Graph Upward Trend 2
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For those of us familiar with the Phoenix real estate market, over the past 10 years, we’ve watched home prices rise to a ridiculously high level, crash to an impossibly low bottom and then, finally, start to creep up again.  The news media has an annoying habit of reporting market statistics 6 to 9 months late and/or throwing in national market statistics (which are just not relevant to our market).  So, it’s no surprise that many of us are confused about what’s really happening in the market today and whether or not it is a good time to buy or sell.  Hopefully, the market information below will help put things into perspective.

The following information is for March 2013 and the previous 35 months for all of Maricopa County. This information was obtained from the FlexMLS system.  Please note that searches fluctuate daily when running these reports; these figures were obtained on April 5, 2013.  As always, these blended statistics may be different than the statistics in your particular neighborhood.

AVERAGE SALES PRICE:

 

 

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What This Means for Sellers:

March saw the average sales price of a home in Maricopa County increase by 2.2% from $225,803 to $230,876; this is the highest average in the 36-month reporting period. However, it does follow the same pattern for the month of March in the prior two years.  Sellers need to remain diligent about pricing homes according to the current market and not be tempted to overprice because they see prices on the increase. Just because the average sales price remains high does not mean that sellers are automatically getting more for their homes. Sellers are encouraged to spend time with their real estate professional to determine what is happening in their local market.

What This Means for Buyers:

For buyers, it remains very important to be aware of this shift in the price of homes. Just a little over one year ago, the average sales price was $158,517. We have seen a 22.7% increase since March of 2012. As prices remain high, buyers may find it more and more difficult to find a home that is affordable. Interest rates remain low, so buyers still have an edge in financing options. More than ever, you need to work with your real estate professional to make sure you have the best possible information regarding the market value of homes and to carefully monitor this trend to see how it will impact the availability, pricing, and terms associated with purchasing a home.

 

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET:

 

 

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What This Means for Sellers:

The month of March saw the average days on market decrease from 71 to 69 days. Considering we were at 139 days a few years ago, there is no doubt the current market continues to have an impact on how quickly homes are selling. Well-priced homes continue to go under contract within a very short period of time. If a home isn’t selling in today’s market, there is no doubt that it is because buyers see the price as being too high.

 What This Means for Buyers:

Inventory continues to move quickly. As a result, buyers need to be aware that competition for great homes continues to remain very high, especially in the lower price ranges. The importance of having a reliable lender AND real estate professional to guide you through this process has never been more important.

 

MONTHS OF INVENTORY:

 

 

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What This Means for Sellers:

March saw an increase of 3.5% in the months of available housing inventory. We ended the month with 2.36 months. This statistic means that on average, we continue to remain in a strong “seller’s market” that is identified when this statistic reflects less than 5 months of inventory. However, this increase should be monitored very carefully. Although this traditionally means that sellers will have more control in a sales transaction than the buyer, it is essential that you are meeting with your real estate professional to determine the actual market in YOUR area. You may find that you have more or less control than the average.

What This Means for Buyers:

Buyers will want to monitor this as well, as it indicates that inventory has increased slightly, a trend that is NOT normal for the month of March. We remain in a strong seller’s market. A seller’s market traditionally gives less control to buyers and can create significant competition for the current inventory. The current low inventory is resulting in homes selling more quickly, at a higher price, and with fewer concessions for buyers. However, the type of market will vary from price range to price range and even area to area. Work with your real estate professional to make sure you understand the type of market you are in.

 

If you would like more information about the real estate market or if you would like to know the market statistics in your neighborhood, contact me anytime!

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