There’re several different ways to interpret sales numbers from January. On the one hand, there seems to be the same trend occurring that we experienced in 2014; consistent, flat balanced. Yet sellers at the low and medium price ranges have some valid reasons to feel hopeful as we head into the prime selling season. Buyers are certainly not in trouble, but they need to keep an eye on supply. If that starts falling early this year, we could see the re-emergence of multiple offer situations.

I actually believe we’ll start to see sales numbers increase this spring. Strong optimism for Phoenix and Arizona (more on that on the next page) felt by many will breed action. I’m hopeful that the Millennials and the “Penalty Box” folks will be getting back in the game. If that happens, we’ll quickly see competitive bidding and price increases, especially in the low to medium range. This is another admonition for any fence sitting buyers out there – move!

Here are the basic MLS numbers for February 1, 2015 relative to February 1, 2014 for the Phoenix Metro area and includes all home types:

  • Active Listings: 23,950 versus 25,541 last year – down 6.2% – but up 6.0% from 22,604 last month
  • Pending Listings: 5,631 versus 5,723 last year – down 1.6% – but up a whopping 27.7% from 4,410 last month
  • Under Contract Listings: 8,776 versus 8,595 last year – up 2.1% – and up 30.5% from 6,724 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 4,781 versus 4,862 last year – down 1.7% – and down 26.1% from 6,466 last month – these are closings that began in 2014.
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft. $130.87 versus $125.54 last year – up 4.2% – but down 0.8% from $131.87 last month
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $195,000 versus $183,000 last year – up 6.6% – but down 1.0% from $197,000 last month. (Data thanks from Michael Orr and the Cromford Report)

Also, as we’ve previously reported, mortgage rates hit a 15 month low recently and are now around 3.75% for a 30 year fixed rate. The Feds have also been decreasing their tight mortgage controls including coming up with a 3% conventional down payment loan and reducing FHA mortgage insurance making these loans more affordable.

One final mortgage tip. We know of mortgage money sources for “penalty box” prospective borrowers who may be able to qualify for a loan without waiting for the statutory 3 or 7 year wait period if they’ve had a short sale or foreclosure. Yes, the interest rate is higher but not usurious. It may make sense if you’ve found a great home and you can lock in the price now. Give us a call and we’d be happy to share that info.