Phoenix Real Estate and Housing Market Report January 2012

phoenix-real-estate-news-Jan-2012It’s been a rock and roll month in real estate in downtown Phoenix for the Urban Team. Actually it’s been pretty wild throughout Maricopa Country. You may have heard that there aren’t a lot of homes for people to buy these days. We’ve been talking about that very fact since September.

Let’s take a look at some of the home and condo sales numbers we found on ARMLS today and/or provided by our friend Mike Orr of the Cromford Report. Just as a FYI, this does not include homes that were bought at the court house steps, AKA Trustee Sales.

  • Number of single family homes for sale in Maricopa County:  11,674. According to ARMLS we had 35,276 homes for sale this time last year.
  • Number of single family homes for sale in Phoenix, AZ: 2338. This is only 2338 homes for sale in all of Phoenix where we have a population in the 1.5 million range.
  • Number of single family homes for sale in Scottsdale, AZ:  1772. Scottsdale only has about a quarter of a million people, still not many homes to choose from.
  • Condos for Sale in Maricopa County: 2645. We had about two times that amount in January 2011.
  • Condos, Townhouses and Lofts for Sale in Phoenix: 671
  • Hottest Zip Codes in Phoenix : 85054, 85037, 85019, 85027, 85035, 85031, 85033, 85052, 85017 (Based on Cromford Report Stats)


  • Number of single family homes for sale: 127
  • Number of condos/townhouse/loft for sale: 87
  • Number of homes under contract:  142
  • Humber of condos under contract: 65
  • How many homes and condo/TH/lofts were sold in January 2012: 26. Twenty six is a small number, yet when the supply is low so the sales numbers follow.

As you can see, the supply of homes throughout greater Phoenix is rather squat. In fact, we have not seen such low numbers since the frenzy of 2005-2006. The result is a large demand, small supply resulting in home values finally seeing a significant upswing. In face, Mike Orr tells up home prices jumped several percent in December alone. Here is what he said in his mid-January report to the good folks at Fidelity National Title, AZ.:

We now have fewer than 4,000 active listings in Phoenix so supply is getting exceptionally tight, especially as one third of these already have a contract waiting for short sale approval from the lender(s) . The low supply is finally resulting in price increases. The monthly median sales price has jumped to $99,000, up nearly 9% in one month and 18% higher than 12 months ago. The change in the sales price per sq.ft. is much more modest – up 0.9% in 1 month but is now 7% higher than last year at this time. The monthly sales rate was up 17% in December from November, but pending sales have fallen back 9 .2%, so January’s sales are likely to be considerably lower. The main reason for the sharp jump in the median sales price is the decline in REO sales from 36% to 28% . With foreclosure notices down 19% in December from November, we see REOs becoming much less significant in 2012. The areas with the lowest inventory relative to demand include 85054, 85037, 85019, 85027, 85035, 85031, 85033,85053 and 850 17. The relatively expensive 85012, 85016 and 85018 have adequate supply, but are still below normal.

Click Here For Mike Orr’s Complete January 2012 Real Estate Report for Phoenix AZ

Our Conclusions About the Downtown, North Central and Greater Phoenix Real Estate Market, January 2012.

It is clearly obvious that the market has taken a turn for the positive. I should say this is good news for those selling a home, condo or loft. If you are buying real estate, it may be a frustrating time.

The significant reduction in homes and condos for sale throughout greater Phoenix is causing some bidding wars for buyers. In our own practice we’ve been seeing multiple offers coming in on properties. One of our recent listings had 4 offers in the first 2 days and brother Ron placed on offer on a home this past Friday and the listing agent said she stopped taking offers late Saturday when she had over a dozen.

We believe homes prices in the $350,000 and under range are going to sell well over the next 4-6 months, especially those that are in good to great condition. If you’ve been waiting to put your home on the market, you may want to get your ducks in a row. Those whose homes are well maintained and properly staged will likely fetch good numbers.

If you are marginally upside down, less than 15%, you’ll want to keep an eye on the market. You may find you are in a much better position by late Spring. If you have questions about short sales, we have an entire section devoted to the subject on our site.  Short Sale Information from the Urban Team. In addition, we are happy to perform a value analysis so you know approximately what your place is worth.

Our Real Estate and Housing Market Predictions for the Next Three Months

We expect to see very little change in the supply/demand part of the Phoenix real estate market. Foreclosures continue to dwindle downward so we don’t expect a glut of homes to appear. We believe there will be an increase in the number of short sales as people take advantage of the bank/government incentives, especially protection from IRS taxes that is due to expire at the end of 2012.

We encourage people who are significantly upside down and considering a short sale to seek legal/tax/Realtor advice before the summer begins. If a short sale is in your best interest, you’ll want to move forward before the IRS tax protection provided in the 2007 debt relief act expires.

Downtown Phoenix Real Estate Wrap-up

We believe the downtown real estate market, in general, is going to perform well in the next 2 quarters, even condos. As you saw in the numbers section of the article, there are only about 200 properties on the market total. Since downtown Phoenix has the highest employment and job growth numbers in the region, we expect an increase in demand for homes in Phoenix’s core. The only area we still are seeing some distress is the 85006 zip code where 51% of the listings are distressed sales foreclosure or short sales.  Since distressed properties tend to hold down home values, we are a little hesitant. One other item of note is the upswing in listings at Regency House. Looks like with the end of Phase 1 construction many people are hoping to capitalize on renewed interest in the property.

We thank you for taking a little time with us. If you have questions or need a real estate team who is passionate about keeping you safe and happy, we would be over-the-top delighted to help. Our contact info is below as well as a easy-to-use email contact form.

Gene Urban and Ron Urban

The Urban Team at Realty Executives
7600 N. 16th Street, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85020
602-234-5777 (voice)
602-486-4839 (text)

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