When looking at total sales,September ended up being somewhat of a dissapointment, with sales taking a 9.4% dip, ending up at 7,892.  This is almost 10% off the 2011 average of 8,765.  That being said, there were several areas that improved in the past 30 days, as you will see from this report.

ARMLS recently released the numbers for September/2011 in their monthly STAT Report, and they are very interesting.  Here is a breakdown of what happened in September/2011 in the Metro Phoenix Real Estate Market:

Sales (Month over Month)- Sales were down 9.4% (compared to August/2011), with a total of 7,892 closed listings.  Advantage:  Buyer

Sales (Year over Year)- September/2011 sales (7,892) were up 16.7% over September/2010.  This represents a similar pattern as 2009-2010, only with higher values.  Advantage:  Seller

New Inventory- Declined in September to 9,948.  This continues the downward trend we've seen since January/2011.  Advantage:  Seller

Total Inventory- We now have 8 months in a row of falling inventory, with September/2011 coming in at 26,950.  This represents almost half (46.32%) of the decade high inventory of 58,178 in October/2007.  Advantage:  Seller

Months Supply Of Inventory (MSI)- Increased slightly from 3.1 months in August/2011 to 3.41 months in September/2011. Generally, an MSI below 4 indicates a seller's market, between 4 and 6 represents a balanced market, and above 6 represents a buyer's market.  Advantage:  Seller

New List Prices- The median new list price increased 4.9%, going from $124,900 in August/2011 to $131,000 in September, while the average new list price rose from $189,200 in August, to $211,800 in September/2011.

Distressed sales (short sales and bank-owned homes) represented 64.1% of the total sales in September, which is 2.9% lower than in August.  Lender owned sales dropped 19.35% in September to 2,931, and its percent of total sales declined as well, to 37.1%, representing a 4.6% decrease from August.  Short sales increased to 3.4% over August, accounting for 27% of total sales.  For the past several months, short sales have grown in popularity, as more and more homeowners now realize that short sales are a much better alternative to foreclosure.  I would predict that within 6 months, short sales and lender owned sales will be neck-and-neck.  Advantage:  Buyers (well, sort-of).

Sales Prices- The median price rose $5,000 (4.5%) to $114,900 in September, compared to August.  This is probably due to the fact that lender-owned sales dropped (see above) in September, and short sales jumped up.  Average sales price increased by $3,700 (2.5%) to $155,100. This is the news we've been waiting for, and we hope it continues in October.  Advantage:  Sellers

Foreclosures Pending- Dropped from 24,061 in August/2011 to 23,555 in September.  Beginning at the high-water mark in November/2009 (50,568), this number has dropped every month since then. Foreclosures pending has now dropped 20 out of the past 22 months. If the current trend holds up, it is likely we will see this number below 20,000 by the end of 2011, a level not seen since September/2007.  Advantage:  Sellers

Lender-Owned Sales- Declined 19.35% in September to 2,931 from 3,614 in August, and it's percent of total sales declined to 37.1%, representing a 4.6% decrease from August. This number has hovered between 40.8% and 46.2% since March/2011.  This is great news, and it's a trend that we hope continues.  Advantage:  Sellers

Short Sales- The number of short sales in September jumped 3.4% to 2,127, representing 27% of total sales. As stated above, I expect this number to continue to trend upward, as more Phoenix short sale agents are getting better at understanding the short sale process.  Lender-owned and short sales continue to dominate the market, representing 67% of total sales in the Phoenix market.  Our team of Phoenix short sale agents are ready to help, if you are considering a short sale.  Advantage:  Buyers & Sellers (short sales are better for the overall health of the market when compared to REO sales!).

Avg Days On Market- Declined in September to 95 days, a level not seen since May/2010.  This number is substantially better than the 12 month high in February/2011 of 116 days.  Advantage:  Seller

So, what do you think?  Is it a seller's market or a buyer's market?  I still think we are temporarily faced with a seller's market.  The sad thing is, the "sellers" in over two-thirds of the market are lenders, not homeowners putting equity in their pocket.

The good news is that we are seeing positive news in several areas: sales activity still remains high; foreclosures pending continues its downward trend; MSI (months of inventory) remains under 4, and the average Days On Market dropped 5 days in September.  In my opinion, the "biggie" is the increase in all four of the price metrics.  This will be the tell-tale sign of when our market begins to improve (if the trend continues).

Jobs are the key to any recovery, and I'm still talking to homeowners & Phoenix short sale clients who have either recently lost their job, or have had hours cut back at work.  Unemployment decreased slightly for August/2011, from 8.7% to 8.4%.  So far, in 2011, Phoenix has gained a total of 31,330, which pales in comparison to the 246,400 we have lost over the past 3 years.  Economists at the recent 2012 Economic Outlook Summit predicted slow, yet positive growth until 2015, followed by accelerated growth from 2015 to 2020.  Bring it on, I say!

If you are a buyer...Lucky You!  I say that tongue-in-cheek.  While there are some incredible deals in this market, you have probably realized (or will soon realize) that trying to purchase a home in this market is a daunting task, especially without the assistance of an experienced Phoenix buyer's agent.  We are working hard to find homes for our buyer clients, but with inventory being so low, its been difficult, at best.  For our clients reading this, keep checking your email inbox, and call us immediately when you see something you like.  When it comes to finding a home, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.  If it's a good deal, expect multiple offers in the first 24-48 hours, and be ready to "go in strong".

Now more than ever, you need a seasoned professional to walk you through these tumultuous times, not a part-timer.

Call me today and allow us to set up a plan to help you buy/sell your next home.  You'll be glad you called.

Until next month....

Looking For A Dedicated Phoenix Realtor? Let me GOOGLE one for you!

Subscribe To This Blog Via Email

Facebook Link Twitter Link LinkedIn Link rss button

Bob Hertzog

Summit Home Consultants

Search Phoenix Homes For Sale

Copyright © By Bob Hertzog 2011 *Phoenix Real Estate Trends-September-2011...Buyer's or Seller's Market?