Emerging From the Darkness They Blinked and Thought: Where the Hell am I?

avatarthumbnail.jpgThe inbox has been filled the last couple of days by buyers stunned to learn that the Phoenix real estate market isn’t what it was as spring sprung much less last year.

On November 26, there were 39,069 single family detached homes for sale in the Phoenix real estate market. As of the moment that number is down to 22,168 – a 43 percent decline in the amount of inventory in the span of six-plus months.

But it’s not really a six-month phenomenon. At the beginning of March there still were more than 34,000 single family homes for sale in Maricopa County. So really, we’re seen the inventory fall by 35 percent in the last three months.

For ages I’ve written about the latent demand in the Phoenix real estate market, the number of buyers on the fence paralyzed by indecision. As soon as the market started to move a little bit, many of these buyers hopped off the fence like it was electrified to make sure they got their homes. “The bottom’s here,” they thought, rightly or wrongly. (I lean towards the right, but that’s me.)

Except they quickly discovered it’s not as easy to purchase right now. Making an offer isn’t necessarily enough, especially on bank owned homes where most listings are receiving multiple offers from buyers trying to capitalize on the “deal” even if it means running up the price in the process.

(Think about that one.)

But here’s the key thing to remember: there still are homes available. But you can’t buy a home if you don’t make an offer. It’s like me waiting for the lottery windfall even though I haven’t purchased a ticket in a year. It can’t happen. I’m not in the game.

Realize, I’m not telling you that “this is a great time to buy” or that you have to purchase. But if you have a specific goal in mind based on a some short-term phenomenon – taking advantage of the still-low interest rates (edging higher but still historically low), or taking advantage of the relatively low prices in the Phoenix market, or taking advantage of the suddenly strong Canadian dollar (which lost a touch of steam last week) – it makes no sense whatsoever to sit on the sideline and wonder what might be.

When you have a chance, scroll through some of the median price charts here.  It hasn’t been the prettiest picture the last couple of years. But troughs appear to be forming in the pricing for several cities and one – Phoenix – has bounced noticably off the bottom.

Could it be a false bottom? It’s possible. Ultimately, though, it’s for you to decide. Just make sure you’re still comfortable with your decision should you realize it wasn’t correct, whichever direction that means.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

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.

  • Yeah, you guys down in Phoenix seem to be having quite the rollercoaster over the last few years. I know we all have to some degree or another, but I have been watching and listening and Phoenix tends to come up more often than not on the RE news the last few years. Best of luck.