More Mistletoe Than Inventory

Any real estate agent in the Phoenix market can tell you this is the time of year when inventory climbs. Fewer buyers combine with sellers who have a poor sense of timing and lenders adding bank owned inventory without regard for market conditions to gradually flood the market. It was only a few years ago that the inventory for single-family detached homes in Maricopa County soared above 44,000 properties.

But that’s not happening this holiday season. In fact, the current inventory level of 12,700 is little different than it has been for the past several months.

Which makes this a year in which it’s easier to find mistletoe in the stores than inventory in the MLS. It’s almost like those Black Friday ads that promote a great deal with the tiny disclaimer that each store only will have two of the given item … except it’s a Valley-wide phenomenon.

Of those 12,700 homes …

  • One is priced at under $10,000
  • 382 are priced under $50,000
  • 1,871 are priced under $100,000
  • 6,906 are priced under $250,000
  • 1,093 are priced over $1,000,000. (No, seriously.)
By areas of the Valley …
  • 1,094 are in the Southwest Valley (Avondale, Tolleson, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Buckeye)
  • 2,623 are in the Northwest Valley (Glendale, Peoria, El Mirage, Surprise, Youngtown and the Sun Cities)
  • 2,582 are in the East Valley (Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert)
  • 2,760 are in Phoenix proper
  • 1,780 are in Scottsdale

As a side note, the Southwest Valley is where you see a lot of the sub-$100k listings for newer homes; look at the inventory figure across five cities and towns and you might get a sense of what a difficult market it is for buyers right now.

For all of this, every day I receive an e-mail from someone content to search on their own rather than put a real estate agent to work for them. Okayfine. But in a market such as this, where the norms simply don’t exist and fairly specific effort is needed to purchase a property, there may be more effective ways than, for all intents and purposes, asking Santa Claus to help you find a house.

He’s busy trying to keep up the mistletoe supply.

Photo credit: designatednaphour courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-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