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Market Summary for the Beginning of March

Starting with the basic ARMLS numbers for March 1, 2018 and comparing them with March 1, 2017 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 16,924 versus 19,648 last year - down 13.9% - and down 1.7% from 17,211 last month

  • Active Listings (including UCB): 21,474 versus 24,269 last year - down 11.5% - but up 1.2% compared with 21,209 last month

  • Pending Listings: 7,158 versus 7,194 last year - down 0.5% - but up 18.5% from 6,041 last month

  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending, CCBS & UCB): 11,708 versus 11,815 last year - down 0.9% - but up 16.6% from 10,039 last month

  • Monthly Sales: 7,017 versus 6,520 last year - up 7.6% - and up 14.4% from 6,212 last month

  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $158.72 versus $147.63 last year - up 7.5% - but down 1.3% from $160.76 last month

  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $251,000 versus $230,000 last year - up 9.1% - and up 2.4% $245,000 last month

Total active listings (including UCB and CCBS) managed to grow 1.2% during February, but when we remove the UCB and CCBS listings that already have a contract, we see a 1.7% decline in available supply. Not positive news for buyers who have faced dwindling supply for many years now. The situation is far worse for those looking for affordable homes. The available supply of single-family homes under $200,000 has collapsed by 48% over the past 12 months, and it was very weak to begin with. Things are a little easier between $200,000 and $300,000 but even here supply has dropped over 16% and competition from other buyers is intense. Activity has grown sharply in the price range from $300,000 to $600,000 yet supply is down 10% compared to March 1, 2017. For the lower ranks of the luxury market, between $600,000 and $1 million, available supply has fallen 7% and at the top, over $2 million, active listings have drifted lower by 2%. This leaves the mid-range luxury market, between $1 million and $2 million, as the only price range where supply is higher than this time last year. The increase is just 2%, from 1,185 to 1,214.

There are a few market segments where supply remains adequate, but for the most part Greater Phoenix remains woefully under supplied in both homes to rent and homes to purchase.

Under contract listing counts are slightly lower than last year but the difference is very small. February was a very good month for closed sales with a 7.5% increase over February 2017. This is a clean comparison because both months had 19 working days. We are still seeing sales rates rise without a corresponding increase in under-contract counts, partly because of listings that are added retrospectively after they have closed.

The monthly median sales price suddenly shot up 2.4% during February having been stuck around $245,000 for several months. In contrast the monthly average price per sq. ft. declined 1.3% after a very strong run. The last few months have been one of the best examples of how these measures do not follow each other very closely.

The average price per sq. ft. for pending listings has moved significantly higher over the past 4 weeks, so we expect the usual upward price trend to take hold this spring.

So far there is no sign that higher interest rates are keeping buyers away, but we will report immediately if we see any numbers that suggest this.


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