The jury is still out about the national housing recovery, but Shea Homes Arizona is noticing a pickup in its sales during the first four months of the year. With three new home communities that have opened since January and three more that will be announced soon, Shea Homes Arizona has already outpaced its 2011 YTD sales by 40%. During the housing slump, Shea averaged 5 home sales per week in 2010 and 2011 and currently is averaging more than 8 home sales per week already this year.
“We are seeing the same amount of visitors to our communities, but more are buying homes,” said Ken Peterson, VP of Sales and Marketing for Shea Homes. “We think a couple things are taking place, first, more people are becoming eligible to get loans again after going through foreclosures or short sales and second, the resale inventory is so low right now that people are getting frustrated by bidding wars.”
The most interesting trend Shea Homes has seen lately has been the final sales in communities that can now be closed out. La Quintana, La Mirada, Painted Trails, Entrada, Copper Hills, Lost Canyon and Cabrillo Canyon have all just recently closed over the past few months. Escala at Seville and Foothills at Layton Lakes only have one or two remaining model homes or spec homes, bringing the total Shea Homes communities to 12. The SPACES product that opened in early 2010 has only two lots left, in addition to its models, and a second SPACES at Evans Ranch community will be opening very soon.
“Sales are always a good indication of a recovering housing market, but we also added two new product lines this year- duplexes and triplexes and also acre lot luxury homes, which helps us bring in new buyers that we might have missed before,” said Peterson. “We are pretty optimistic for now and happy about the trends we are seeing in Arizona.”
For more information on Shea Homes, visit Shea Homes’ website at sheahomes.com.
Employment and real estate prices have regularly influenced our economy over the last century. Recently, they have negatively compounded the economic crisis and will most likely continue to be an issue as we fight through to recovery.
What will it take to change the direction of unemployment and low real estate prices? It begins with corporate confidence and consumer spending. Due to the challenges we currently face, many corporations have held on to large amounts of cash. Until corporations feel the worst is behind us and start deploying their large cash reserves, we will see a delay in our recovery. These large cash reserves will be used for research and development, marketing, and most importantly, hiring. Over time, people’s confidence will increase due to hiring, and as this happens people will begin to tap into their savings to start buying goods and services such as clothes, small home appliances, automobiles and vacations.
As more time goes on and we experience improvement with unemployment, people will begin to feel more confident and see the opportunity to invest in the markets. Doors will open for new opportunity for individuals to consider buying homes again. People who thought that owning a home was once out of their reach can now afford to buy. Home buying will certainly increase as we see unemployment decrease, which will benefit most of us — as long as we don’t get greedy again. Slowly, both will recover. Unemployment will most likely come down before real estate goes back up.
Everything is cyclical. Eventually, low unemployment and higher real estate prices will help the economy again. How long will it take? We don’t know. Recovery from a crisis such as the recent recession will take longer than we think. Be patient and use the knowledge we have learned from this recession to plan appropriately for the next crisis.