There are a few things happening in the Phoenix real estate market that, for those with a sense of the past, could possibly cause a little bit of heartburn …
- At the moment, there are just over 12,000 single-family detached homes for sale in Maricopa County which, for long-time readers will know, is an area the size of New Jersey.
- There have been about 6,300 sales over the past 30 days – not nearly as high as the 7,800 back in 2005 and far off the depths of the market after the bubble burst.
- At that sales pace, there’s about 1.9 months of inventory on the market. In other words, if everything sold and nothing else came on the market, in just under two months the inventory would be gone.
Admittedly, such snapshots have little value without a larger perspective which is one reason why, once upon a time, there were weekly updates here. At least until the updates were almost always the same, with rare exceptions such as the return of the buyers in 2010.
Official numbers from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (also the source for the above) include all types of residential listings, not just the single-family in Maricopa County and show a market that hit a bump in July.
The million dollar question would be why … rates haven’t changed significantly in the past handful of weeks and there don’t seem to be any other meaningful market data to give cause. It easily could be argued that there’s uncertainty in the minds of many would-be purchasers given what’s going on in Washington, D.C. these days. Most people tend to have some sense of what might happen when making a theoretical 30-year commitment and nothing spooks a market like conflicting, contradictory and sometimes insane information.
Depending on where you look, median prices in the Valley are up just shy of 10 percent so far this year which, simply put, is a little crazy. Once upon a time, there was this thing called normal appreciation and it ran in the 2 to 3 percent area. Triple that, and that’s where we are. We also are far enough out from the bottom of the market that, though there still are folks underwater in the Valley, those numbers have fallen off a cliff.
What does any of this mean? Your guess really is as good as mine. All could be well or that could be trouble on the horizon, either through normal market forces or an economy that hits a brick wall once reality continues to set in. Feel free to take your best guess in the comments.