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Phoenix market improving


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Nearly 29% of homes sold last month went to buyers who indicated they planned to rent out the properties, according to the Cromford Report. That figure has been on the rise over the past two years. In mid-2010, the share stood near 15%.


Competition from investors is frustrating for aspiring first-time buyers like Adam Brenner. "This does not feel like a buyer's market at all," says Mr. Brenner, a pharmacist who estimates that he has looked at 60 houses since last fall. "You hear and read about how there are so many homes for sale, but once you start looking, it's a pretty big shock."


Many real-estate agents have reported more bidding wars in recent weeks, and some buyers are agreeing to escalation clauses, a bubble-era provision where they agree to pay a certain price above the highest offer.

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