Tag Archives: Realtors

Phoenix-area Housing Prices Keep Soaring

Home prices continue their upward climb in the Phoenix area, with more momentum expected until at least June. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University reveals the latest information about the Maricopa and Pinal County housing market, as of March:

The median single-family home price was all the way up to $175,000, about a 30-percent increase from March of last year.
The supply of homes for sale continued to fall, but the problem is not so much the high demand, but more the lack of sellers getting into the market.
Rebounding population growth in the Phoenix area is also blasting past the rate at which builders are constructing new homes.

Phoenix-area home prices reached a low in September 2011 and have largely shot up since then. The median single-family home price went up 29.7 percent – from $134,900 to $175,000 – in the year from March 2012 to March 2013. Realtors will note the average price per square foot went up 23.6 percent during the same time. The median townhouse/condo price increased 43.2 percent – from $81,000 to $116,000. A big reason for all this upward movement is the scarcity of affordable homes for sale.

“The number of active single-family listings has been dropping fast and went down another 4 percent from March 1 to April 1,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Fewer than 12,000 single-family homes were up for sale (without an existing contract) on April 1, and 80 percent of those were priced above $150,000, making it very tough to find properties in the lower price range.”

Orr adds it’s actually not high demand that’s the major culprit here.

“The low number of sellers is what’s unusual, not the number of buyers, which is only slightly above normal,” he says. “Higher prices would normally encourage more ordinary home sellers into the market, but many are either locked into their homes because of negative equity, or they’re simply waiting for prices to go up more.”

Orr says most homes priced below $600,000 continue to attract multiple offers, and March is the peak of the buying season that lasts from January to June. However, due to the chronic supply shortage, the amount of single-family home sales actually went down 8 percent from March 2012 to March 2013.

Investors are also starting to lose some interest in the Phoenix area, since bigger bargains can be found in other areas of the country that haven’t rebounded as fast. The percentage of residential properties bought by investors dropped from 29.2 percent in February to 27.1 percent in March, the lowest percentage in several years. The market is now seeing increased demand from owner-occupiers and second-home buyers, instead.

Completed foreclosures were down an incredible 60 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. Foreclosure starts – homeowners receiving notice their lenders may foreclose in 90 days – dropped 53 percent. Orr believes we’ll see foreclosure-notice rates “below long-term averages” by the end of next year.

Meantime, new-home sales are also going up, in tandem with resale prices. In Maricopa County alone, new-home sales increased 37 percent from March 2012 to March 2013. However, new-home construction isn’t keeping pace with the Phoenix area’s rebounding post-recession population growth. The U.S. Census reports 1,220 single-family-home construction permits were issued in March, a very small number by historic standards. For example, the total in March 1996 was 3,071, and the total in March 2004 was 5,490.

“The population is growing much faster than the housing supply, with an expected 50,000 to 60,000 people being added to the Phoenix-area population this year, but only around 12,000 new single-family homes being built,” Orr explains. “Builders are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what to do. They don’t want to overbuild like they did during the peak, and they don’t want to build a bunch of new homes for people who can’t secure the mortgages needed to buy them with such tight lending conditions.”

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/finance/real-estate/upload/Full-Report-201304.pdf. A podcast with more analysis from Orr is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com/index.cfm?cid=13.

Scottsdale Brokerage Nearly Doubles in Size in 4 Weeks

After making its debut last month, Engel & Völkers Scottsdale, Sandra Wilken Partners has nearly doubled the size of the firm in a matter of four weeks, attracting an additional 12 sales advisors to join the existing team of 17.

Interest from local Realtors and brokers began to flood in after luxury real estate veteran Sandra Wilken announced that she was the first Engel & Völkers license partner in Arizona and was converting her 18-year, Scottsdale-based company to Engel & Völkers Scottsdale, Sandra Wilken Partners.

“I’ve been overwhelmed and, quite honestly, pleasantly shocked by the response from the local real estate community since the announcement,” said Sandra Wilken. “Top realtors from around the Valley have been reaching out to us inquiring about how they can join our team. We have expanded with 12 new advisors, bringing our team to 29. With growth comes more listings, more clients, more transactions and more market presence. We’re also already seeing a significant boost in business from the Engel & Völkers international network of potential buyers from all around the globe. It’s exciting.”

Additionally, the firm has launched a new division that specializes in high-end, master-planned communities as well as luxury condominium developments throughout the Valley. New hires Babbi Gabel, Angela Phillips and Mary Grassl will lead the division and have longstanding reputations for being among the best in high-rise sales and have been recognized for their success at The Scottsdale Waterfront Residences and Safari Drive.

“With condominium and master-planned developments returning to the market, I wanted to bring in the expertise of agents like Babbi, Angela and Mary to allow us to expand our services to this area of real estate sales,” said Wilken. “Their recent success is a fantastic complement to my 20 years of development experience managing sales for Gainey Ranch and The Phoenician.”

Last month Engel & Völkers, the international premium real estate firm, announced the opening of its first Scottsdale shop and entrance into the Arizona real estate market, breaking new ground as the luxury brand continues to expand throughout the U.S. and around the world.
For more information about Engel & Völkers Scottsdale, Sandra Wilken Partners visit www.scottsdale.evusa.com or call 480-596-0001.

Feature Big Green 2011

Speaker: Melisa Camp ~ BIG Green Expo & Conference 2011

Melisa Camp, Go Green Investments

Melisa Camp, Go Green Investments

Melisa Camp, “The Green Queen,” is CEO of Go Green Investments, Realtor with the GREEN designation, and Consultant on sustainable living. Camp is a LEED Green Associate working toward obtaining the LEED AP-Homes accreditation. She has served as USGBC AZ’s Residential Green Building Advocate since 2009 and educates and raises awareness with other Realtors, builders, homeowners, government officials, green professionals, and lenders & appraisers.

Camp has an Interdisciplinary Studies Degree in Business and Communication from ASU and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix, and she has started her Green MBA as well.

Some of her accomplishments include co-hosting LEED for Homes overviews, ReGreen workshops, a Green Home Tour, publishing two local residential LEED for Homes case studies, and speaking at the AZ Biz Green Forum. Camp is a member and volunteer for the Green Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and Habitat for Humanity volunteer. As a former teacher and journalist, Camp authors a well-followed blog, “Bring the Green” and is drafting a series of children’s books and seeking publication.

Camp is also working on the development of a green home class for Realtors. She is passionate about going green and teaching anyone who will listen. She has attended GreenBuild in Phoenix and Chicago as well as the Sonoran Green Expo in Tucson. In her spare time Camp plays competitive sand volleyball and is a stay at home Mother. Her energy is contagious to those around her and her motto is “What good is what I know if I do not share it with the world?”

Topic: Green Home Rating System in Multiple Listing Service (MLS): Systems that are searchable within the MLS and specific to the Phoenix area like LEED, NAHB, SRP PowerWise Homes, EnergyStar and Scottsdale Green Building Programs.

Conference Speaker
Friday, April 15, 2011
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Room 158

BIG Green Conference 2011

BIG Green Expo
Friday & Saturday
April 15th & 16th
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.