Charting the “Spike” in Inventory

ARMLS chart

Received a call from a reporter at Bloomberg News yesterday to discuss the “spike” in listings here in the Phoenix real estate market and elsewhere. Prior commitments kept me from returning the call, to be honest, but I also had a small issue with the premise for the story.

In short, there is no “spike” in inventory.

To my mind, a spike is a rather sudden, somewhat short-term phenomenon that appears more or less out of the blue for one reason or another.

That’s not what has happened here in Phoenix.

Above is a chart from the Arizona Regional MLS (data deemed reliable but not guaranteed, your mileage may vary, see your doctor if symptoms persist for more than seven days) that illustrates the number of new listings monthly since July 2012 and the number of sold listings. The numbers will be a little different than what you see when I’m writing because this looks at all listings regardless of type – single-family detached, townhouses, lofts, etc. – and I keep to single-family detached.

As I’ve written about for months, inventory has been on the rise steadily since the beginning of last summer. The number of new properties coming to market hasn’t changed dramatically, but the sold listings have fallen off and that net difference has caused the inventory figures, calculated in months of inventory, to rise quite a bit.

There are a number of long-discussed reasons why this is happening – rising interest rates, higher prices, economic uncertainty, etc. But it’s anything from a spike – this has been three full quarters in the making.

Right now, if a home isn’t priced well it’s not going to sell. This isn’t the time to look at market values and say “my home’s so much better” and price it another 10 percent (or more) above market value. Maybe in 2012. Not in 2014.

What the change in market portends for 2014 is anyone’s guess. I ran an ad for a new listing in Tolleson (which you’ll see in this space tomorrow) on Facebook and the response was through the roof. No fewer than five first-time buyers now are in the process of getting qualified for a loan. So buyers are there. It’s just going to take a little more work and a little more creativity to reach them.

* * *

Speaking of Tolleson, here are some homes for sale in Hurley Ranch near 83rd Avenue and Tolleson. My new listing’s in here, but I’ll feature it separately tomorrow.

If you’d like to take a look at any of these, call me today at 602-502-9693 and I’ll get you connected with one of my two excellent buyers’ agents.

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About Jonathan

Jonathan Dalton is a 30-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.

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