In a perfect world, a local real estate market would be a balance of buyer and seller supply and demand, with reasonable annual appreciation. The Phoenix and Scottsdale area has had a consistent six-year run of just such a market between May 2014 and June 2020.
Then, in early 2020, we had a global pandemic and predictably, per all of us experts anyway, real estate values declined – for all of 2-3 months. I’m not just talking about Phoenix, Arizona, but nationwide as well.
At that point, the market decided to release its foot off the breaks and apply the pedal to the metal, sort of like popping a wheelie, and laying rubber simultaneously to hit new pricing records within two years. It went from a reasonably healthy and consistent market to one that’s out of control. It had also become unaffordable.
Brakes Applied Again!
Over the past few months since spring, the breaks have once again been applied. A slowing market has returned, and we have now entered a balanced market. But not everywhere. Per the Cromford Report, Surprise, Gilbert, Tempe, Maricopa, Litchfield Park, Buckeye, Queen Creek & San Tan Valley are buyer’s markets, while Fountain Hills, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Cave Creek are seller’s markets.
If you check out our weekly Cromford Market Index today, which takes into account our entire Phoenix Metro area, you’ll see that we have fallen just below 110. A rating of 90-110 is a balanced market.
The question now is where we’ll go from here? Can this be a sustained slower growth market, or a quick touch and go back to a rabid seller’s market as we did 30 months ago? It’s also very possible that we continue slowing into a full-fledged buyer’s market. This is a possible scenario, although there are some indications that the slowing is slowing. Either way, the rate of downward pricing will still be felt for a while, especially in the trailing sales price numbers.
Good news continues for prospective Scottsdale and Phoenix renters who haven’t gotten much of a break over the last few years. The long-term rental supply is growing… QUICKLY! There are over 2,900 active rental listings (on our local MLS). This is an 18% increase in just one month, up from 2,463 rental listings last month.
This means that renters will have more choice with less competitive bidding. And if you’re looking for single family detached (SFD) homes to rent, those numbers are increasing the fastest. 2,088 of the 2900 total rentals listed, per the Cromford Report, are in the SFD category.
And what about rental pricing? Pricing is on the downward slide as well. The average rental asking price in the MLS is down to $1.57 per square foot (PSF), compared with $1.63 PSF last month and $1.94 one year ago.
It’s really important to get the word out to folks about the changing rental market. Many may believe that the market is what it was 6 months ago. Not so. This is a radical change occurring as we speak .
Terrific communities encompass the 85259 Zip Code. If we were speaking geographically abou tit we would say that it’s located in the East Central part of Scottsdale. Some folks may wonder then, why we include the 85259-zip code in North Scottsdale? The same folks rightly ask the question about 85254, 85258, and 85260 as well? After all, if you look at the long (32 miles) city of Scottsdale, you’d see it to be more central or South Central than north.
It was not too long in Scottsdale’s past (1960’s) that if you lived around Shea Blvd, that was considered “nose-bleed” country. Even McCormick Ranch (85258) was considered pretty far north from Old Town.
So the answer seems to be that for many of us who have been here for awhile, these zip code communities were a part of North Scottsdale.
85259 Zip Code contains numerous upscale communities, such as Stonegate, The Ancala Country Club, portions of Scottsdale Ranch, Scottsdale Mountain, Cactus Gates, Rancho Trinidad, Hidden Hills, and Bella Montagna.
Mountain and City light views, terrific convenience to recreation, shopping, golf, and health facilities abound. In fact, some folks refer to the Shea Blvd N/S dividing line as the “Medical Mile” with Honor hospital and the Mayo clinic plus hundreds of all types of medical offices within a few miles.
Schools are excellent in the 85259 community which includes Desert Mountain High and Middle public school. One of the highest rated schools in the country is the Basis Charter School encompassing grades 5-12. Anasazi Elementary is another excellent choice.
As of the summer of 2022, 71 homes were listed for sale at an average list price per square foot (PSF) of $480. Under Contract listings average list prices PSF are $430, while closed median sales over the past 6 months averaged $1.085M.
Our market is changing. When updated in July, we’ll see greater listings and fewer sales, reflecting a Valley and National trend.
85259 Real Estate as of June 1st 2022
Today Last Month Last Year 1 Year Change
Active Listings: 71 60 66 +08%
Listings Under Contract 49 48 60 -18%
Sales Per Month 42 55 57 -26%
Sales Per Year 541 556 598 -10%
Months of Supply 1.1 0.7 0.7 +4 Months
Annual Appreciation Median 23% 21% 19% -4%
Median Annual Sales Price $1.085M $1.050 $880K +23%
Considering Buying or Selling in North Scottsdale or the Northeast Valley. Give Mike a call at 602.689.3100 or send an email to: [email protected]
In a rising and heated sales market, almost any agent can look like a genius sales guru. You may mess up inputting your data into the MLS, you could take house photos with a 10-year-old cell phone, you could fail to follow up with phone calls to your client, fellow agents, and the buying public, and not even get a “for sale sign” on the property for 5 days, and still, you’ll be deluged with a dozen or more offers on the property, with many of them over asking price. Agent is hero. And sadly, many of these “agents” believe their own self-imagined press releases.
It’s been a market where gimmicky sales approaches will thrive, then dive. 5 Star agent google ratings will plummet from the skyscraper to the basement – assuming they are ever shown to the public. If you thought you weren’t hearing from your agent very often before, you ain’t seen nuthin yet.
Advantage of Experience and the Longview
One advantage of having been an active and productive real estate sales professional for over 45 years is that I’ve seen it all – that is until the next thing that I’ve never seen before comes along. These days, that could be yesterday. 😉
But now the market is changing. Supply (listings) are rising quickly, (see chart below). Demand is diminishing. Pending sales, closed sales and listing prices are dropping.
“And as a sure sign of the Apocalypse, builders are cuddling up to Realtors to get us to bring our buyers back to them.”
We’re now seeing layoffs happening. Re/Max, one of the largest franchises in the country is laying off 17% of their support staff. (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/remax-to-cut-17-of-its-workforce-2022-07-07) The mortgage industry has now laid off hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide. Title companies are shedding thousands of jobs. And as a sure sign of the Apocalypse, builders are cuddling up to Realtors to get us to bring our buyers back to them.
If you’re a Star Wars junkie, like my son and business partner, you might get a chuckle from today’s Snapshot Heading.
If not, then what I’m referring to today is that our Phoenix Metro real estate market is reversing course, cooling its (X-Wing Starfighter) jets from a rabid seller’s market to a potential state of normalcy. And it’s happening rapidly.
The Cromford Market Index, which measures the balance of supply and demand (defined as between 90-110) in our market, in the first week of January, stood at 474 – its peak for the year. Today, less than 6 months later, it has dropped to 237 – exactly by half! And our lightspeed (faster than the speed of light weirdly enough, per Wookieepeida), descent from the heights does not seem to be abating, least not yet.
And before I get myself into more Star Wars vernacular battles with Jonathan, I’d better pull up😉
In related news, the Phoenix Business Journal released an article today (link below) about the dramatic cost-of-living increase in the nation and Phoenix Metro. The cost-of-living index in the Valley has increased over 24% in the last 3 years, far out-pacing the national average of 9.76%. And nationally, as well as locally, the article stated that the “recent surge in gas prices wasn’t accounted for in the report.”
Honestly, there needs to be a retreat or sustained leveling off in housing prices, both rentals and purchases. Yes, as property owners we love to see our home-equity/net worth increase, but on the other side of the equation, buyers and renters could use a break.
“as property owners we love to see our home-equity/net worth increase, but on the other side of the equation, buyers and renters could use a break.”
Jonathan and I were discussing this matter last night, and both of us are concerned that Phoenix and Arizona are on a business growth path that has, and probably will continue to change the affordability landscape for years to come. What we’re seeing is the immensely high rate of growth in new business (e.g., TSMC) and start-ups, plus the growth of many existing businesses (e.g., Intel) throughout the region and state.
Of course, Phoenix and Arizona are not alone. This is a national problem. The highest cost of living increase in the country is Dayton, Ohio. And smaller cities such as Bozeman, MT and Cape Coral, FL, have some of the largest cost of living spikes as well.
But the cost of housing is at the center of our economic universe, and something’s got to give. Real estate balance would be a great place to start.
May that force be with us.
It’s in our nature. We want to buy low and sell high. “Timing the Market” is certainly on the lips of lots of stock market pundits these days – and is now a part of the residential real estate discussion, both locally here in Scottsdale and Phoenix, and nationally.
Questions abound: Has our market peaked? If not, when will it? If I’m buying, should I buy now or wait for more supply and lower prices? Will mortgage rates continue rising or will they decrease, or at least stabilize? Open the envelope, please. (Just kidding😉)
What we do know, is that sales prices are continuing to rise (market lag) and will do so for a number of (unknown) months until homes take longer to sell (now happening), and asking prices begin to drop (now happening).
The good news for buyers, is that supply is increasing – rabidly and rapidly. Active supply has increased 71% over the same time last year (as of May 21st). And per the Cromford report, it has increased 45% in just the past 30 days, though still historically low
What is most interesting is that, again, per Cromford, it’s “not coming from a massive flood of new listings hitting the market. New listings are at normal levels, and not excessive, but fast rising mortgage rates and fewer sales have reduced the number of accepted contracts.” If sellers want to hit the peak of the market, now may be the time to sell, but as has been questioned by Mike’s Market Snapshot ad nauseum in the past months, “THEN what are you gonna do?”
“If you can afford it, be on the lookout to find the right home that you will enjoy living in day after day. And if you find it, go for it. After all, isn’t a home’s enjoyment the right investment strategy?”
With massive untold millions of homeowners having sub-3% mortgage rates, why would they want to sell and step up to 5.5% current rates, unless their existing situation mandates they sell, such as relocation out of the Valley, or regular ole life issues of births and deaths. This could include us aging boomers going into assisted living, and/or investors wanting to sell at the top of the market. The latter would not appear to be much in play however, as right now, investors are reaping the whirlwind of the highest rental returns ever.
And to buyers, my advice remains: If you can afford it, be on the lookout to find the right home that you will enjoy living in day after day. And if you find it, go for it. After all, isn’t a home’s enjoyment the right investment strategy?