Maricopa is quite the interesting little study in rapid real estate development. Less than 10 years ago, it was a remote desert town, with about 1,000 residents.
Today, the population is pushing 35,000.
ABC News just published a very interesting article about Maricopa. Titled, “Poster Child for Housing Crisis: ‘They Were Building Mortgages’ in Arizona Town”, the article highlights Maricopa’s “boom to bust” run.
The is a ton of real estate for sale in Maricopa. As of this writing, there are 965 properties listed for sale (892 single-family detached homes). In the last 30 days, 135 homes were sold, for an absorption rate of 7.2 months (down significantly from the 12+ month supply of early this year).
239 homes are currently in a “Pending” status — the homes are under contract for sale and “in escrow”.
341 of the 965 active listings are tagged in the MLS as either short sales or bank-owned properties. In other words, 35% of the Maricopa homes for sale are “distressed” properties.
Many bank-owned (“REO” or “foreclosures”) are actually moving fairly quickly, with multiple offers and there are some banks accepting offers that approach 50% of the current loan amount. Currently 125 of the 239 pending sales, roughly half, are short sales/REO properties. Pending REO’s outnumber short sales 5 to 1 — more evidence that most homes in a short sale situation wind up going back to the bank eventually.
The sheer percentage of distressed properties for sale makes it difficult for non-distressed property to sell. The competition is stiff when you are competing with banks trying to unload homes from their books.
Infrastructure in is slowly improving, and I don’t see Maricopa becoming a ghost town. Lower housing prices are very attractive to many buyers. Hardly anything in the town is more than 10 years old. And while the commute into Phoenix can be lengthy, depending on your ultimate destination, it’s really not that different from living in the far reaches of the East or West Valley.
Maricopa is certainly one option to consider in a Phoenix area home search. Depending on your circumstances, it may not be a bad choice.
You can search for homes in Maricopa below, or visit the Maricopa page on the Phoenix Real Estate Search Site.