Spring, if not summer, is in the air here in the Phoenix real estate market and renewed signs of life are everywhere – including in my own sinuses and eyes, where for the first time in a while it’s getting harder to breathe without Claritin.
But I digress ….
Driving south on Loop 101 through Tempe the other day, it was impossible to miss the large banner handing from the towers of what was to be the Centrepoint Condos, two towers – one 22 stories, the other 30 – which have stood half-completed for years after the original developer ran out of cash.
In February, these towers were purchased by the Cleveland-based Zaremba Group and they’re now going to be completed and turned into apartments.
This, unquestionably, is good news both in reality and in perception. The reality is there two ghost towers will come to life in the not-so-distant future. Doing so as apartments will avoid flooding the market with unneeded condo/loft inventory. And while they may be a short-term reminder of the real estate bust, that will pass in time just as only long-term residents of the Valley still give an askance glance when hearing the word Esplanade.
(What’s that, you ask? Exactly my point, I reply.)
More generally, I am looking out through the pollen to a Phoenix real estate market with less than 20,000 single family detached homes for sale (at the peak of the burst bubble we were at closer to 44,000). Toss out the short sales and there are just over 14,000 detached homes for sale in Maricopa County, an area larger than the state of New Jersey.
With more than 6,800 sales over the past 30 days, there is less than three months inventory of homes available at the current pace.
Say what you want about the “next wave of foreclosures”, a refrain we have heard here since March 2009 – two years ago, for those keeping score – but the market here is moving fairly briskly.
And the best part, at least if you’re a buyer, is the declines have slowed in many areas and prices haven’t been obeying the laws of supply of demand quite yet.
Someday it will happen; of course, we’ve also said that for a while now as it seems the “law” of supply of demand (higher demand, lower supply, higher prices) seems to be more of a nice suggestion, like not swimming until 20 minutes after you eat.
But the signs are appearing … along with the wildflowers, the orange blossoms and the pollen. And with that, I’m off to find more Kleenex.