By Holly Henbest, Realtor

The real estate market remains strong and the theme remains the same – low inventory and high demand. There are a number of economic sources that continue to report a positive outlook for the real estate market and many are predicting that home value appreciation will continue to accelerate.

Here is the data as reported in the Arizona MLS for February 1, 2021 compared with February 1, 2020 for Maricopa County:
• Active Listings: 5,180 versus 11,974 last year – down 56.7% – and down 14.5% from 6,055 last month
• Under Contract Listings: 11,617 versus 10,030 last year – up 15.8% – and up 17.7% from 9,868 last month
• Monthly Sales: 7,330 versus 6,464 last year – up 13.4%
• Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $217.59 versus $182.18 last year – up 19.4% – and up 2.9% from $211.50 last month

The key items to note: There are fewer listings, but more homes selling and the price is going up year over year and month over month.

The month of March is typically one of the biggest months where we see the volume of new listings increase. The weather is good, we’re past the holiday season, and people want to get moved before our temperatures exceed 100 degrees. It will be interesting to see the March data at the end of the month, but as we start the month, we are predicting a lighter surge than normal. Part of the hesitation of some sellers is the concern over finding their next home. We often hear that many people would love to list their home for sale, but they are worried when and where they will find their next dream home. As a realtor, we are wishing all the fence sitters would just jump into the market. If only everyone that wanted to sell was listed, we’d have more inventory for everyone to consider buying.

Some sellers are sitting on the sidelines thinking they’ll wait for prices to increase more before they buy. Keep in mind that if you’re looking to buy and sell in the same market, as prices are continuing to go up, they’ll be going up on what you want to buy too. When you buy and sell at the same time, you’re buying and selling in an equal market. Waiting for your price to go up on your home will only translate to a higher purchase price too. In addition, we are seeing indications that interest rates will continue to increase. As interest rates increase, your overall costs increase, so the sooner you buy, the lesser the costs.

For those buyers considering waiting to buy because they hope to see a surge in foreclosures, due to mortgage delinquency, we don’t see any reason to think this will happen. We recently read reports from Core Logic and the Cromford Report stating there is a declining level of delinquency. They do not believe we will see an impactful amount of foreclosures or distressed properties in the next year.

If you have any real estate questions, call us at 480-266-8785 or email holly@henbest.com.

Holly has been a Desert Ridge resident since 2000 and has been a realtor since 2006. She is the leader of The Henbest Team with Realty One Group. Holly is ranked in the top ½ of 1 percent of Realtors in Arizona and is a Certified Luxury Marketing Expert. She was also ranked #24 in 2019 by the Phoenix Business Journal and recognized by So Scottsdale! magazine as a Real Estate Superstar for 2019.