May 2019 Phoenix Real Estate Report

phoenix real estate market updateHighlights of my May 2019 Phoenix Real Estate Market Report:

1. How fast are homes selling? Average number of days on market for homes sold is 68 (up 3 from last year)
2. How many homes are for sale? We currently have 20,756 properties for sale (up 9.5% from last year)
3. What is the average sales price? Homes around the valley are selling for $341,243 (up 5.5% from last year)

April’s supply (measured by 11,158 homes listed for sale last month) was up 3.3% from April 2018 and April’s demand (measured by 9,663 homes sold last month) was up 5.2% from April 2018. In the latest rolling 12 months, home values have increased over 5% and our current market absorption rate is a healthy 2.67 months (keep in mind, lower is better if you are selling) but still hovering near its high for the last year.

What is going on? April was a very good month for valley home sales. For the first time in 2019, we saw a year-over-year gain in sales volume. As we enter the second quarter of 2019, real estate professionals are viewing the market with renewed optimism. The doldrums from the final quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 are behind us. Lower interest rates and higher loan limits have lifted the market. Looking ahead to May, we again expect strong sales numbers. The projected gain in year-over-year average home price is 1.8%. As discussed in prior issues, moderating price increases are linked to affordability, or in other words, what the market can bear.

One factor that could influence our home prices further is an increase in buyers fleeing California. The data shows the median home price for Phoenix buyers with a California address was 14% higher. In a recently published Redfin Migration Report, Phoenix was named as the top destination in the country. More than a third of people searching for Phoenix homes last quarter were out-of-towners. So many people are coming here from expensive cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle for our low cost of living and great weather. The trend is really increasing lately thanks to strong job growth and companies such as Allstate, Intel, Boeing, Microsoft and Facebook moving to the area.

Curious about your current Phoenix home value? Ask me for your Phoenix Property Value report created especially for your home and emailed to you within 24 hours. It is filled with local market data, demographics, pricing trends, your home’s estimated value and my confidence rating.

Appropriate pricing and professional photography to showcase a property are essential in maximizing value and minimizing time on market. Ask about my written guarantee to sell a home within 67 days at a price acceptable to the owner or they get $1,000 from me at closing.

Data from ARMLS® COPYRIGHT 2019.

Refinance FHA loan to Conventional loan

FHA refinance to conventionalI often have past clients who purchased their home in Phoenix with an FHA loan ask me about the current estimated value of their home because they are considering refinancing an FHA loan into a conventional loan. Why should you also look into this? To save money every month!

Homeowners who purchased a house using an FHA loan most likely put 3.5% of the purchase price as a down payment. In order to make the lender comfortable with a reduced down payment, this buyer was required to carry mortgage insurance for the life of the FHA loan. How much does mortgage insurance cost? It’s calculated as a function of the size of the loan and the borrower’s credit score (FICO) but typically runs about $200 per month for an FHA loan of $275,000 with a FICO of 700. The monthly mortgage insurance premium declines as the loan balance is paid down, but still amounts to $30,000 for the life of the FHA mortgage in this example!

To qualify for a conventional loan, borrowers must put down 20% of the purchase price of the home. If they go the FHA route of 3.5% down, they will need to contact their lender when they believe they have now built up 20% or more equity in the home. How do you build 20% or more equity? By either paying down the loan balance so the loan to value ratio is less than 80% (it started out at 96.5% in FHA scenario) and/or by having the home value increase. With Phoenix home values up substantially in recent years, if you purchased your home with an FHA loan, odds are you are in a great situation to refinance out of your FHA loan into a conventional loan.

I urge you to contact your lender to inquire about making this change to save thousands of dollars. If you are unsure of your home’s current value to assist in determining if your loan to value ratio is below 80%, request your no-cost and no-obligation Phoenix home value estimate from me. I do not need to visit your home and you will receive your report from me within 24 hours to present to your lender to see if you qualify for an FHA refinance.

Calculating Phoenix Home Value

Calculate Phoenix Home ValueEstimating the value of a Phoenix home is a science more than it is an art. Factors like average days on market, availability of other competing homes for sale and seasonal demand fluctuations should all be taken into consideration – but more so when determining the pricing strategy for your home, not calculating its market value.

Phoenix home value is calculated using a fairly strict set of criteria, including using:
– similar size homes (generally not more than +/- 15% in square footage difference)
– similar age homes (generally not more than +/- 10 years difference)
– similar neighborhoods or subdivisions (appraisers typically will not cross a major road or highway to find comps)

Phoenix home value is impacted by differences in:
– quality of home construction
– quality of improvements made
– size of lot
– lot views and/or privacy
– number of garage parking spaces
– number of bathrooms
– having a pool and/or spa
– having a fireplace

Once an opinion of fair value has been reached, how do you determine pricing strategy?

Within each neighborhood there are typically 3 price ranges:
– high (homes that bring the most $/sqft)
– low (homes that bring the least $/sqft)
– mid (homes that fall between high and low)

Most value ranges vary by more than $10/sqft so it is important to select the appropriate price range for the home and then to correctly position the home within the appropriate range. Having your home well positioned within the correct range doubles your chances of getting the home sold. Keep in mind that selling a home is both a price war and a beauty contest.

As you have probably realized by now, figuring out a home’s realistic market value and proper pricing strategy goes way beyond finding out what a neighbor sold their house for and multiplying that $/SQFT ratio by the total SQFT of living space in your house. Submit your property details if you would like me to provide you with a no cost, no obligation, value estimate for your Phoenix home.

Opendoor Reviews Offerpad Reviews

Opendoor reviews Offerpad reviewsLooking for Opendoor reviews or Offerpad reviews on Yelp? Good luck.

On February 11, 2019 Inman News reported that Yelp made finding these reviews almost impossible, by removing them from Yelp’s online search tool and from Google search results. The review pages are still accessible with direct links so consumers can still read old reviews and post new reviews – you just can’t search for the review pages any more since Yelp has stopped them from turning up in searches. When the review pages became unsearchable, Opendoor had a 3.0 star rating from over 180 reviews, while Offerpad had a 1.0 star rating from only 1 review. Interestingly, Opendoor has received financial backing from Yelp’s CEO as well as two former Yelp board members though they state the Yelp policy change has nothing to do with this relationship.

Why are reviews so important to a business? Consider when you make a small purchase decision, such as buying a new toaster or going out to eat. How often do you read reviews before making your choice? Let’s be honest, most of us hardly doing anything today with a little research first, which includes reading customer reviews and looking up star ratings. Would you buy a toaster with a rating of 3.0 stars in their reviews? Would you eat at a restaurant that only gets 3.0 stars from hundreds of patrons? And we’re talking about spending less than $100 in each of these situations. Consider then that selling a home is one of the biggest and most important financial transactions of many people’s lives. So if you won’t eat at a Chinese buffet with a questionable 3-star rating, would you sell your home with a company that gets the same rating?

Here is a link, which is also fully searchable on Google, to my rating and reviews from Zillow: Andrew Robb reviews.

First Time Home Buyer

Phoenix First Time Home BuyerLooking to buy your first home in Phoenix? There are three loan types and one down payment assistance program that may be ideal for you, depending on your situation:

1. Conventional loan is a mortgage available to buyers with as little as 3% (of property sales price) down payment. This will require mortgage insurance (in the form of a monthly premium built-in to the mortgage payment) unless the down payment is 20% or more of the sales price. Generally, mortgage insurance can later be removed by the lender once the equity in the home exceeds 22%. Borrowers will need to have a FICO credit score of at least 640 and typically the higher the credit score, the lower the insurance premium will be.

2. FHA loan is a mortgage available to buyers with as little as 3.5% (of property sales price) down payment. Mortgage insurance will also be required (in the form of a monthly premium built-in to the mortgage payment) but allows for borrowers to have a FICO as low as 580. For borrowers with a 500-579 FICO credit score, they must put down 10% of the sales price. Mortgage insurance remains for the life of the loan, so the only way to avoid paying it is to refinance out of an FHA loan into a conventional loan when possible for the borrower.

3. VA loan is a mortgage available to military (active or retired) buyers with as little as 0% (of property sales price) down payment. There is no mortgage insurance required however there is a VA funding fee of about 2.5% that is added to the loan balance at time of origination. Typically a borrower will need a FICO credit score of at least 640 to qualify, along with their military certificate of eligibility from the VA.

Arizona also offers a down payment assistance program to help first time home buyers in Phoenix. The main benefits of the Home Plus loan program are down payment assistance, closing cost assistance and reduced mortgage insurance premiums. To be eligible, buyer must occupy home as their primary residence, the home price cannot exceed the program limit, buyer must meet income and credit score requirements, and finally the buyer must also complete an educational course about borrowing and home ownership. Borrowers who qualify for Home Plus can get up to 5% of the purchase price in the form of down payment assistance. This gift is by way of a no-interest (silent) second mortgage that is 100% forgiven as long you do not sell or refinance your home for 3 years.

Questions about these loan types or down payment assistance program? I can put you in touch with a variety of reputable local Phoenix lenders to handle all your inquiries.



RE/MAX Renaissance Realty
9059 W Lake Pleasant Pkwy #B200
Peoria, AZ 85382