Watching Phoenix Real Estate on a 7-Second Delay

A couple of years back, my dad had a procedure where they tried to shock his abnormally beating heart into some sort of normal rhythm. One of the side effects of this, as it turned out, was he suddenly was on a 7-second delay. Ask him question, tell him something, you name it … seven seconds later, he’d finally respond as if you had just spoken.

This was especially enjoyable at Arizona State football games, where I sit next to both my parents. As I told my mom, who still doesn’t quite grasp how I know that the penalty flag dropped in the backfield inevitably is a holding call, between her eyesight and his 7-second delay, they were a great pair. She couldn’t see what happened and he wouldn’t know what happened until sometime after the band left the field for halftime.

Our lives seem to run on these delays, even when we think we’re watching live television. When Arizona State last was at the College World Series, I spent most of a game trying to figure out why the audio on my surround sound would drop out randomly; only later did I realize there was a delay so ESPN could spike the audio anytime ASU’s then coach cursed, which was almost every time he opened his mouth. Great place for a field mike, folks.

That Diamondbacks game you’re watching on Fox Sports? The lag is so bad that, sitting in the press box, I can read a book and still not miss anything. I hear the crack of the bat, look up, and the pitcher’s still looking in for the sign. That’s a very, very long time.

Most of what you read about the Phoenix real estate market seems like it’s current but, in reality, it’s all on delay. Very few agents and virtually none of the mainstream media are watching current trends, settling instead to wait and be told what the trend had been back in (insert timeframe here) and reporting it as if it’s the same way now. Which, of course, it virtually never is.

The weather is hot and so is the market!!!

Honestly, no and not really. It’s 80 right now, 100-degree days (finally) are gone and we’re settling into our version of fall.

(Incidentally, our four seasons? Winter covers about six weeks in January and December. Fall runs from late October to Thanksgiving or so. Spring? That’s about the second week of February through mid-April. Those other five-plus months? Call them summer. Just take my word for it.)

The market’s cooling as it normally does in the fall and inventory, though a hair lower than last week, still is up substantially. This doesn’t make it any easier for those looking in the lower price ranges but, more and more, it’s possible to try and negotiate above $125,000. (Emphasis in try.)

I’m currently working on a mailing list for a special bi-weekly newsletter aimed at those investing here in Phoenix, in addition to the monthly newsletter everyone receives. Why? Quite simply, it will provide (hopefully) more up-to-date information than currently is available anywhere else.

Market timing, naturally, is damned near impossible. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t help to know – to really know – what conditions are like on the ground now, not seven seconds ago. If you want that information, I’ll give you my dad’s number.

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