By Catherine Reagor| August 25th, 2019
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Metro Phoenix's median home price is still hovering at a record $280,000, but finding a house for that price can be tough.

Forget trying to buy a detached home in Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Carefree or Cave Creek around that price. Condominiums can be found for less than $280,000 in some of the areas, however.

It's no surprise there aren't affordable homes in the Valley's poshest enclaves, but the East Valley suburbs were affordable not too long ago.

What's making it tougher for buyers who can afford the median price for detached houses is the drop in supply of those for sale, said Tina Tamboer, senior housing analyst with the Cromford Report.

The number of Phoenix-area homes for sale is down 9% from last month, according to the latest count from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

BREAKING RECORDS: Valley home prices set new record, still no signs of a crash

Where are the $280,000 homes?

Phoenix, the state's biggest city, has the most affordable houses, with 589 priced at $280,000 or lower. Most of those houses can be found in the south or west Phoenix areas, including Maryvale.

Here's a rundown of listings in other cities with single-family, or detached, houses for sale priced at or below the area's median price, according to online listings.

  • Glendale: 157
  • Buckeye: 122
  • Surprise: 121
  • Mesa: 111
  • Peoria: 61
  • Goodyear: 60
  • Chandler: 27
  • Tempe: 4
  • Scottsdale: 1
  • Cave Creek: 0
  • Carefree: 0
  • Paradise Valley: 0

The West Valley continues to be the hot spot for more affordable housing, but prices are climbing in that area, too.

Fewer properties for sale

Lower interest rates not only have enticed more buyers, they have enticed more homeowners to stay put and refinance to renovate.

Many homeowners can sell for a nice profit now, but they also have to pay higher prices to move up. Refinancings are climbing while listings are falling in metro Phoenix.

Flippers and investors are paying cash for more affordable homes, even before they go on the market, which also is dwindling the pool of affordable houses for regular buyers. 

Overall, metro Phoenix's listing prices are significantly higher than its median home price. Of the 18,000 houses listed for sale now, only about 10% are listed for the area’s median home price of $280,000 or less.

The higher-priced houses are selling much slower than those priced below $300,000. 

Forecasts call for home prices to hold steady this month and next.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-8040. Follow her on Twitter @Catherinereagor.

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