The Case-Shiller Home Price Index is the best-known measure of home price changes in the United States and it paints a gloomy picture of residential real estate in Phoenix through 2013. According to Case-Shiller, Phoenix prices have declined some 55 percent since their peak in 2006, a decline that places home values at the equivalent of prices on January 1, 2000.
The future does not look bright. Prices are predicted to continue their decline, losing an additional 8.7 percent by the beginning of 2012 and a further 6.9 percent from early 2012 to 2013.
The bad news represents a continuation of trends that area homeowners have endured for the past several years, with a buyer’s market in residential real estate that shows no signs of abating. If anything, the negative outlook puts additional downward pressure on prices, as buyers become ever more reluctant to take the plunge into a market that does not seem to have found a bottom.
Homeowners find themselves beset with more than just a lack of buyers. Mortgage refinancing becomes more difficult in the face of values that do not support adequate loan amounts. More and more owners find themselves “under water,” with outstanding loans that are larger than the amounts their homes are worth. Even a homeowner lucky enough to find a buyer willing to pay appraised value may be unable to pay off the mortgage from the proceeds of sale.
Homeowners can find themselves overwhelmed by the situation, backed into a corner and finding few options at their disposal, especially when the terrain is so unfamiliar. These are not problems that most of us deal with every day. They are especially stressful because they literally hit so close to home.
At The Pew Law Center, we want our clients to understand that they do have options and that we can help them choose the course of action that is right for them. We deal with these difficult situations every day and, as a law firm dedicated to debt relief, we know how to work with mortgage lenders and other creditors. We understand bankruptcy law and how it can help. We know the tax consequences of client choices and how to navigate complex tax regulations. In the end, we want our clients to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We work hard every day to help them get there.