Metro Phoenix Real Estate Report

Contracts In Escrow Up 19% Over Last Year Despite Rising Prices, Affordability is Good

For Buyers: Buyers waiting for prices to come down have been sorely disappointed so far in 2019. The average sale price per square foot is up 6.7% since last November and the median sales price is now $283,000, up $21,000 from last November’s measure of $262,000.

Despite rising prices, affordability has remained normal throughout the year. One relevant factor is Private Sector Earnings in Greater Phoenix has risen 4.5% annually as interest rates have continually declined. The median family income was measured at $72,900 last quarter and families making that income could afford 68% of what sold last quarter (according to the HOI index published by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo). The historical norm for our market is 60-75%.

Clearly not all buyers have parked on the fence, demand has been hovering 6-7% above normal for our area for about 4 months while supply is 44% below normal. The only measurable relief for buyers is last month’s supply level was 47% below normal, so it’s 3% less hard to find something suitable.

For Sellers: The number of listings under contract may have declined 26% from its May seasonal peak, but it’s nearly 19% higher than it was this time last year. This, combined with monthly sales up nearly 15% over last year, is a solid indicator that year-end closings will outperform last year despite a shaky start.

Single Family permits (future supply) are up 4.6% year-to-date and multi-family permits are up 6.4%, reaching a level not seen since 2007. Single family home sales are up 5.7%, but new townhome and condo sales are down a whopping 30%, which is surprising. Resale condos and townhomes have increased in sales volume this year, so the drop in sales for new construction despite an increase in permits indicates that much of the multi-family units constructed are not for individual sale but are for rent.

This is good news if you’re planning to sell your condo because the majority of developments are not competing for buyers. This is not good news if you’re renting your condo nearby because that’s an increase in competing units for renters. “Apartment style” private condo rental rates per square foot have grown less than 1% over the course of 3.5 years according to the Arizona Regional MLS records.

Commentary written by Tina Tamboer, Senior Housing Analyst with The Cromford Report ©2019 Cromford Associates LLC and Tamboer Consulting LLC

Choosing a “Seller-Friendly” Contractor

Although there are many terrific contractors out there, there are always a few bad apples. When preparing your home for sale, you need a contractor that gets your job done on time, on budget and without creating a big mess.

To help make sure that happens, ask prospective contractors these questions:
• “Will I be issued a receipt detailing the work done?” This is handy to have as you might want to show it to buyers.
• “Do you thoroughly clean up the work area each day?” This is especially important if your home will be shown to buyers during this period.
• “Is the project schedule realistic? Is there a chance the work might take longer than expected?” Delays can negatively impact the sale of your home. It’s better to get a realistic timeline from the contractor, rather than an ambitious one.
• “Under what circumstances will the final price be higher than quoted?”

Of course, you also need to check references and do other due diligence to ensure the contractor is a “good apple”.

Looking for a contractor recommendation or an interior designer to guide you through the renovation process. Call today.

Décor Color Choices Can Be Psychological

Although choosing a room’s color is highly personal, it’s worth noting that studies have linked specific color tones to psychological behaviors. In fact, many doctors, scientists and design experts believe that certain colors can actually influence your mood or motivation.

The following list provides a general interpretation of commonly held views about how we perceive color. It may help you decide on the colors you’ll use in your next interior painting or decorating project. While some suggested connections may seem obvious, others might surprise you.

Yellow: concentration, attentiveness, optimism.
Orange: abundance, expressiveness, passion.
Red: emotion, creativity, appetite.
Purple: status, opulence, indulgence.
Blue: trust, confidence, productivity.
Green: tranquility, comfort, nourishment.
Brown: honesty, sincerity, simplicity.
Black: contemplation, dedication, commitment.

Of course, subtle differences in hues and shades can evoke different emotional responses. As a result, complementary colors can sometimes seem to conflict with the expected psychological response to your primary selection. So, despite all the available scientific information, you should consider your instincts as well.

How to Quick-Prep Your Home for Sale

Ideally, you should plan to have plenty of time to prepare your home for sale. You want to be able to get everything fixed and cleaned up, and perhaps even make a few improvements, such as installing a new countertop in the kitchen.

For any number of reasons, that’s not always possible. If you have to suddenly relocate for work, for example, you may have only days to make your home “show ready” for the market.

What should you do? The answer is: the essentials.
First, arrange to get any maintenance issues dealt with immediately. If you have a clogged shower drain or cracked windowpane, call a professional repair person. Even if those items don’t get fixed by listing day, you can inform buyers that the repairs are scheduled – and that receipts proving that the work was done professionally will be available.

Next, you need to do a thorough clean-up. Staging experts (those who professionally prepare homes for sale) unanimously agree that making each room look neat and tidy is essential. Even something as seemingly minor as dust accumulation on blinds can impact buyers.

If you still have time available before the For Sale sign goes up, consider doing some redecorating. Stand in each room and ask yourself, “How can I make this room look more spacious and appealing?” Oftentimes, simply rearranging the furniture and moving a few items into storage will make a dramatic difference.

Yes, prepping your home on a tight schedule takes some work. However, in just two or three days, you’ll have a property that is more attractive to prospective buyers. It will show better, and, as a result, it will likely sell faster.

Looking for more ideas for selling your home, quickly? Call today.

Outdoor Turkey Frying: Tips and Tricks

Thanksgiving is on its way, and for most of us, that means turkey. In recent years, fried turkey has grown significantly in popularity; this has led to a lot more people deciding to pick up a large fryer and try their hand at frying their own at home. Unfortunately, this has led to a sharp increase in fryer-related accidents as well. Nothing can ruin a Thanksgiving faster than fryer incidents that result in burns, fires or other serious problems.

To that end, let’s look at a few ways to keep your turkey-frying adventures safe. Whether you’re a first-time fryer or a seasoned turkey-frying pro, here are some things to keep in mind to help keep your holiday safe.

Picking the Right Fryer

There are a few different options available when it comes to turkey fryers. You can opt for a propane fryer that heats with a burner or an electric fryer that you need to plug in. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure that it has temperature controls so that you can keep the oil below its smoke point. One of the big causes of fires at Thanksgiving is that people turn turkey fryers up too high and the oil starts to burn.

Proper Turkey Preparation

While everyone loves the thought of a big juicy turkey as a centerpiece, if you’re frying a turkey, you’re better off going with a smaller bird. Ideally you should opt for a turkey that’s no more than 8 to 10 pounds, or 12 pounds at the upper limit. While fryers can typically handle more than this, bigger birds are more likely to cause oil spills as you put them into the fryer pot. Make sure that frozen turkeys are completely thawed and patted dry and avoid using any water-based marinades to season the bird. Dry brining or other dry rubs are best when prepping your turkey.

Choosing the Right Location

Make sure that your fryer is on a flat, level and solid surface before filling it with oil. Don’t place the fryer on a deck, porch or other area where the surface underneath could shift or shake as people walk by. Don’t place the fryer under trees, near piles of leaves or around other flammable materials. If possible, place the fryer in a place that doesn’t get much foot traffic and where you can easily keep children and pets away.

Watch the Weather

Rain, snow and other inclement weather can cause major problems with turkey fryers, so only fry a turkey outside if the weather will be nice for the entire time that the fryer is hot. If you have a covered carport or garage then this may be a safe place to fry the turkey provided that it can’t be affected by heavy winds or other weather problems.

Be Safe While Frying

Wear eye protection, heat-protectant gloves and long sleeves while around the fryer. Always place the turkey into the oil slowly, don’t just drop it in. If using propane, turn the burner off before placing the turkey in the oil and then turn it back on once the risk of splashes or spills is over. Make sure that somebody is watching the fryer at all times, even if everything seems to be going well.