said Provencio, who is moving to the Valley from Alaska.

So Provencio widened his search and just settled in a home in Scottsdale a few weeks ago.

According to recent data from ARMLS, there were 33,000 residential properties for sale in Maricopa County in the first quarter of 2011. This year, in the same time period, there were just 18,000. Today there are 10,000 properties for sale, and just 1,900 of those are town homes and condos.

So if you're in the market for a condo, real estate agent Tiffany Young says pay cash if you can and be aggressive.

"We'll actually have an offer in before we even see the property because we have to get there first, make sure the offer is strong. We have proof of funds for the down payment for the buyer," said Young.

And keep an open mind, because in the end Provencio is thrilled with his home.

"I would say I have double the space that this would buy in a condo in a similar area. I am just fabulously happy with what's happened," Provencio stated.