First Quarter, 2014 Market Review for Fountain Hills: Normal is Anything but Boring!

Sonoran 1stQtr2014 MarketReportAfter years of boom & bust, buyer’s markets then seller’s markets, foreclosures, short sales, bank takeovers, and all sort of trials and tribulations, it’s fairly easy to say with an ounce of confidence and a pinch of skepticism that our local market is…… least for a little while……normal.

Normal, of course, is highly subjective, but here’s our take on what “normal” looks like in 2014 and early 2015.

Some properties will sell.  But some will not.  Prices will go up.  But some will go down.

“Normal” is a predicable balance of unpredictable trends, fueled by factors as various as seasonal traffic, out-of-state climates, mortgage lending programs, school ratings, the condition of streets and parks, abundance of activities and Home Depot specials.

As you will see in our 1st Quarter, 2014 Market Review, prices of homes remained somewhat consistent (and  on the rise, depending on the period of time you use to analyze the data), yet there are 20% more homes on the market than one year ago and significantly less home buyers–28% less for the 1st quarter ending 2014 compared to 2013.  But wait…Supply is UP and Demand is DOWN…yet prices remain constant.  That would drive any economics student crazy.  Unless the economics student understood the passion behind buying a home.

In the absence of institutional investers (which are virtually gone from our market), most home buying decisions are made with 2 parts science and 3 parts emotion.  We’ve noticed there are two kinds of sales in this market:  1) Well put-together homes with many of the factors that buyers are seeking. These sell quickly and at top dollar, or; 2) Homes that need TLC or some amount of rework…but they sell because they are priced well and affordably.  However, it’s the homes that DON’T SELL that bear studying.  These are the homes that are starting to climb signficantly in Days on Market.  They are generally not updated…may not have a good open view…do not offer the right features, floorplan or amenties…yet they are priced commensurate with homes that have all the right factors.  All in all, a bad pricing decision that suggests the need for some coaching in market evaluation or home improvements…or both.

The great news is that Fountain Hills is still a very attractive destination for home buyers of all ages.  Frankly, even for those families that feel priced out of the market.  There are a number of larger homes with family-friendly floorplans and yards that are priced competitevely.  In addtion, we know of some attractive 5% down programs that, when combined with Seller provided closing cost assistance can be very attractive to families wanting good quality of life and room to grow.

If all of the above sounds complex and like a lot of hard work, then you get an “A” for paying attention.  In a “normal” market, real estate sales do not come easy as they did in 2004-2007.  They require expertise, hard work, perserverence and good old fashioned elbow grease.  Yet the rewards can be satisfying, especially in a market like Fountain Hills that is eager to reward those who “do it right.”

For a copy of our 21-page 1st Quarter, 2014 Market Review, contact your Sonoran Lifestyle Sales Associate or call 480-816-5557.

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