Monday, May 26, 2008

We're Seeing Numbers We Haven't Seen In Almost A Year!

For the first time since June, 2007 the sales numbers for single family detached homes in Maricopa County were above 4,000.  To be exact, for the previous 30 day period (4/25/08 - 5/25/08) there were 4,056 homes sold through the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS). 

Keep in mind that this may not include every home that sold, only those that sold with the services of a Realtor® and through the ARMLS.  These are the numbers that I analyze every week, therefore in an effort to spot trends the data is sufficient.  I'm not necessarily looking for the exact numbers, just the comparisons from previous periods.

The abosrption rate is now approximately 9.42 months.  Once again we haven't been that low since June, 2007.

The pending numbers are still continuing to increase very week, now at 5,466 units currently in escrow.  And the inventory level has been inching its way downward for the past 6 consecutive weeks, now at 38,210.

On the flip side of all this seemingly good news is price.  Price has been steadily declining since about December of last year.  At the beginning of December the average price per square foot of the sold single family detached homes in Maricopa County was about $165/square foot.  Today we are at $138/square foot.  That's about a 16% decrease in six months.  While we have the good news on the sales and pending numbers side, we are also dealing with a decrease in the average price per square foot.  Short sales and foreclosures, primarily the latter, are what is driving the prices currently.  Banks are pricing properties very agressively in an effort to minimize the time they sit on their books.  It used to be that you could manage to exclude a foreclosure sale from a CMA or appraisal.  The reason for this is that in most cases they were in terrible condition, and there just wasn't that many of them.  There were plenty of other properties to justify an increased value over the foreclosed property.  However, in today's market that's not necessarily the case.  Many of the foreclosure properties are in fairly decent condition; nothing that a couple thousand dollars won't fix anyway.  And with more and more foreclosure properties selling in today's market, we just can't ignore them anymore.  Bottom line, they are affecting the value of your home!!

Keep in mind that it's impossible to take these very broad Maricopa County numbers and accurately depict the current market in your specific neighborhood or subdivision.  Some areas are feeling the brunt of what I'm talking about much worse than others.  If you're curious about the current status of a specific area in Maricopa County drop me a note, I'd be happy to take a look at let you know what I'm seeing.

-Steve Nicks

[tags] maricopa county real estate, market analysis [/tags]