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    Home hunting? Here’s where the action is for first-time buyers in East Valley

    Phoenix’s East Valley

    The Mesa and Gilbert areas of the East Valley have long been considered homebuyer havens for first-time homebuyers, but that designation is shifting as home prices continue to escalate.

    Those looking for entry-level homes in the East Valley will have to drive even farther to the periphery of the Valley, into Pinal County to find the best deals.

    Kathy Reardon, branch manager of the Mesa-Gilbert office of Coldwell Banker Realty, said she’s been helping first-time homebuyers find homes out in San Tan, Florence and even Casa Grande.

    “Prices have gone up substantially in the last two years,” said Reardon. “We are doing more business further east now than we have in the past.”

    In May, Mesa had 0.8 months supply of inventory, while Gilbert had 0.6 months supply of stock, she said. That’s down from 1.1 months supply in the same month in 2019 for Gilbert and Mesa.

    In May, homes listed on the market sold within 15 days in Mesa an 11 days in Gilbert, said Greg Hollman, president of Coldwell Banker Realty Arizona.

    But in Queen Creek, average days on the market was 19 in May, while Florence saw homes being sold after an average of 16 days on the market during that same month.

    Many first-time home buyers use an FHA loan for their first home purchase, Reardon said.

    “The FHA loan cap is $356,362 and our average price right now in Mesa is $467,000 and $578,000 in Gilbert,” she said. “There are homes available but we’re seeing less FHA loans coming into play here in the Mesa and Gilbert area.”

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