We check in on the Phoenix real estate market today to find 9,640 single family detached homes for sale in Maricopa County – that’s now a full 20 percent higher than the lows in the 7,200s we saw at the beginning of the summer. Of those, 871 are lender owned, 46 are HUD homes (foreclosures with FHA loans that defaulted back to the government) and 821 are short sales.
There are 12,812 pending sales according to the Arizona Regional MLS – of these, 7,387 are short sales and another 607 are bank owned.
Not hard to see what’s driving the market, eh?
Let’s look at some more numbers:
- 4,949 closed sales in September. That’s well below last year’s 6,119 in September but there also was twice the inventory a year ago. That’s also below the 5,703 sales in August, which is typical for the end of the summer selling season.
- Of the 4,949 … 461 were bank owned sales and another 118 were HUD homes. Another 1,434 were short sales which means 41 percent of the market remains in the area of distressed sales.
So … let’s review. Inventory is rising, sales are falling. Doesn’t take an economics degree to see that, despite what’s being reported in the media (which seems to run on a month or two delay), the market here in Phoenix is cooling a little bit. Which is okay … it’s the fall.
But with what is now nearly two months of inventory on the market and rising, it’s not the same market we saw even two months ago.
Yes, it’s still damn hard to get an offer accepted, particularly under $150k. Yes, there still are multiple offer situations out there – mostly being blamed on investors because they happen to be paying cash where traditional buyers often cannot. Of course, in appreciating markets, cash is wonderful because no appraisal is required – buyers come in thinking cash gives a discount when in fact it often only moves someone to the front of the pack at or above list.
The day when we see 10,000 detached homes on the market is just around the corner … and that’s a good thing. The market would be a lot healthier and far more sustainable with inventory closer to 15,000 homes.
In the interim, for those sellers still on the fence waiting to see what might happen, this is an excellent time to jump off that fence while you still can.