By Holly Henbest, Realtor

If you’ve been reading my articles over the last several months, you may remember that I said we’d soon start to see an increase in buyer activity and would likely become a seller’s market once again. Well, I hate to be one to say “I told you so” but…I told you so!

The data now shows (as of this writing in late March) that Maricopa County is now a seller’s market – always keeping in mind that real estate values are very much neighborhood specific, so some neighborhoods may not feel like as much of a seller’s market as others. It really depends on an individual neighborhood’s supply and demand. However, the general Maricopa County data is showing that we are overall back in favor of sellers.
Inventory remains low and buyer activity has increased. Over the last couple of months, we’ve seen many situations where a house has been on the market for a few months and then one day it gets multiple offers. Specifically, we had a buyer looking at a house in Desert Ridge that was on the market for over a month. He saw the house and decided to make an offer the next day. I called the listing agent and found out it had three offers and it ended up selling for over asking price. If only we had seen the home and made a decision the week before, we could have likely purchased the home for less. We had another client that saw a condo listed in Desert Ridge and wanted to make an offer after it had been on the market for over a month. The day we saw it we found out it also had multiple offers.
We always tell our buyers that while they are thinking about a home, someone else might be acting on it, so time is of the essence when you find the one you want. Back in the day, buyers would look at homes online and then pick out a few to see over the weekend. Those days are long gone and now it’s in a buyer’s best interest to be ready to look as soon as a home is listed or as soon as they know they have interest in the home. Waiting just one day can mean someone else is buying it or it gets multiple offers and your leverage to negotiate is diminished.

In addition to the trend becoming in favor of sellers, we’re also seeing nice increases in the average price per square foot.
January 15 $264.13
February 15 $268.24
March 15 $273.22

Price per square foot is very generalized and can also just mean that higher priced homes are selling, so it skews the numbers, but it is an overall indication of a healthy market to see a positive trend.

Although the second half of 2022 was not as robust as the first half of 2022, we can now confirm that the technical “bottom of the market’ was from November 15 – December 11. It was a small window of time, so not the “crash” that so many speculated would occur.

Not only was the bottom of the market short lived, but it was also during the holiday season, so there was additionally an impact of that seasonality pattern. Not as many people want to move during the holidays, so not a huge shock with that trend.

If you’ve had any concerns about an increase in home foreclosures, you can put that concern to rest too. The Cromford Report recently stated: “Anyone who is hoping for a flood of supply from foreclosures is living on a different planet from our real world. Based on the number of Notices of Trustee Sale being recorded, there is absolutely no sign of this becoming a possibility.”

The bottom line is that we saw a decrease in listings and buyer activity during the second half of 2022. This year we’ve seen an increase in buyer activity that started when we saw some interest rate relief in January. Although interest rates continue to bounce up and down, we’ve also experienced that buyers and sellers are now more educated in their options related to buying down the interest rate. It’s become basically common practice to ask the seller to contribute to closing costs, so that the buyer can buy-down their interest rate. Giving some relief on the interest rate has sparked buyers to move forward with their plans to purchase. Until we see some significant increases in available homes for sale, we’re likely to continue to see the seller’s market take a firmer hold.

If you ever have any questions about your specific neighborhood, please reach out and we’re happy to provide you with current information.

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 has been ranked #24 in the Top 50 Realtors by the “Phoenix Business Journal” for the past several years and recognized by “So Scottsdale!” magazine as a Real Estate Superstar for 2019, 2020 and 2021. She’s also been the #1 ranked realtor at Realty One Group/North Scottsdale for the past several years. Learn more at