The Ups and Downs of Phoenix’s Feverish Real Estate Market

Our market continues to escalate for sellers and degenerate for buyers. Active listings are down 35% from one year ago and 1.4% from last month. Now, 1.4% may seem small, but not when this is the time of year for increasing listing supply. This remains our critical problem.

“Another troubling statistic for buyers is the 16% increase in “listings under contract…”

Here are the ARMLS numbers for February 1, 2020 compared with February 1, 2019:

  • Active Listings: 11,974 versus 19,040 last year – down 35.1% – and down 1.4% from 12,141 last month
  • Under Contract Listings: 10,030 versus 8,627 last year – up 16.3% – and up 33.0% from 7,539 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 6,403 versus 5,467 last year – up 17.1% – but down 17.8% from 7,789 last month
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft: $182.20 vs $167.79 last year – up 8.6% – and up 1.3% from $179.85 last month
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $289,900 vs $262,000 last year – up 10.6% – and up 0.1% from $289,500 last month

Another troubling statistic for buyers is the 16% increase in “listings under contract” compared with last year and a 33% increase from last month. This further reduces supply. And now we’re seeing demand pick up with sales increasing 17% from last year.

Prices continue increasing. As we predicted recently, we’re expecting double digit appreciation this year, which occurred this past month versus last year rising almost 11% and increasing 1.3% from last month which equates to an annualized rate of almost 16%.

Where it hurts most is with our first-time home buyers. I’ve been showing one client homes under $220,000. Basically there are none! When a new one arises on the market, due to my client’s tough work schedule, we’re not getting to it fast enough before it goes under contract.

The other dilemma nationally is that mortgages are becoming easier to qualify for which likely will further increase demand. But is there more supply to meet the demand? No. Local experts (including us) are expecting the market to increase in frenzy in the next few months, especially in the under $400,000 price range.

About the Author

     I was born and raised in San Rafael, California, from the mid 50’s to the early 70’s. I had super parents who worked hard to provide 5 kids with a good Catholic education – despite my best attempts to overthrow the knuckle-cracking regime of Sister Mary Anselma. My dad worked as a self-employed butcher until his retirement at 65 and enjoyed many wonderful years until mom passed away in 1992.

     Dad passed away in the fall of 2006 having lived a great and full life into his early 90’s! In California, I attended college in Chico and Sacramento as a “Sosh” major, but like many of my contemporaries, I did not have a clue what I wanted to do when I grew up. Because of my age, I missed the Vietnam War and into my early 20’s I had many typical youthful indiscretions.

     Thankfully, that was a brief period of my life, and with greater thanks, not too much damage was sustained in those early and rebellious years. And by the way, those thanks are due to the answered prayers of faithful relatives who prayed for years that a wayward Michael would turn his life over to the Lord, and in January of 1982 that’s what happened.

     I lived in Sacramento, California in the mid 70’s, and later moved to Truckee, California, which is near Lake

Tahoe and Reno, Nevada. Truckee’s often labeled the “coldest spot in the nation.” Why did I move there?

My father-in-law was a real estate broker in Donner Lake, California, and despite his cantankerous disposition, he seemed very successful in his real estate endeavors. I joined him in sales in July of 1976.

    The Truckee and Lake Tahoe area was a wonderful place to raise a family, but a difficult and cold environment to live in, but we did so for 18 years. In 1994, my wife, Karen, and I visited Scottsdale at a friend’s request, and within 8 months, our family of 5 had relocated to “the valley” – or is it a desert? Whatever it is, it’s warm. At any rate, 24 years have gone by since we made the break from the late great state of confusion, uh, California, and it’s turned out to be a great move.

     As for hobbies, I enjoy family, friends and travel. My kids Robert, Kendra, and Jonathan are now 40,

34, and 31 respectively. I recently became “gramps” for the 4th time as well. It’s a nice time of life. Karen remains as lovely on the inside and outside as the day we were married. We continue to wonderfully grow together as the years advance. As an ordained Christian Chaplain, I volunteer Preaching at Florence Prison with Along Side Ministry. The ministry helps make the formerly incarcerated able to function, even thrive, on “the outside.”

     Should you choose to have me represent you in the sale or purchase of your home, you’ll be receiving my 40+ years of real estate knowledge, counsel, and experience (including negotiation experience).

    Beyond the transaction, I’m always available to you, should you ever need my real estate advice.