2013 Year End Wrap Up

Terravita Housing MarketIt is that time of year to look back over 2013 sales and see how we compared to 2012 and how we are doing in the economic recovery process.

Although we hoped Terravita would top 2012 total sales, we came very close.  In 2012, Terravita had 102 and  98 sales in 2013. Our actual dollar volume was up 6% from $46 million to $50 million.  The average sale price rose 12% from $459,343 in 2012 to $516,348  in 2013. Important to note that the home values rose in double digit percentage points at 12%.  Sales also sold closer to listed price from 96% of list price in 2012 to 97% of list in 2013.  It is definitely an indicator if you price the property with laser accuracy from the beginning, then the Days on Market will be less.  The case in point is that Days on Market in 2012 was 128 days and in 2013, Days on Market dropped to 74, a drop of 42%.

These are all positive signs that we are returning to a market of normal appreciation in the 5-9% range, steady sales and reasonable list to close days of 75-90 days and an 8-9 % turnover rate.

Other economic factors to keep on our watch list includes the composition and future policy plan of the Federal Reserve. The new Federal Reserve Chairman  Janet Yellen and her choice for Vice Chair, Stanley Fischer, the new Board’s policies are yet to be determined.   Chairman Yellen’s philosophy is in many ways akin with former Chairman Bernanke, to create consumer confidence in the present by committing to short term future policy positions. Vice Chair Stanley Fischer expresses a forward guidance policy but rather based on conditions in the future rather than set dates or times.  The months ahead will see the new Board’s policies unfold.

Another piece in the puzzle of the housing recovery is the impact of the  current implementation of the Dodd Frank legislation.  The following observations are most probably going to occur:

  1. Buyers will need, more than ever to make complete loan application before beginning to look at homes.
  2. Buyers will need to respond to lender requests with the utmost sense of urgency since certain time lines must be met or the entire application must start over.
  3. Not all loans will have to fit into the “Qualified Mortgage” box of requirements.
  4. Investment properties will come under greater scrutiny, require more down payment and more time to approve.
  5. Any changes in the loan package will trigger a several day Buyer review requirement, thus lengthening the time for approval.

However, all these new conditions will not really change anything for the Buyer as long as they are committed to following the guidelines and instructions of their loan officer.  If you are thinking of Buying or Selling in the coming months, having a strong Loan officer on your team is critical.  I would suggest that a call to Brian Cardenas at AmeriFirst Financial ( phone …   & email….    ) will give you answers to your questions and a sense of confidence in getting your purchase or sale completed with a strong team by your side.

Year to Date Terravita Sales are Encouraging.

Terravita EntranceIt is this time of year that we all truly appreciate why we live in Arizona; warm sunny days and crisp cool evenings.  The patio misters are shut down and the outdoor patio heaters surface. The holiday season starting with Halloween is well underway.
Time to take a quick pulse-check, to see how our year-to-date sales are progressing in Terravita.  The last four to twelve months, our supply (absorption rate) hovered between 1 to ½ months.  Translated, that means based on the number of active listings, it would take only 1 month for those listings to be absorbed (bought), with active listings numbering  9-13 at any given time.  In the past three months, listings have increased to 15, and sales have tapered off slightly which is typical for September and October, causing the absorption rate or “months supply” to increase to 4 months for those 15 listings to be bought at a rate of about 4 per month.  The median list price increased a bit from summer, to $574,000, yet was down from $609,000 this past spring. 
The interesting piece to note is that the current median sale price in the past three months is at $544,000 up from $422,000 during the previous 7-12 months.  To date we have closed 82 properties with 10 properties under contract or sale pending.  We will need an additional 10 properties to sell by December 31st in order to hit the 100 sales volume target; an indicator that we are slowly gaining on a 10% turnover rate which is more reflective of a balanced market.  Even if we close just the 10 properties under contract and sale pending, and nothing more goes under contract, our turnover rate will be 6.75%, still very respectable.  In the current 3 month period, the median list to sale ratio is 99% with half of the sales above 99% of list price and half of the properties are below 99%.
Buyer demand is still strong.  From my previous list of Buyer wants, this month I add a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath 2300-2800 sq. feet from $500,000-650,000.  If you have been on the fence and think you may want to sell, now may be the time to evaluate your home.  Don’t forget our periodic postcard mailer that gives you a code specific to your home and instructions to log into a website and value your own home.  Also our market snapshot is something homeowners are enjoying as they track the market and make their plans for remodel, refinance or sale.  Call or email and I will help you get started.

Rethink “Nothing Happens in Arizona in the Summer”

Bulldog-SleepingWall Street Journal- 7-31-13  “Fed Leaves Bond Buys in Place”;  This is great news for Buyers and Sellers alike, as the Fed has given no substantive change in its stance on how long the purchases will continue.  They did describe the economic growth the past 7 months as “modest”.  Bernanke had indicated the Fed plan to pull back on the Bond Buying program later in the year but only if the economy picks up a faster growth pace. This status quo position will help keep loan rates from significant increases, which Wall Street echoed as a sign of a  slight tilt toward easier money; all good news in the foreseeable future for Arizona real estate.

This past January through July,  71 Terravita homes have sold with 7 homes either under contract with contingencies or sale pending;  a predictable near future total of 80 home sales.  Median comparable Days on Market dropped from 61 days during the height of the season to 49 days in the past 3 months.  Although the median list price has decreased in the last three months, the median sale price has increased.    And the sale price has continued to be 97% of the listed price at time of contract.  With only 12 homes currently on the market, rethink the phrase that “nothing happens in Arizona in the summer”.  If you are thinking of selling, would you prefer very little competition or an abundance of competition?  I think the answer is clear.  Fewer homes to choose from increase the sale opportunity for each seller.  “But there aren’t very many buyers in town”, I often hear as a seller concern.  Remember two things.  Buyers out looking at homes in the heat of the summer are obviously serious buyers, and it only takes one to buy your home.

Keep an eye on the numbers over the next few months as we continue to try to get to over 100 sold homes in 2013, an even more important indicator that we are inching our way to a more balanced market.

Monthly we provide you the big picture of everything that is happening in our community within the past 30 days. I continue to offer to do a more microscopic picture of how your specific home fits into the current marketplace. We all secretly are curious about our home value, as it helps us make so many home decisions from refinance to home improvements and whether or not it makes sense to do either. I send these quarterly reports via email. Just a quick email to me or a simple phone call 602-850-4335, and I will do the rest as a courtesy to you, my fellow neighbors.

Look forward to seeing you around the community.

Snowbirds May Be Gone, Yet Many Buyers Remain

Shopping for a HomeAs we know, a significant number of our fellow Terravita residents live out of state and out of the country, making this an enviable choice for a second residence for those who aren’t permanent residents of Arizona.  This percentage of out of area residents in Terravita is calculated as high as 30%+.  On our street, I only saw 4 trashcans out last evening and yes most of the rest have left until October.

“Not a good time to put your home on the market”, you think?  Not so quick.  Listings in north Scottsdale and Terravita in particular continue to enjoy ongoing sales, reasonable days on market and a host of buyers waiting for the next home to go on the market. And it doesn’t mean these homes are priced under-market.  There are plenty of examples in our community, that a well-priced home that comes on the market looking sharp, clean, freshly painted with carpets, windows and floors clean and sparkling will be bring buyers ready to make the move through the summer.  Those who didn’t find the right home before they left town, in many cases left very specific instructions to their REALTOR to contact them immediately if the right home became available.

I am also acutely aware of my clients who either reside here in Terravita or elsewhere, that have given me their wish list of exactly what they are looking for in a home to purchase, down to the model they wish.  Currently, I have clients looking for a Vallis with a Casita, a Stella, or a Terreus.  So if you are an owner of one of these floor-plans and receive a postcard from me asking if you are interested in selling, my search is legitimate and on behalf of my client base.

Our marketing efforts continue to reach out to our Terravita homeowners in their summer residences with targeted mailings that we design to be helpful to homeowners thinking of remodeling or selling.  Our marketing efforts reach our homeowners and interested Buyers in Canada and throughout the United States. Our internet efforts and the power of RE/MAX International franchises in 24 countries and nearly 90,000 agents worldwide is one more reason why we are able to loudly proclaim, no one sells more real estate than RE/MAX.

Have I peaked your interest? Want to know more about your home value and our unique strategies?  Give us a call.  I am only a phone call, email, or a few blocks away.  YOU will always set the pace.  We can work as quickly or as slowly as YOU wish.  We are at YOUR service..

Housing Market Report, What’s Up & What’s Down?

Everyone enjoys keeping up with the values in our neighborhoods as the housing recovery dominates the daily news wires.  The reports for Scottsdale and the Northeast Valley have been encouraging as prices continue to rise, while the inventory remains low by the standards of a balanced market.

This months Phoenix metro area housing market report highlights listings, sales, supply and pricing and a housing market year-over-year comparison.

Here’s what’s happening in your neighborhood.

Northeast Valley – grew active listings by 2.1% between March 1 and April 1, although this is still down by 3% from the same period in 2012. This is not having a negative effect on the market in the Northeast Valley because sales grew 28% between February and March. This is the ONLY area where the annual sales rate has grown.

Southeast Valley – 14% fewer active listings in April 2013 than in the same month in 2012, additionally; it dropped 4% in the previous month. On a positive note, monthly sales were up by 33% between February and March; this is only 2.8% down from this time last year. This area has seen the largest percentage decline in both days of inventory and months of supply over last year.

West Valley – grew sales between February and March, rising by 23.7% but its monthly sales rate is down 11.8% from last year. Active listings dropped by 11.6% over the last year and by 8.9% in the last month. This area has inventory causing a severe restraint and has tightened more than in any other area between March 1 and April 1.

Central Valley – comprising Phoenix itself (excluding Ahwatukee) is the top area for price appreciation with a 24.5% increase in the average $/SF for monthly sales. Its active listing count is down 12.1% over the last year and down 3.4% in the last month. This area takes the top spot for increase in annual dollar volume (5.4%) despite annual sales units dropping 14.9%.

Phoenix Housing Market Year Comparison…
February 2012- February 2013



What’s Up? (Single Family Year over Year)

  • New homes (up 67%)
  • Normal re-sales (up 62%)
  • HUD sales (up 8%)

What’s Down? (Single Family Year over Year)

  • Bank owned homes (down 59%)
  • GSE (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc.) owned homes (down 53%)
  • Short sales and pre-foreclosures (down 48%)
  • Investor flips (down 38%)
  • Third party purchases at trustee sale (down 57%)


Phoenix Housing Market


















Phoenix Housing market






Supply has seen a decrease of 4.9% from February 1, 2013 -March 1, 2013.
However 79% of this supply is priced above $150,000 and 22% is priced over $500,000.

Cash Purchases

  • Under $150,000 50.1% cash (48.8% last month)
  • Between $150,000 and $500,000 26.3% cash (23.6% last month)
  • $500,000 and over 35.1% cash (37.1% last month)


First Quarter Sales show a marked upswing in Terravita home values

Terravita Housing Market

2013 is off to a great start in Terravita.  As recently as 6 months ago, the median days on market for active listings in Terravita, was 129, whereas today the median days on market is 62.  Median list price has risen from $524,000 to current $540,000, during the same 6 month period.  Median price statistics represents the midline where 50% of the properties are above that price and 50% are below.  With the current inventory of 20 Terravita homes on the market, the absorption rate is 3.5 months.  What does that mean?  If no new listings come on the market it would take 3.5 months to absorb (sell) the 20 homes.  If this trend continues, it is quite likely 100+ Terravita homes will sell this year.  As our market continues to improve, a balanced market of 10 % turnover appears within reach in the next 18-24 months.  All of these indicators demonstrate increased home values.

With prices in Terravita steadily rising, all signs indicate that the bottom of the market is behind us.  And yet, between the low inventory of active listings, and  new loan interest rates remaining at record low rates, the buying energy continues to build.  With many Terravita residents wanting to move up or scale down within Terravita, there is more of a sense of urgency to secure replacement homes, to enable the Seller to take advantage of the current selling season.  If inventory continues to stay thin and buyer inventory remains stable, there is great likelihood that strong sales will occur during the “low season” of summer and fall.

You might question whether it makes sense, given the demographics of the current market, to put your home on the market to sell before you have found and secured the home you want to buy?  There may be a benefit to sell while attempting to find the right home to buy, though that strategy does come with some risk.  If you actively look while you are preparing to sell, you have a better chance of understanding the market and being prepared to make an offer when the right property comes along.  With many of the Terravita buyers from out of state, second home or investment buyers paying cash, there is an increased opportunity to sell with a condition to lease back for a short term time period allowing you to identify, secure and move into the replacement property.  The current market condition atmosphere makes it increasingly more difficult to buy a home contingent on the sale of another unless all contingencies have been satisfied on the house you are selling.

Be as flexible as possible to achieve your goals.
1. Don’t delay another moment; Get your home show ready.
2.  Identify potential interim housing as a backup, which could mean putting your household goods in storage and renting a furnished home in the interim (Off season rates start in May). 3. Get all potential moving and storage cost estimates now, leaving little to guess.
4. When marketing your home, indicate “Seller is interested in a delayed closing or short term lease back.”

Why call Gayle?
With $4,394,000 in closed sales the first quarter of 2013 and listings averaging 35 days on market,  she is your smart choice when selling your home in Terravita.

For more details, call me today:602-850-4335.
I am only a phone call away or just around the corner; your Terravita neighbor.