Here’s our review of the Phoenix Housing Market for sales in January 2013, along with an outlook for February and predictions for March. Keep in mind that January is, seasonally, one of the lower sales months of the year just before the spring buying season arrives.
Home Sales in the Phoenix Housing Market
Price per SF in the Phoenix Housing Market remained at $108 for January 2013, as reported by our Phoenix Housing Tracker. $108 is the highest price per SF since October 2008 and the same as last month. See the history at this link: Metro Phoenix price per square foot.
There were 5,834 residential sales in the Phoenix Housing Market in January which is the lowest total since January 2010 and 22% lower than the average monthly sales of 7,513 for all of 2012. Yes, some of this is seasonal but I think the main reason is the lack of bargain priced Phoenix Foreclosures to attract buyers in the Phoenix Housing Market.
There were only 1,986 foreclosure type sales in January 2013 which accounted for 34% percent of total sales. I define foreclosure type sales as bank owned homes and short sales. This is the lowest percentage of sales for Phoenix Foreclosures in the Phoenix Housing Market since May 2008 when the percentage was 33.5%. As a matter of perspective, foreclosure type sales peaked at 76% in March 2009, then dropped into the 60% range in July 2009 where they stayed until they hit another peak of 70% in January 2011. See more here: Phoenix Foreclosures Market Report. The 1,986 foreclosure type sales break out as follows: 977 bank owned home sales and 1,009 short sales.
I also track short sale success in the Phoenix Housing Market. Short sale success is defined as the percentage of short sales that successfully close escrow. January’s success rate was 65.5% and was the lowest percentage since the 67.7% in August 2011. Between those two time frames short success has averaged 75% in the Phoenix Housing Market with a peak of 82.6% in June 2012. Does that signal a trend in the short sale department of Phoenix Foreclosures? It’s too early to make a judgment after only one month. However, I’ve heard more grumblings lately of ”difficult banks” from other real estate agents.
Active Listings in the Phoenix Housing Market
17,643 was the number of active listings in the Phoenix Area MLS to start February 2013. That number is up 500 from January 2013 but is consistent with the average number of active listings over the last 3 months.
According to Mike Orr of the Cromford Report:
“January 2013 saw fewer new listings added to the ARMLS database than in any January since that database was first built in 2000. The weaker sales rate in January disguised this effect but sales will not be weak from now on. The peak buying season is just about to start and we simply have too few homes available.
“The fabled ‘shadow inventory’ is of almost no importance here. If the banks sold their entire unlisted inventory in Maricopa and Pinal Counties at once it would represent no more than 2 weeks’ supply and would be quickly absorbed without a hiccup.”
It should be noted that the percentage of active foreclosure type sales on the Phoenix Housing Market is only 13.9%, in contrast with 34% of total sales in January This is another sign that Phoenix foreclosures are being sold out and we are approaching near normal foreclosure levels. Click this link for complete charts: Phoenix Foreclosures Listings.
Phoenix Housing Market Short Term Prediction
We’ve reported in the past that future sales prices can be predicted 4-8 weeks into the future by monitoring the price of homes under contract, but not yet closed. Those prices have been steadily climbing in the Phoenix Housing Market since January 1st, 2013 and continue to rise as of February 19th. That means we can expect home prices to increase through February and March. Price increases will be fueled by the low inventory of Phoenix Foreclosures and the start of buying season.