[OPINION] Surge in Flagstaff housing prices not due to bubble – yet

3190 S Lindsey Loop, Flagstaff, Sold for $359,000
3190 S Lindsey Loop, Flagstaff, Sold for $359,000

Arizona Daily Sun

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)

If housing prices in Flagstaff are surging by double-digits from a year ago, can another housing bubble be far behind?

We tend to doubt it for a number of reasons.

But as housing prices rise faster than wages again, the persistence of Flagstaff’s affordable housing gap and high cost of living will once again rise closer to the top of policymakers’ to-do lists, and that is a good thing.

The recovery in housing prices seems tied more to a tight supply in the lower-priced market than a speculative boom. As households regain their second jobs and part-time jobs that were lost to the recession, more are qualifying for mortgages and equity loans again. Those looking to move up from renting to buying still can’t afford much beyond the bottom half of the market – below $300,000. But construction of those types of homes has yet to pick up in the Flagstaff market again.

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