Arizona housing prices outpace the nation

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Housing prices in Arizona are rising faster than in any other state, and the Valley metro area's prices are out-pacing all other metro areas nationwide.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency released quarterly numbers Tuesday, which show home prices climbed 26 percent in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale metropolitan area. Prices rose 20 percent statewide.

"It's phenomenal," said Andra Ghent, a real estate analyst at Arizona State University's WP Carey School of Business.

Ghent attributes the housing price spike to a number of factors, including supply and demand.

"Everyone was bidding on just a few properties," she told 3TV.

"People are flocking to Arizona," said real estate analyst Fletcher Wilcox. "People want to live here.  We have a low supply, high demand, and it's pushing prices up."

Both analysts say Arizona's steep decline is another reason for the recent spike.

"We were one of the first to plummet, and were able to get through the backlog of foreclosures a lot faster than other states," Wilcox said.

Ghent said Arizona's foreclosure process, while painful for homeowners, is relatively fast compared to other states, which drag proceedings out in courts and mediation.

Wilcox expects 4th Quarter results to show continued climbing prices.