Of Beer and Buyers Markets

On many Friday nights, I can be found taking real estate continuing education classes – not the classes recognized by the Arizona Department of Real Estate but an education based on real-life scenarios.

The fact that there’s a beer in hand during these lessons doesn’t hurt much, either.

This past Friday night, before delving into the usual desultory discussions of politics past and present (Jeff Brown should be there for the Reagan discussions alone), we talked about the state of the Phoenix real estate market.

All the figures indicate this is a sellers’ market. Demand is outstripping supply, particularly in the sub-$150,000 price points, multiple offers are becoming common and homes are on the market for days instead of months.

Except …

Prices aren’t moving, in continued defiance of the old demand and supply curve. And the sellers still are ceding much of their leverage to the buyers. Which means this really must be a buyers’ market.

Except …

Offers need to be close to market value to be accepted. Many offers written on a home will only be one of several. And the lenders maintain a take it or leave it attitude with many of the buyers.

So what’s the verdict?

The label doesn’t matter so much. Yes, this is a sellers’ market right now. But it remains a buyers’ market inasmuch as there are values to be had as long as buyers understand that the values are in the current list prices and not in the ability to push prices down further.

As we put it, maybe too often, in the Phoenix market it is what it is.

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 allphoenixrealestate.com.

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