or more than 18 months, local real-estate analysts believed they had called the bottom of the housing market back in April 2009.
Not anymore, according to Arizona State University professor Karl Guntermann. He reported Wednesday that the median home-sale price in December fell to 3 percent below the previous low point after the housing boom ended in 2006.
December's median price for the Phoenix metro area was just $114,000, compared with $117,500 in April 2009, according to Guntermann's preliminary data.
November's median home price was $122,000, according to the report.
The news came just as national housing economists were reporting that U.S. home-sale volume in 2010 hit a 47-year low of 321,000 transactions, down more than 14 percent from 375,000 sales the previous year.
In addition to median price, Guntermann tracks what he calls the ASU Repeat Sales Index, which is based on annual changes in the average sale price of a select group of Phoenix-area homes that have sold multiple times, with zero indicating no change from a year earlier.
Just as home values had begun to rise in 2010 before shifting into reverse, the Repeat Sales Index also had crossed over from months in negative territory to positive numbers but is now accelerating back downward, Guntermann said.