Bob’s Review – July’s Housing Market Stats

The Phoenix Metropolitan Area continued to see home prices inching higher.

Our local Multiple Listing Service reports the following:

  • Home sales fell in July, down 14.8% from one year ago to a total of 7,148.  This is based primarily on a lack of inventory, fewer homes currently for sale.
  • Total inventory of homes for sale rose for the first time since January for a total of 20,384 total listings.  At the same time, fewer homes came on the market in July, 8,862 a drop of 4.4% over last month.  As a result the “Months Supply of Inventory” increased slightly to 2.85 months. When our market is at four months of inventory, we are in balance.  Currently we are in a strong seller’s market.
  • The four significant metrics of home prices increased in July.  The median price of new listings in July increased 2.6% to $159,900; the average list price also increased 1.1% to $230,300.  The median sales price increased 3.2% to $146,000. The average sales price also increased 1.2% ending at $197,000.
  • The average days a home is on the market before it closes escrow is continuing to drop.  In July the average decreased another two days to 73.  In  February 2008 it was 138 days.  Declining days on market is another indication of a strong selling market.

The increase in inventory is a result of fewer homes sold as compared with the new listings coming on the market.  The listing activity is below our normal market rate while the sales figures are considered robust (monthly sales in Phoenix about 7,000 units is considered robust).  What is pushing the prices of homes higher is the absence of homes for sale.  Currently we should have over 8,000 additional homes for sale to maintain a strong sales market.  As both the numbers of homes in foreclosure and short sales continue their downward trend (a very positive sign) the sales market will need to look to traditional listings to add to inventory.  Until that happens, we will struggle to find quality homes for sale as we watch home prices increase.