Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Surprise Market Activity

I'm talking about the City of Surprise, rather than a shocking revelation. Although the numbers portray what might be a shocking revelation, especially when compared with what I keep hearing on the evening news. (click on each graph to see an enlarged view.)

Active Listings. The number of homes actively for sale has been falling steadily since Thanksgiving, and is at its lowest point in the last 12 months. The inventory was above 2,200 in April and May last spring, then peaked above 2,200 again in the fall, before starting its current 14% decline. Inventory has leveled off between 1,930 and 1,940 over the last 3 weeks.


Pending Sales. The number of homes in escrow shows a similarly favorable trend. After moving along at a decent pace last spring, in the 250 to 290 range, pending sales consistently slowed down to a low point of 126 around the end of the year. I know of many would-be buyers who were trapped in houses they couldn't sell; I'm guessing there were plenty of others who waited on the sidelines for prices to fall. Since the first of the year, however, we've seen a significant increase in activity – each week has more homes pending sale than the last, capped off by 306 home pending sale this week! That's an increase of 31% from this time last year, and 143% from the low point during the holidays.


Sold Homes. Surprise has seen such a tremendous growth of new homes that the historical sales figures don't give us a very good comparison. We can see that 2007 was still the 4th "best" year ever, in terms of number of homes sold. Obviously that figure would change if we included such measurements as Expired Listings, Canceled Listings, Avg Days on Market, and Sold Price as a Percentage of Listing Price. I'm mostly including this chart as an FYI, since the sales numbers by year don't do much to help us spot trends...


Overall, this looks like the direction of most areas of Phoenix. Each individual seller is not yet feeling any better about his/her own situation, because there is still a lot of excess inventory and downward pressure on pricing due to the bank-involved properties (short-sales and foreclosures.) However, the trend for the marketplace as a whole is a good one – or at least is headed in the right direction.

Your watching trends develop Realtor,

Chris Butterworth

[tags] Surprise real estate, market trends [/tags]