On the one hand, inventory continues to rise. As of the moment we’re approaching 8,700 detached homes for sale in Maricopa County, which is an increase of more than 20 percent off the lows we saw earlier in the summer.
On the other hand, distressed inventory remains a rather small part of the total picture – short sales, foreclosures and HUD homes account for only 1,500 of the 8,700 homes for sale, meaning the rest belong to good ole-fashioned equity sellers.
On the other hand, the 5,700 closed sales in August per the Arizona Regional MLS (data deemed reliable but not guaranteed, not valid with other offers, your mileage and results may vary) were a bit lower than the 6,300 sales of detached homes a year ago August.
On the other hand, the 5,700 sales are more than the 5,300 closed sales we saw in August.
On the other hand, the price point dividing the multiple-offer insanity from homes remaining on the market a bit longer appears to be falling below the $150,000 mark. (In other words, $150k and under it’s still a scramble, above that not so much.)
On the other hand, the bifurcated nature of the market is a perfect set-up for move-up buyers who want to move out of their smaller homes into something larger. Feeding frenzies on the selling side and decent selection and wider timeframes on the buying side are the perfect match for a deal, for those who have equity.
On the other hand, we’re now past Labor Day which means the market outside the retirement communities ought to cool off.
On the other hand, as my friend John Wake points out at the Arizona Real Estate Notebook, fewer in this state are falling behind on their mortgages which in and of itself is a positive sign for the real estate market and the local economy.
As you can see from my own straddling, it’s a rough time to be on the fence. It’s unclear which way the winds are going to blow in the fall – history says we’re in for a slow down, but the continuing supply and demand dynamic, along with low interest rates, leaves considerable room for optimism.
And even more enjoyable, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all stance for those deciding what to do. It’s gotta be what’s right for you and what’s right for you may not be what’s right for your neighbors. This isn’t a team game, though I think the agent who called upset about the list price I put on a home across the street from hers seemed to think we were at the same blackjack table.
Want to know what you ought to do? Call me today and we can talk it over.