Observations, and perhaps a surprise in the Phoenix data.



Well, Phoenix housing listed prices have been completely stable for two weeks. I count active inventory at 15931 today… so basically stable as well.

I have to admit, I am a bit surprised by this. Sales have come flying back, in my rolling 30 day count, I am now seeing 9000 give or take on the mix of business days/weekends in the count, whereas a january was around 6000. So, the entire mls has less than 2 months inventory, and in many price points, like single family homes within 25 miles of downtown, 3/2/2car garage, 150k to 200K, there is literally like 2.5 weeks inventory.

Meanwhile, foreclosure have plummeted, new filings are down 60% from last year. Even short sales are less numerous this year than last year.

Considering how fast prices had been rising, a couple of weeks of stable prices could just be statistical noise in the continuing uptrend. I wouldn’t expect price increases to stop with supply and demand still this out of whack.

So, I investigated further into what homes are being listed these days.

Analysis of the last 7 days listings:
short sales = 103
REO/HUD = 183
No special listing condition = 1618

So, I decided to look at the new non-distressed listings. I picked 10 random homes, not distressed:
1 flip
3 long flips (over one year between distressed sale and current listing, possibly investor, possibly owner occupied, I can’t necessarily tell which)
6 normal sales.

then, I decided to take a closer look at 150k to 250K, the starter home market in Phoenix.

I pulled 20 random non distressed homes:
1. short sale preforeclosure, owner/agent lying and not disclosing this fact in the appropriate part of the listing (hence it came up in my search)
2 new homes.
5 long flips
12 normal sales.

Obviously, 10 and 20 are too small of data sets to use as a survey, the error bound on statistics would be too high for any reliability, but it is a bit of a time consuming process, and I’m just trying to get a bit of preliminary data.

A couple of conclusions:

1. clearly, Phoenix prices have risen enough, that apparently a lot of people can now sell, who may have wished to sell for a while.

2. Even some people, investors or regular owners, who got smoking deals out of the crash in 2009, 2010, are going to sell now.

So, my conclusions from what I’m seeing, are that prices are likely to keep rising in the near to mid term, as supply and demand are still out of whack. But the market could be starting to enter a new phase. I’m not expecting the rapid price increases of the past year to continue, if i had to make a guess, i’d say about 10% more up generally through this selling season, with a possibility of more normal listings blunting the increases by late summer.

Obviously, with the volatility the Phoenix market has seen over the past 3 years, this an area by area phenomenon, and not all are going to act the same.


About robertoaribas

Math professor, Realtor. 12 years of buying, selling, investing and managing rental properties. rock-climbing and salsa dancing. robertoaribas@gmail.com
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