Housing bubble II? Some worry about increasing home prices - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Housing bubble II? Some worry about increasing home prices

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AHWATUKEE, Ariz. -

Home prices jumped 12 percent in April. It's the biggest monthly jump in seven years. And the numbers are even bigger in Phoenix -- up more than 20 percent.

But some people are warning buyers to be careful. The big run-up in valley home prices is making some people uneasy.

Is this the beginning of housing bubble 2.0, or real estate bubble, the sequel? Few people want to go through that again.

The housing bubble of the late 2000s was pretty exciting as it inflated real estate prices. It was pretty ugly when it popped.

"It absolutely looks like a bubble with the low inventory and fast increases in home prices. It absolutely looks like a bubble, but you can't always judge a book by its cover," says Paul Welden, HomeSmart Buyers agent.

We met Welden at a home under contract. It's a 4 bedroom, 2,500 square foot home in Ahwatukee.

Asking price $315,000. About two years ago this house sold for $247,000. That's a $68,000 swing in price in a short amount of time.

The difference, says Welden -- the people buying houses these days are well qualified. No fast and loose loans like the first bubble.

"The credit restrictions to get mortgages today are so much more restrictive than what they were a long time ago, that it's eliminating that bubble from forming in the future."

What if this bubble is being inflated by investors who bought 25 percent of valley homes for sale?

Maybe the bubble pops when they seek other investments?

"I doubt these investors would flood their homes on the market at one time because they know what would happen. would possibly drive prices down. they don't want to do that, they want to recoup as much as possible," says Welden.

Even if investors put thousands of homes back on the phoenix market, our housing inventory is so low the impact would not be as severe as some fear, Welden says.

He says the biggest challenge in this market remains the fact that there are too few homes for sale, which is part of the reason prices are rising so rapidly.

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