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

Characteristics of a Desirable Street

Sometimes you know a desirable street when you see one. For example, it’s obvious that a home on a cul-de-sac is enticing mainly because there isn’t any through traffic.
What are the other characteristics of a desirable street that may not be as obvious? Here are just a few:

Sidewalks. A sidewalk in front of your home is not only handy, it also adds to the property’s curb appeal. In addition, if you have kids, a sidewalk makes it easier – and safer – for them to play and visit neighborhood friends.

Mature trees. Trees lining the street add depth and beauty. Most homeowners value front yard trees and would miss them if they were gone.

Safety. Unfortunately, some streets are more prone to crime and other issues requiring police intervention than others. Clearly, homeowners appreciate a street that’s known for being safe and located in a neighborhood with a low crime rate.

Pride-of-ownership. When considering buying a home, take a walk along the street. Do homeowners take good care of their properties? If so, that sign of pride-of-ownership indicates it’s a great place to own a home.

Location. Where the street is located is just as important as its characteristics. Are things you want, such as parks, schools, shopping, etc. nearby? Is the street in a desirable area overall?

Noise. This is a characteristic that can be invisible to the home buyer. If the street is in a flight path, or near a busy highway used by rush-hour commuters, you want to know!

A great street can dramatically add to the enjoyment of a home. As your real estate agent, I can answer your questions about the characteristics of streets you’re considering and the surrounding area.

A Bird’s Eye View of Selling Your Home

If you haven’t sold a home before, the process can seem complex and even intimidating. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the steps to expect:

If you haven’t sold a home before, the process can seem complex and even intimidating. It really isn’t. In fact, the steps to selling your property – quickly and for the best price – are straightforward, although not necessarily easy.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the steps to expect:

  • Determine what your property will likely sell for on today’s market. This is referred to as the Current Market Value.
  • Decide on a list price. Doing this properly is crucial. If you set the price too high, you’ll discourage buyers from seeing your home. On the other hand, if the price is too low, you may be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
  • Prepare your home for sale. This involves cleaning, de-cluttering, fixing and staging so that your property wows potential buyers.
  • Market and promote the property to the marketplace. This needs to be done effectively to maximize the number of qualified buyers who find out about and become interested in your listing.
  • Show your property to buyers interested in seeing it.
  • Negotiate offers effectively so that you sell your property for the best price and conditions.
  • Make a deal and begin the transaction paperwork!

Of course, you don’t have to do it all alone! As your real estate sales associate, I will do most of the heavy-lifting for you. I’ll be by your side throughout the process, helping ensure your home sale is trouble-free and successful.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Making “Neighborhood Targeting” Work for You

Imagine if you dreamed of owning a special limited-edition vehicle. What would you do to ensure that your dream vehicle would someday be parked in your driveway – with your name on the ownership papers?

You would probably start by doing some research. You’d find out how much that vehicle would cost, what features are available, and so forth. You would likely visit a local dealership and take a test drive if a model is available on site. You would keep an eye on the market for any that come up and let the dealer know you’re looking for just that car. If you did, then, someday, you’d probably be the proud owner of the limited-edition car of your dreams.

What does this have to do with real estate?

Well, you can take the same approach when there’s a neighborhood you’d love to live in someday. You can target it, learn what homes typically cost in that area, and keep your eye on that market in case a property becomes available that meets your criteria.

By focusing on a specific neighborhood, you increase your chances of someday living there, simply because you’re focusing on it.

Of course, neighborhood targeting isn’t as simple as aiming to own a specific car someday. That’s why you need someone like me who can keep an eye on that neighborhood on your behalf, and alert you to opportunities that become available.

Then, if a listing that’s a good fit comes on the market, you can decide whether or not to make a move.

Is there a dream neighborhood you’d like to live in some day? Call today to start making it happen.

Photo by Artur Matosyan on Unsplash

Light Your Way to a Faster Sale

Remember the last time you visited an upscale furniture showroom? The furniture and fixtures on display probably looked great. The colors and textures jumped out at you. It was a feast for the eyes!

There is a good reason why: Lighting.

Of course, the quality of the products has a lot to do with how appealing they look when on display. But smart retailers know that proper lighting is key to making those products look their best. In fact, some retailers even hire lighting consultants!

What does this have to do with selling your home quickly, and for the best price?

Obviously, when showing your property to potential buyers, you want your home to look its very best. Proper lighting can be a big help.

When preparing your home for sale, review the lighting in each room and make sure the space is sufficiently well lit. You want the lighting to be strong enough to prevent dark or shadowy areas, yet not so strong that it’s uncomfortable for the eyes.

Pay particular attention to traditionally dark areas, such as the garage and closets. Make sure those areas are bright too.

If you have a viewing scheduled during the day, take advantage of natural light through windows. Open the curtains!

Finally, one of the most important areas is the foyer. Always make sure the entrance has sufficient lighting.

Want more ideas for preparing your home for sale? Call today.

Photo by Pierre Châtel-Innocenti on Unsplash

Neighborhood: Arcadia (Phoenix, Arizona)

Roughly bounded 44th Street to 68th Street and Camelback Road south to the canal.

The large properties (some near 5 acres, but rarely less than half an acre) and the original luxury guest resorts along Camelback Road like the Royal Palms, will give today’s house hunter an idea of Arcadia property values at a glance. This is one of the most desirable and priciest addresses in Phoenix.

These custom-built homes from the 20s through 50s have been maintained and updated over the years. You’d be hard pressed to find a new home built to the same high-quality today. As a result, the estate homes in the Arcadia Neighborhood can quickly soar to over 6 million; you’ll have to be quick and aggressive when trying to buy one of these properties.

Lush, green, mature landscapes of irrigated orange and date groves still suggest a hint of “rural” as do the quiet streets dotted with Ranch, Revival, and Pueblo style homes. All within minutes of high-end shopping and dining at the Biltmore Fashion Park (24th Street and Camelback, Phoenix) or the Scottsdale Fashion Square (Scottsdale Road and Camelback, Scottsdale), world-class resorts, arts centers, and great restaurants. A short drive takes you to downtown Phoenix, old town Scottsdale, or Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

The Arcadia neighborhood seems meant for families with schools being some of the best in the state. Homes vary in size but have lots of space, and the large yards have pools and sports courts for active kids. The biking paths along the Arizona Canal bordering Arcadia on the south offers another opportunity for expending young energy without worrying about traffic.

If you love the Arcadia area but don’t have budget to support an estate, Arcadia Lite (to the west) or North Central Phoenix (7th Street to 7th Avenue, Camelback to Northern) offers mid-range prices for charming homes (mostly Ranch-style, built in the 50s and 60s). While you won’t have a lush, green Arcadia estate with acreage, you will still have the amenities as you meet neighbors over coffee at the bustling La Grande Orange market or over a glass of wine at Postino Wine Bar (40th Street and Campbell). Entry level begins at around $300,000.

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