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Mid-December AZ real estate market update

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Happy Holidays everyone, and I wish you the best in the coming year!! If you’re considering buying or selling real estate this coming year, you will want to read this article, as this is an up-to-date market analysis from the Cromford report, the best data source from the Arizona MLS!

Click here for a list of the charts used.

One-by-One, Most Cities in Greater Phoenix Succumb to a Buyer’s Market

44% of October Sales Involve Seller Paid Concessions to Buyers

Days on market = 49

Home prices as a whole, down 12% since the peak in May 2022

Buyers and sellers are still in a deadlock, with contracts substantially down

Every city in the Valley is different, with Buckeye being the worst to some of the more expensive cities still outperforming.

Active listings have come down by more than 2000 in the past month

December is still the best time to buy for a buyer if you want to avoid competition. Expect more buyers to come out in the new year.

As of this writing, the FED increased rates by .5%; remember, this doesn’t correlate to current mortgage interest rates.

For Buyers:

­Buyer demand has been more reactive to mortgage rates than usual, but that’s to be expected at the rate of increase we’ve seen this year. In terms of affordability in Greater Phoenix, a household making the median family income should generally be able to afford 60-75% of what’s sold. That measure for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2022 was only 22%. Some believe it would take years for affordability to return to a normal range unless sales prices drop dramatically, but that’s not necessarily true. As rising mortgage rates have quickly pushed affordability down, declining mortgage rates can quickly push it back up.

Affordability is determined by family income, 30-yr mortgage rates, and sales price. Price is not the only factor that needs to change in order to push affordability back to a normal state. For example, for the current median sales price of $418,000 to be considered affordable to a family making a median income of $88,800 in 2021, mortgage rates would have to drop to 3.35%. Or, the median income would have to increase to $119,000 per year. Both of those scenarios are too extreme to expect in a short amount of time. However, it’s reasonable to believe they will meet somewhere in the middle in 2023.

HUD will not release updated income measures for 2022 until May 2023*. However, according to the AZ Department of Economic Opportunity, year-over-year wage income has shown a 5-8% increase each month through October. If we estimate a total 7% increase in median family income, that results in a median of $95,000 per year. With 10% down, that puts a family’s budgeted purchase price of a home around: $335,000 at a 6.3% rate, $368,000 at 5.3%, and $406,000 at 4.3%.

From this example, we can see that mortgage rates have a more substantial chance of reversing affordability issues faster than any other factor and can mean the difference between a 20% drop in prices and a mere 3% drop. The only experts who can accurately predict the direction of sales prices are those who can accurately predict mortgage rates. However, at this stage, mortgage rates are still volatile, and most predictions have been flat-out wrong.

If rates rise, prices will have to drop more to reach optimum affordability. If they fall, prices will not have to drop nearly as much. The best advice for buyers is to stay engaged with where rates are daily and be fully educated on lender programs and seller incentives available so they can be the first to act when the property and the payment is right for them.

For Sellers:

Welcome to an official Buyer Market in Greater Phoenix, albeit a weak one, for the first time since 2010. As expected, the city of Phoenix finally succumbed to a Buyer Market in mid-November, thus classifying the entire market as such. (The northeast cities of Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, and Cave Creek are all still either Balanced Markets or mild Seller Markets.) While market indicators were plummeting from an extreme Seller Market to Balance between March and June, the trip from Balance to a Buyer Market from July to December has been more like a gentle glide.

Price responses didn’t wait for the official calling, median sale prices began showing a decline after May and as of this date, are down 12%, essentially erasing appreciation gained since November 2021 and resulting in a 1.6% negative year-over-year median change.

From here on out, expect reports of negative annual appreciation rates every month as each measure will now be compared to the first half of 2022 price measures.

Moving into 2023, even if mortgage rates stay the same, it is expected that contract activity will increase seasonally as it does every year. Rate buy-downs will remain a key factor in buyer incentives unless rates decline. However, after a long 4th quarter, sellers should be able to enjoy more traffic, fewer days on market, and serious buyers in the first half of 2023.

Generally speaking, neither sellers nor buyers prefer to engage in real estate during times of uncertainty. Dramatic fluctuations in mortgage rates combined with insecurities surrounding inflation and unemployment have pressed pause on housing decisions for many sellers and buyers alike, for now. If mortgage rates drop, they’ll get off the fence.

After a recession is declared rates typically come down.
A lot of precictions were made in the past but not many came true. This is a tough one to predict.
But here we go, some more predictions.
A monkey with a dart, could possibly predict this better. Go to https://money.yahoo.com/where-will-mortgage-rates-go-next-year-the-forecasts-are-vast-193025498.html for the full article.
No issues here, sellers still have too much equity.
More restrictions coming. If institutional buyers continue buying, the not so long old saying will be true. “You will own nothing, and be happy”. Remember this quote from the world economic forum.
Rents are still high and 20,000,000 people have been forced into the rental pool since rates have hit 7%. Renting is still a good short term option, but you’ll never be ahead if you don’t invest properly. Check out my blog on Rent vs Buying, here.
December is typically slow, Jan – March will be better months to sell, If you’re buying, buy now and ask for 2/1 buydown. You can get the house you want, buy down the rate, refinance later, and there is no competition. If you wait the money you pay down in your principle is gone. Negotiate the best price for the best house. I can help.
Cromford Market Index™ is a value that provides a short term forecast for the balance of the market. It is derived from the trends in pending, active and sold listings compared with historical data over the previous four years. Values below 100 indicate a buyer’s market, while values above 100 indicate a seller’s market. A value of 100 indicates a balanced market.
This has went up for the first time in 2022
Each city has a different outlook. There are a few sellers markets still even though prices have come down. To get the best deals, you have to go to the outskirts of the valley. Luxury markets are still doing fine.
Sellers have cancelled their listings, waiting, and they do not want to give up their low interest rate. So they will wait. Typically when buying and selling at the same time, the market does not matter except the interest rate and payments.
December is always high when looking in the past.
Ask for a concession when buying a home.
When you ask for a concession the average is $9370.
Down 12.5% from peak in May, how far down will this go?
The luxury market just does not care as a lot of these properties are purchased with Cash.
Here is a snapshot by city of the best and worst performers in the valley by medium price.
More certain there will be more contracts written January – March 2023, then October – December 2022

I hope this helps making a decision to either buy or sell your property. The market is what it is. Most of the information in this blog is from the Cromford market report, the best unbiased platform with real MLS data. If you have a property you’re not sure on what to do, please let me know. Do not over buy or under sell, ever! Even if you don’t use me to represent your sale or purchase, please contact me and i’ll give you my best analysis of what to do.

Jay Bru

480-466-4917

jay@jaybrugroup.com

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