Cinco De Mayo Celebration at the Scottsdale Mall

It’s time for a party – and here’s a family option for you.

Saturday, May 3rd, from 6 to 9pm

The City of Scottsdale Parks and Recreation Division is hosting a family Cinco De Mayo Celebration at the Scottsdale Mall, just north of the Scottsdale Arts Center on the Outdoor stage. City of Scottsdale’s International Club Dancers will be performing. There will be Mariachis and live music by Mundo Latino. Game and craft booths will be available for everyone to participate in. There will also be prizes to raffle off for participating in the activities. Cinco De Mayo marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French. Many celebrate this significant day by having parades, live music, folklorico dancing and other types of festive activities.

Arizona Real Estate Reports and Economic Forecasts

Yesterday, a neighbor asked for my take on the real estate market.  He’s has a strong economics background, so I knew that he’d want more than just my perspective and experience, so I shared the following three web sites with him.  

If you are into historical reports, market trend, and forecasting, I think you might really enjoy them. 

Phoenix Real Estate Bloggers – Working Together

Last week was a big week for real estate bloggers working in the East Valley, Scottsdale, and Phoenix Metro. As real estate buyers and sellers turn to the Internet to find real estate information, and even to find and qualify their Realtor, blogging becomes more and more mainstream.

While I signed up for my first blog over two years ago, it was only last summer that I finally started writing. What I found when I began networking with other blogging Realtors, was that there’s a need to connect and share. The relationships that I’ve found via the blogosphere have expanded my universe into the realms of social networking. I think the biggest surprise for me has been how friendly and helpful more experienced bloggers and social networkers have been.

And last week was an example of just how connected the Phoenix area real estate bloggers have become, and the lengths they will go to in helping educate other agents on how to get started blogging.

On Thursday, the East Valley Real Estate Blogging Network held the first get together in Gilbert and attracted a good number of bloggers, many who are prolific on Active Rain.

Technology Symposium - SAARThe Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® hosted a Technology Symposium that included several topics, including a demo of our soon-to-be new Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and, of course, blogging. One hundred and fifty real estate agents from around the valley attended. Our keynote and moderator, Keith Garner, from the National Association of REALTORS® Center for Technology shared a video on Web 2.0, The Machine is Us/ing Us“, that may really open your mind to the possibilities – truly worth watching.

More photos from the symposium.

Saturday morning, even more bloggers, all in real estate related industries, met for breakfast in Scottsdale. I arrived late, but still had the opportunity to meet new bloggers and re-connect with others. People were still standing in the middle of the restaurant chatting, as I pulled myself away.
Conversations that occur at these networking events are amazing. People who have never met each other in person, but who are connected on-line, greet each other as long-lost friends. There’s almost a hunger for connecting in person, after getting to know someone from reading their writing for so long.

Keith and I had a sidebar conversation during our time together, and he mentioned the large population of social media types and real estate bloggers in the Phoenix area. Being in the midst of this dynamic group of people has been an inspiration to me, and as I have mentioned in the past, blogging has made me a better REALTOR®.

And if you are Phoenix, Scottsdale, or East Valley buyer or seller reading this blog, I’d encourage you to search around the Internet to find a real estate agent that blogs, who has the experience and skills you need, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to read local real estate blogs.

Here are just a few bloggers I’ve met, who participated in this past week’s events:

You’ll find that we all have different “voices”, and different areas of expertise, plus we provide a real-time look of communities around the valley. Add in the up-to-date real estate statistics that are shared, and you will find that reading real estate blogs to be a valuable addition to your search for professional real estate expertise.

Scottsdale School Superintendent Announces Retirement

John Baracy, Superintendent of the Scottsdale Unified School District for the for past 4 years, announced his retirement this week.  He brought a vibrancy and collaborative environment to this highly performing school district and will be greatly missed. 

My interactions with Dr. “B” were primarily in the area of special education, where he showed his support for the 10% of the Scottsdale students that receive special services.  As a parent of an adult child with special needs, Dr. Baracy knew both sides of the story. As a parent, he’d fought the battle for needed educational services for his child, and as an administrator, he knew the realities of providing federally mandated services that were even close to being fully funded at the federal or state level.  I appreciate Dr. Baracy’s willingness to listen, to explain, and to forge ahead.

I’m sorry to see him leave. He will be missed.

For more information on Scottsdale schools:

Scottsdale Real Estate Sales Stats – A Quick View Overall and By Price

The median list price for re-sale residential homes in Scottsdale has been rising steadily since last fall. 

Scottsdale real estate home prices median

However in most Scottsdale zip codes, the prices increases are seen in the upper 25% of the price range.  In the following charts, the first group is defined as lowest 25% priced homes and increase up to the fourth quadrant which includes the highest 25% priced homes.

Scottsdale real estate home prices median by price range

The time that it takes to sell a home is still increasing, and overall shows no sign of tapering off. 

Scottsdale real estate home days on market

However, when the data is broken down by home price, it’s easy to see that the lower priced end of the market may be showing some signs of relief.

Scottsdale days on market by price range

And then finally, the number of homes being sold has improved since last summer, but shows some signs of tapering off.

Scottsdale real estate homes sold

As would be expected, homes in the lower price ranges are selling at a higher and more consistent pace, than the upper end of the Scottsdale real estate market.

Scottsdale real estate homes sold

Scottsdale has weathered the real estate market changes better than many other Phoenix metropolitan cities.  I think it will be interesting to see where the next couple months take us.  As always, comment, email, or call, if you have any questions, or would like more detail. 

Phoenix Real Estate: What do the numbers say?

Phil Sexton, also from John Hall & Associates, commented yesterday on the Inman Community area, in response to the question: “How’s the real estate selling in your area??????

The question here in Phoenix: Is it improving or is it seasonal? We have been improving month over month since Jan – but that’s normal. The encouraging part is that our local MLS currently has over 7,000 pending sales (1st time in a long time) and we already have 2,500 closings in April. If April posts a bigger number than March it will be the first time since 2004 that we have had increasing sales 4 months in a row.  That’s a good arguement that it’s improving!

An interesting point is that over half of the sales are properties that are vacant (normally 20%ish). Which means we aren’t converting as many sellers to buyers – we’re just absorbing the banks and other investors inventory. That will make it a slower recovery, but if we can couple that with ‘steady’ we’ll be good!

And then today, Leif Swanson, also from John Hall, posted some of his comprehensive home stats

Reports from around the country say that sales of existing homes fell by 2% in March 2008.  How did the Phoenix area do in March?  Well, there were 3445 resale home sales in February 2008 and 4303 sales in March 2008 in Phoenix.  So…. sales of existing homes in the Phoenix metropolitan area rose by 25% in March 2008.  Sales so far in April (as of 4-23-08) are 2894 (above pace from March 1-23, 2008 [2560] and February 1-23, 2008 [2148]).  There are currently close to 7200 pending sales, which should lead to improved sales figures for April and May 2008.

And then on the John Hall & Associates company blog, an overview from the R.L. Brown presentation given today, was posted.  The title –  “We’re in the beginning stages of feeling better.” RL Brown.  From what I read, we are seeing signs of improvement, yet Brown’s projections indicate that the housing recovery still has a way to go.  At the same time, he confirms that each neighborhood needs to be looked at and treated individually.

Earlier this year, I completed a comparison of six Scottsdale neighborhoods, and came to the same conclusion that each neighborhood really has to be viewed individually.  Price appreciation or depreciation varied dramatically from community to community.  

So as you get ready to buy or sell your house, it’s really critical to have your agent take a good, hard look at what is going on in your neighborhood, and in the surrounding areas.  This info will give you the upper hand in knowing how home sales and prices are really doing in the area that matters to you.  As always, it’s important to do your homework.  If you need help, call or email.