Some Buyers Choosing Foreclosures in Mesa Over Phoenix Homes

by Peter Vernon on cities

Some families and investors are choosing foreclosures in Mesa over foreclosed homes in Phoenix. These buyers are looking more at living conditions in neighborhoods than on price discounts.

Although home prices in Phoenix fell by a higher percentage than in Mesa, families are looking at the fact that many neighborhoods in Mesa have wide spaces for children and are generally safer and more peaceful than certain areas in the center of Phoenix.

In Phoenix, the price median for houses plunged by a total of 53 percent in 2009 to $90,000. The price declines in Mesa and in the other Maricopa cities of Chandler and Gilbert were smaller. The Mesa sales price median fell by a total of 30 percent while the Tempe median price dropped by 21 percent. The median prices in Chandler and in Gilbert dropped by 18 percent.

In addition to Mesa hosting the Polytechnic campus of the Arizona State University, the city is also essentially a bedroom community in relation to Phoenix. Mesa residents working in Phoenix can have the best of both worlds – earning income from their jobs in Phoenix and enjoying family lives in the open spaces of Mesa.

Buyers of homes can also benefit from the low prices of foreclosures in Mesa. The price drop in Mesa was the second biggest compared to price declines in other cities in Maricopa City and in the Southeast Valley.

According to Homeland Security Secretary and former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, the pace of Arizona foreclosures stepped up because of the heavy dependence of the state on construction, the industry sector battered by the housing meltdown. When construction jobs got wiped away by the collapse of home building companies, record numbers of breadwinners lost their source of income and families lost their homes.

In a speech at the ASU last week, Napolitano stressed the need for the state to diversify into other industries and to enhance educational opportunities because new industries need a competitive workforce.

Other analysts also cite the need for cities to participate actively in the purchase of foreclosure properties so that these are bought by families that will live in them and not by flippers who put them back into the market, exacerbating the problem of housing oversupply.

On the whole, as more families choose to buy foreclosures in Mesa, improve them and occupy them, the problem of vacant foreclosures can start to have solutions.