Sales for the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) were 9,321 homes in May of this year versus 5,590 in May of last year. Inventory is down to a 4.5 month supply versus a 10.6 month supply at the same time last year. A 6 month supply is considered a normal market. So for Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, and Phoenix inventory levels are actually low for the level of sales we are experiencing. Tempe has a 6.3 month supply and Scottsdale has a 10.8 month supply. Additionally, the average price per square foot in most of the cities in the area has been fairly level for the past two months. This all points towards the bottoming out of the real estate market locally. Many real estate agents are reporting multiple offers on homes priced below $150,000.
The primary unknown is foreclosures. The number of foreclosure notices was up in the second quarter in part to due to a hold on notices placed by many banks during the first quarter. It is unknown how many of these will actually go to foreclosure. Banks seem to be more willing than they were to approve short sales and there are more programs for renegotiating loans.
All things together, it appears to be a good time to buy a home. Prices are lowest they have been in years. Interest rates are still very good. And, if you haven’t owned your principle residence in the last three years, you may qualify for the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000.
This data is supplied by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. ARMLS, West USA, and Pat & Amy Monahan do not guarantee the accuracy of the data.