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DeDe’s Phoenix-Area Newsletter August 25, 2023

Fears of “higher for longer” interest rates helped send average 30-yr mortgage rates to a new, two-decade high of 7.49%. New home sales are holding up, but existing home sales have been fading on both affordability and availability issues.

The Phoenix Market

We’ve observed a decrease in the number of cities favoring sellers, with only 2 cities displaying such a trend now, as opposed to 3 last week. Notably, Gilbert has once again aligned itself with the seller’s side.

Despite this, the pace of the downward trend is showing signs of slowing down. The average change in the Composite Market Index (CMI) across these 17 cities over the past month has been -2.7%, which is less negative compared to the previous week’s measurement of -3.3%.

Buckeye continues to defy the overall trend and has successfully surpassed Goodyear as previously predicted. Additionally, Cave Creek is experiencing a robust recovery, having been among the first to decline several months ago.

Conversely, Fountain Hills, a once prominent leader and top contender, remains the most negatively impacted. Nevertheless, it maintains its status as a seller’s market with a CMI exceeding 190. Out of the 17 cities, 16 are still considered seller’s markets, while Queen Creek falls into the balanced zone.

Goldman Sachs

You might recall our observation from January 25th when we criticized Goldman Sachs for presenting “peculiar and improbable predictions.” Among these was their forecast suggesting a 25% drop in Phoenix home prices for the year 2023.

Interestingly, they have now openly acknowledged the inaccuracy of their earlier projections and have revised their stance. They have abandoned their previous anticipation of a decline in US home prices for 2023 and are now foreseeing a modest rise of 1.8% throughout the year.

To be bluntly honest, there’s scant evidence to support Goldman Sachs’ competence in gauging the dynamics of the US housing market. Perhaps this uncertainty is a contributing factor to their contemplation of selling their investment-advisory division.

Concise Market Snapshot

Active listings are very slightly down, as are Under contract and pending listings. Sales per month are slightly up as are sales per year. Days on Market is down (yay), days of inventory is the same, as is months of supply (1.9).  Active listings $/sf is down slightly, but monthly sales $/sf is up. Appreciation is up (yay!).

Valley of the Sun Residental Inventory

  • 13885,13672,13609,15047,16621,18098,17878,17747,18824,19774,19701,20202
  • 7669,7047,8018,8063,8266,7017,5389,9212,8990,9822,9620,9450

Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. © 2024

Valley of the Sun Residental Resale Prices

  • 817370.19,796192.90,788392.87,789089.77,796042.91,783930.07,777982.86,799657.81,834944.97,836918.30,845417.52,835943.35
  • 618671.28,608713.87,614148.53,666244.68,682238.02,658803.79,637297.60,728160.70,670839.00,671456.35,666180.88,653373.95
  • 496480.00,498840.00,495000.00,498000.00,494500.00,480995.00,480000.00,480000.00,489900.00,489900.00,495990.00,499800.00
  • 459500.00,449900.00,450000.00,455000.00,459900.00,449990.00,446000.00,465925.00,465000.00,464997.50,475000.00,475000.00

Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. © 2024

Valley of the Sun Days on Market

  • 64.5,58.5,57.6,55.5,55.8,57.4,61.6,68.4,68.7,67.2,65.9,64.6

Information is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed. © 2024

Real Estate News in Brief

It was a rough week for would-be buyers and real estate professionals: 30-yr mortgage rates approached 7.5%, existing home sales dropped to 4.07 million units SAAR, and new purchase mortgage applications fell to 1995 levels. But keep your head up, because Life Happens and Rates Happen too!

Average 30-year mortgage rates hit a new, two-decade high of 7.49% on August 22, surpassing the previous peak of 7.37% on October 20, 2022. The last time rates were this high was April 2002! (And 21 years ago, median home prices were 60% lower than they are today.) [Mortgage News Daily / S&P Global Case-Shiller Index]

Higher rates hit mortgage demand. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the number of applications for new purchase mortgages last week fell 7% week-over-week, and 30% year-over-year. That’s bad enough, but it’s also the lowest level of new purchase applications since 1995.

July existing home sales fell 2.2% MoM (and 17% YoY) to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate of 4.07 million units. That was both below expectations, and very similar to the (weak) figures achieved in December 2022 (4.03 million) and January 2023 (4.00 million). As a reminder, the last time we had annual existing home sales of ~4 million was 2008. [NAR]

The median sales price for existing homes in July rose 0.7% YoY to $406,700. While that was down 0.8% MoM, price declines are pretty normal for this time of year. Inventory rose 3.7% MoM to 1.11 million 🙂, but a large share of that were homes that have already gone under contract 🙁. [NAR]

In contrast, July new home sales rose 4.4% MoM (and 32% YoY) to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate of 714,000 units — the highest figure in 17 months. It’s also the 8th-straight month that the 3-month moving average of new home sales has climbed. [Census Bureau] A lack of existing home inventory is sending would-be buyers to show homes, and the greater financial flexibility of builders (rate buydowns, incentives) is helping to close the deal.

The median sales price for new homes in July rose 5.1% MoM (but fell 8.7% YoY) to $436,700. That’s actually the first MoM increase since February 2023. However, this number is heavily influenced by the “mix” of homes sold. Over the last year, builders have been redrawing plans to market smaller/more affordable homes (skewing ASPs lower). But more recently, there has been a recovery in the West region ($$$$$) new home sales (skewing ASPs higher). [Census Bureau]

The Realtor’s Confidence Index for July was mixed: the outlook for buyer/seller traffic declined for the 3rd-straight month, but competition levels remained very high: 74% of homes sold in <1 month, 35% sold above the listing price and there was an average of 3 bids per home sold. [NAR]

Rental rates dropped for the 3rd-straight month. Rents are only down 1% YoY (vs. +25% over the last 4 years), but with supply (+27% YoY increase in multifamily units) and vacancy rates (6.3%) rising, it’s likely that rental rates will continue to drift lower over the remainder of 2023. Miami, FL came out as the “least affordable” rental market; Oklahoma City, OK as the “most affordable”. [Realtor.com]

Zillow revised up its home price growth forecast. The portal now expects +5.8% YoY median home price growth for 2023 (up from +5.5% YoY previously), and +6.5% price growth over the next 12 months (July 2023 to July 2024). “Tight inventory conditions continue to place upward pressure on home prices, despite persistent affordability challenges.” The portal sees existing home sales falling 17% YoY to 4.2 million units in 2023. [Zillow]

New vs. old. Consistent with comments from the National Association of Homebuilders, Redfin’s research team said that new homes currently represent 31% (nearly one-third) of available homes for sale. Pre-pandemic, that figure was ~17% in the second quarter. In El Paso, TX, newly built homes were 52% of inventory; in Honolulu, HI and San Diego, CA, just 3%. [Redfin]

Small-scale property investors are having a big impact. According to data from CoreLogic, investors purchased 27% of the homes sold in 2Q 2023 (up from 15–20% pre-pandemic). But we’re not talking about Blackrock, here. Small investors (3–9 properties), represented 47% of all investor purchases — the highest level seen since 2011. [CoreLogic]

Realtors are Losing Confidence; but Still a Seller’s Market!

The Realtor’s Confidence Index for July revealed a housing market that is slowing (in terms of transactions and outlook), but that remains very competitive for what’s available:

  • Only 11% of respondents expect an increase in seller traffic over the next 3 months.
  • Homes that sold in July were on the market for ~20 days (vs. 18 in June)
  • 74% of the homes sold in July found a buyer in <1 month (was 76% in June).
  • The average number of bids per home sold fell from 3.5 in June to (a still high) 3.0 in July. In July 2022, the figure was 2.8.
  • And 35% of homes sold in July were transacted above the listing price (up from 33% in June) — see graph below. Keep in mind that the 40–60% figures for 2021 and early 2022 were unusually high.
  • 26% of buyers waived the inspection contingency. That’s the highest figure since July 2022.

Mortgage Market

Last week, we did a ‘now and then’ comparison of Oct 22, 2022 (when average 30-yr rates peaked at 7.36%) and August 17, 2023 (when rates were threatening to make a new peak). The point we were making was that inflation had come down significantly during those 10 months.

This week, we’re comparing our new, two-decade high from August 22, 2023 (7.49%) with the last time rates were that high (April 2002). The most important difference is that in 2002, mortgage rates were actually on their way DOWN (from a high of 8.5–9.0%), in the wake of an aggressive Fed LOOSENING campaign as the Dotcom bust (March 2000-October 2002) rumbled on.

The situation is obviously very different today. The Fed is near the end of an aggressive TIGHTENING campaign, and the economy is chugging along despite a number of recession red flags flapping (inverted yield curve, negative leading indicators etc.).

Probably the most salient observation is that home prices have increased 2.5 times since the last time mortgage rates were this high. Affordability has been hit hard. The “reset” that the Fed was dreaming about has turned into a nightmare.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and global central bankers are meeting in Jackson Hole, WY this week. I’d expect more of the same, rehashed hawkish commentary from Powell on Friday. He would have nothing to gain from hinting that the tightening could be coming to a close. The next Fed meeting is on September 20, with the market currently pricing in an 80% probability of no change and a 20% probability of another 25bps hike.

They Said It

“Applications for home purchase mortgages dropped to their lowest level since April 1995, as homebuyers withdrew from the market due to the elevated rate environment and the erosion of purchasing power. Low housing supply is also keeping home prices high in many markets, adding to the affordability hurdles buyers are facing.” — Joel Kan, MBA’s Deputy Chief Economist

“Two factors are driving current sales activity — inventory availability and mortgage rates. Unfortunately, both have been unfavorable to buyers.” — Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist

DeDe’s Social Media This Week:

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Just listed!  Check this out West Valley Folks!

12614 W ALEGRE Drive, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340

Property Type: Residential Bedrooms: 4 Baths: 2 Square Footage: 2,284 Lot Size (sq. ft.): 7,226 Status: Closed
Current Price: $475,000 Last Modified: 1/30/2024


SELLER OFFERING $10k towards Buyer's Closing Costs/Rate Buy down fee upon successful COE. Beautiful single-level home features vaulted ceilings and an open feel. This split floor plan has 4 bedrooms and 2 bath. Greatroom has plenty of space, entertainment niche. Kitchen is setup for the chef with staggered cabinets, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, center island w/breakfast bar and dining. The master bedroom, tub/shower, double sink vanity and large walk in closet. Outside you will find a covered patio, grassy area, raised paver patio with gas firepit and seating. Side gate offers easy access to the back yard. 2 car garage w/cabinets.

More Information MLS# 6597042

Contract Information

Status Change Date: 2023-12-01 Sold Price: $475,000 Status: Closed Current Price: $475,000 List Date: 2023-08-25 Type: ER Ownership: Fee Simple Co-Ownership (Fractional) Agreement YN: No Subagents: N Buyer/Broker: Y Buyer Broker $/%: % Comp to Buyer Broker: 2.5 Variable Commission: N

Location, Tax & Legal

House Number: 12614 Compass: W Street Name: ALEGRE St Suffix: Drive City/Town Code: Litchfield Park State/Province: AZ Zip Code: 85340 Zip4: 5542 Country: USA County Code: Maricopa Assessor's Map #: 7 Assessor's Parcel #: 495 Assessor Number: 508-07-495 Legal Description (Abbrev): WIGWAM CREEK SOUTH PARCELS 8 & 9 MCR 570-07 Subdivision: WIGWAM CREEK SOUTH PARCELS 8 & 9 Tax Municipality: Maricopa - COUNTY Taxes: 1665 Tax Year: 2022

General Property Description

Dwelling Type: Single Family - Detached Dwelling Styles: Detached Exterior Stories: 1 # of Interior Levels: 1 # Bedrooms: 4 # Bathrooms: 2 Approx SQFT: 2284 Price/SqFt: 207.96 Horses: N Model: Persimmon Builder Name: Fulton Year Built: 2003 Approx Lot SqFt: 7226 Approx Lot Acres: 0.166 Flood Zone: TBD Pool: None Planned Comm Name: Wigwam South Marketing Name: Wigwam South Elementary School: Corte Sierra Elementary School Jr. High School: Wigwam Creek Middle School High School: Millennium High School Elementary School District: Litchfield Elementary District High School District: Agua Fria Union High School District

Remarks & Misc

Cross Street: Dysart & Indian School Rd Directions: From Dysart, East to 127th Ave, North on 127 Ave, east on Sells, north on 126th Drive, east on Alegre. Geo Lat: 33.500857 Geo Lon: -112.330657

Status Change Info

Off Market Date: 2023-11-17 Under Contract Date: 2023-11-06 Close of Escrow Date: 2023-11-30 Sold Price: $475,000

Legal Info

Township: 2N Range: 1W Section: 23 Lot Number: 112

Association & Fees

HOA Y/N: Y HOA Disclosure/Addendum Affirmation: Yes HOA Transfer Fee: 155 HOA Fee: 68.5 HOA Paid Frequency: Monthly HOA Name: Wigwam South HOA Telephone: 480-551-4300 HOA Management Company: First Residential HOA Management Phone: 480-551-4300 Special Assessment HOA: No HOA 2 Y/N: N PAD Fee Y/N: N Cap Improvement/Impact Fee $/%: $ Cap Improvement/Impact Fee 2 $/%: $ Prepaid Association Fees HOA: 137 Disclosure Fees HOA: 245 Com Facilities Distr: N Land Lease Fee Y/N: N Rec Center Fee Y/N: N Rec Center Fee 2 Y/N: N Ttl Mthly Fee Equiv: 68.5


Basement Y/N: N

Separate Den/Office

Sep Den/Office Y/N: Y

Parking Spaces

Garage Spaces: 2 Total Covered Spaces: 2

Showing Notification Methods

Showing Service: Aligned Showings

Sold Info

Loan Type: FHA Loan Years: 30 Payment Type: Fixed Closing Cost Split: Seller Assist - A Buyer Concession $/%: $ Seller Concession to Buyer: 10000 Seller Concession $/%: $

Property Features

Special Listing Cond: N/A Architecture: Ranch Master Bathroom: Full Bth Master Bdrm; Separate Shwr & Tub; Double Sinks; Private Toilet Room Master Bedroom: Split Additional Bedroom: Master Bedroom Walk-in Closet Fireplace: Firepit Flooring: Carpet; Tile Windows: Sunscreen(s); Dual Pane; Low-E Pool Features: No Pool Spa: None Community Features: Children's Playgrnd Dining Area: Eat-in Kitchen; Breakfast Bar Kitchen Features: Range/Oven Elec; Disposal; Dishwasher; Built-in Microwave; Refrigerator; Pantry; Granite Countertops; Kitchen Island Laundry: Wshr/Dry HookUp Only Other Rooms: Great Room Features: Vaulted Ceiling(s); No Interior Steps Technology: Cable TV Avail; High Speed Internet Available Exterior Features: Covered Patio(s) Parking Features: Attch'd Gar Cabinets; Dir Entry frm Garage; Electric Door Opener; Extnded Lngth Garage; RV Gate Road Responsibility: City Maintained Road Construction: Frame - Wood Const - Finish: Painted; Stucco Roofing: Tile Cooling: Refrigeration; Ceiling Fan(s); Programmable Thmstat Heating: Natural Gas Plumbing: Gas Hot Water Heater Utilities: APS; SW Gas Water: Pvt Water Company Sewer: Sewer - Private Fencing: Block Property Description: North/South Exposure Landscaping: Grass Front; Grass Back; Yrd Wtring Sys Front; Yrd Wtring Sys Back; Auto Timer H2O Front; Auto Timer H2O Back Showing Notification Methods: Text; Phone Call Lockbox Type: Supra (ARMLS) Possession: Close of Escrow Association Fee Incl: Common Area Maint Assoc Rules/Info: Pets OK (See Rmrks); No Visible Truck Trailer RV Boat; Prof Managed Existing 1st Loan: VA New Financing: VA; FHA; Conventional Disclosures: Seller Discl Avail; Agency Discl Req
Listing Office: HomeSmart
Last Updated: January - 30 - 2024
12614 W ALEGRE Drive, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340- MLS# 6597042
The listing broker's offer of compensation is made only to participants of the MLS where the listing is filed.

Copyright 2024 Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. Information Not Guaranteed and Must Be Confirmed by End User. Site contains live data.

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That’s all for this week!  Get your downloadable copy of my newsletter here.  Know I am always here for any questions you have about Buying, Selling, or Investing in Residential Real Estate!  HomeOwnership too!  Vendors and Tradespeople too!  Don’t hesitate to Reach out

See you next Week!


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