Housing Inventory Continues to Drop in Scottsdale


The number of active listings (housing inventory) continues to drop significantly in Scottsdale.

On April 27, 2011, the number of active listings in Scottsdale was 2,623 and thirty days later, the number had dropped to 2,409. This equates to a reduction on 8.7% in that time period.  Taking a longer term look, Scottsdale inventory for single family homes has dropped 22% in the last year.

And while home prices are not on the rise yet, there are some subtle indications that the Scottsdale housing market has stabilized, where the recent monthly average matches the annual average.

Scottsdale Price per Sq Foot may 26 2011

Buyer activity in Scottsdale remains high, even as we go into the heat of the summer months.  I have record number of clients flying in to town to purchase and I’m hearing the same from my fellow real estate agents.  We don’t have stats to document buyer interest, yet this is truly the first step in the home buying process.  Lookers turned into buyers pretty quickly in a active market like we are experiencing now.

Historic Scottsdale–A Walking Photo Tour

downtown-scottsdale (25 of 38) (Small)
I’ve had this copy of theHistoric Old Town Scottsdale: A 60-minute Self-Guided Walking Tour map on my desk for the past couple days, thinking I’d like to share it with you.  Every time I looked at the 4-page paper, I wished that it some photos, so I got my camera out and headed downtown.
The tour has 15 stops, and I discovered that even though I was stopping to take photos, the walking tour took less than 45 minutes. I’ll share the photos here, and you can read the details here.
  1. The “Little Red Schoolhouse”
    downtown-scottsdale (3 of 38) (Small)
    Built in 1909. Home to the Scottsdale Historical Society.
  2. Mexican Imports Shop
    downtown-scottsdale (6 of 38) (Small)Built in 1923. Originally Johnny Rose’s Pool Hall, that doubled as a silent movie theater on Saturday nights.
  3. Bischoff’s Shades of the West
    downtown-scottsdale (5 of 38) (Small)
    Located at what used to be the entirety of downtown Scottsdale at Brown Avenue and Main Street. Site of Scottsdale’s first general store and post office.
  4. Rusty Spur Saloon
    downtown-scottsdale (7 of 38) (Small)
    downtown-scottsdale (8 of 38) (Small)Former site of Farmer’s State Bank.  The old bank vault holds liquor now.
  5. Saba’s Western Wear
    downtown-scottsdale (10 of 38) (Small)
    Originally the site of a drug store built in 1921. The original brick pharmacy still stands behind the rustic façade.
  6. Porter’s
    downtown-scottsdale (13 of 38) (Small)
    downtown-scottsdale (11 of 38) (Small)

    downtown-scottsdale (12 of 38) (Small)
    Porter’s is the site of the first regular post office, built in 1928.  The mail from Phoenix was delivered twice a day.
  7. Sugar Bowl
    downtown-scottsdale (15 of 38) (Small)
    A long-time favorite, the Sugar Bowl was built in 1950, first as a general store, and then converted to an ice cream parlor in 1958.
  8. Pink Pony
    downtown-scottsdale (16 of 38) (Small)
    The Pink Pony was constructed in 1954 by Charlie Briley, who played a major role in bringing the Cactus League to Scottsdale.  Still a popular place for both fans and players.
  9. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission Church
    downtown-scottsdale (18 of 38) (Small)
    downtown-scottsdale (22 of 38) (Small)
    downtown-scottsdale (23 of 38) (Small)
    Built with volunteer labor and donated materials in 1933 by the resident of the Mexican settlement. Constructed of 14,000 adobe blocks, weighing 50 pounds each, that were made on site.

  10. Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop
    downtown-scottsdale (27 of 38) (Small)
    downtown-scottsdale (26 of 38) (Small)

    downtown-scottsdale (24 of 38) (Small)
    The blacksmith who wanted to put his shop on Main Street, was told by town father to put it “out on the edge of town”.  At the time, that was Brown Avenue and Second Street.
  11. Los Olivos Mexican Patio
    downtown-scottsdale (31 of 38) (Small)
    downtown-scottsdale (28 of 38) (Small)
    Los Olivos was established more than 50 years ago by the Corral family, who still run the restaurant. Named for the olive trees on Second Street.
  12. Old Olive Trees
    downtown-scottsdale (30 of 38) (Small)
    These olive trees were planted in 1896 by Chaplain Winfield Scott, the founder of Scottsdale. Enclosing a 40-acre orange grove, the olive trees survived a drought in the late 1890’s, but orange trees did not.
  13. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)
    downtown-scottsdale (29 of 38) (Small)
    downtown-scottsdale (32 of 38) (Small)
    The museum, designed by Will Bruder, was built incorporating new architecture, while incorporating the renovation of a movie theatre built in the 1970’s.
  14. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
    downtown-scottsdale (33 of 38) (Small)
    Designed by Benny Gonzales and built on the site of the Corral family’s former adobe pit, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is dedicated to fostering the cultural interests of the local community.
  15. Scottsdale Public Library (Civic Center Branch)
    downtown-scottsdale (35 of 38) (Small)
    The library houses a large reference collection of materials related the history, life and culture of Arizona and the Southwest.
Related Links:
Historic Scottsdale (Medium)
A History of Scottsdale – This timeline include tidbits like:
  • The town was originally to be called Orangedale.
  • Several German prisoners of war escaped from the Prisoner of War Camp on 64th Street South of Thomas Road on Christmas Ever 1944.
  • In 1962, an ordinance is passed by the city council prohibiting the erection of new billboards.
  • A photographic journey through time, from 1865-1988.
This post was created and posted on AtHomeInScottsdale.com 
Photo Credit: Dru Bloomfield. Available for re-use via Creative Commons license and link back to this web site.

Median home prices in Scottsdale–what do they look like today?

Here’s a quick way to get updated info on Scottsdale home prices. You can click on the pins to get the median listing prices for all areas of Scottsdale, and if you want more info, you can sign up to have a report emailed to you ever couple of weeks.

Regardless of the date that you click a pin, the data will be current, not historic, so this might be a page you want to bookmark.

Scottsdale Real Estate Market Gaining Strength in McCormick, Gainey, and Scottsdale Ranches

Scottsdale 85258

Check out this increasingly positive new for the Scottsdale real estate market. In searching through the Cromford Report for Scottsdale, I discovered something fairly remarkable.

As you can see in the chart above, the percentage of distressed sale listed is almost identical to those sold.  And these distressed sales make up only 25% of the market, which is as low as you will see in all of Scottsdale.

The third important point is that the average price per square feet for sold properties is almost identical for normal and pre-foreclosures.  Typically, pre-foreclosures (or short sales) are much more aligned with lender-owned pricing.

Good to see some improved market strength in central Scottsdale 85258, home to the Ranches – McCormick Ranch, Gainey Ranch, and Scottsdale Ranch.

Scottsdale home prices are on the rise

Scottsdale Price per Sq Foot

Another bright spot on the horizon. Improvement in Scottsdale home prices. I haven’t seen one of these appreciation gauges in the green zone for a very long time, maybe years!

As of May 12th, 2001:

The average price per square foot for homes sold in April 2001 was $181.  Averaging over the past year, the average is $176.

As you can see on the middle set of graphs, the average price per square foot has varied fairly significantly over the past year, ranging between $150 and $200/sf.  Looking at the annual average (the average of the prior 12 months), the downward trend shifted in March. 

Currently, appreciation for Scottsdale real estate (single family detached homes) is 3% annually, and 4.4% for the month of April.

Search for New Homes in Scottsdale and Phoenix Metro


I’ve just added a new home search tool on AtHomeinScottsdale.com.  You’ll be able to search for new homes and specs (where the builder picks designs the house, and has the home built or almost completed) for Scottsdale, Phoenix, and all the surrounding cities. 

Currently there are over 100 properties listing for Scottsdale. Not many, but for a city that’s short of open land and mostly built out, it was more than I was expecting.  Prices range from $238,000 to almost $3,000,000.

An important note:

Please take your Realtor with you on your first visit to any new home development.  If you don’t, he/she will not be able to represent you.  The builder’s representative will have that responsibility. 

I was in a new home community with clients last week.  The listing agent for the builder told us that only 7% of the buyers in that community had personal buyer representation.  He told my clients, who are relocating from another state, that they were lucky to have me. 

And you know, he was right.  I was able to ask important questions for them, reminding them of some previous conversations we’d had about their priorities.  I also researched the builder and shared some critical financial info that the buyers were grateful to have upfront, before making an offer.  I know they feel a lot more educated about the local area and that I’m looking out for their best interests.

Building a new home is exciting, and the builders around town are active. Buyers were in and out of every sales office that we visited.  It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz of a new home, so make sure you have someone there looking out for you!

Scottsdale: Local Real Estate is Definitely Looking Up

Looking up photo credit: kevygee

I’ve been inundated with new business in the past couple of weeks, which I always appreciate. And finally, some of the stats are starting to validate what many Realtors have been talking about for the past couple of months. Buyers are shopping, and they are buying.

I’m working with all types of buyers right now:  first-time, move-up, relocation, vacation home, retirement, and investors.  With all types of financing: Conventional, FHA, and cash. Buying: Short sales, foreclosures, and typical sales, both resale and new homes.

My opinion is that the Scottsdale real estate market is healthier that much of the media has been reporting on.

ARMLS has a great monthly report that report on pending sales.  However, to get to a pending sale, buyers have to be out looking, first on the Internet and then in real life. 

Many buyers are starting out with the assumption that they can throw an offer out there and get a great deal.  What they are quickly finding is that they have competition from all the other buyers out there.  Multiple offers. Best and final. Language that buyers quickly come to find are much more common than they ever anticipated.

What is difficult to report is the scope of this new business. The number of people that are out looking.  The number of people flying in to view homes.  It’s only the middle of May and I have four appointments pending in June with people flying in to buy homes.  Most people who fly in to look at homes are very serious about it.  And my sense is that people have this sense that prices are low and not going (much, if any) lower.

None of us have a crystal ball, but many of the indicators are really starting to show an improving real estate market. 

From the Cromford Report – April 2011, prepared for the Old Republic Title Agency:

Generally speaking, for all price ranges:

  • Supply continues to decline and demand remains at a high level almost everywhere.
  • Having hit bottom in January and February, average pricing per sq. ft. is now moving higher.
  • Buyers are very active at all price levels, and multiple offers are becoming commonplace.
  • Pending foreclosure counts are dropping at an accelerating rate.

And then the news gets even better when you look at the price range reports:

Homes under $100,000:

  • Extremely strong demand and falling supply. Prices now stable for four months.
  • Demand is strong with sales up 41.5% over the same time last year.
  • This supply continues to gradually shift away from REOs (down 10.7% in one month) toward short sales

Homes Between $100,000 and $200,000

  • Supply down and demand strongly up. Pricing remains stable.
  • Demand has also strengthened nicely over the last month.
  • Short sales and pre-foreclosures declined from 22% to 20% of sales.

Homes between $200,000 and $400,000

  • The balance between supply and demand continues to improve. Recovery is well under way.
  • The reduction in supply was coupled with an increase in demand.
  • Normal sales retained a 56%market share.
  • This sector remains very stable and the short term outlook is positive, particularly for homes over $300,000

Homes between $400,000 and $800,000

  • Supply falling faster now and demand rising quickly too. Sales prices are increasing!
  • The sales volume was very strong in April.
  • Short sales took a 19% market share while normal sales rose to 68%

Homes over $800,000

  • Demand stronger while supply slowly declines. Recover is under way.
  • Supply now lower than at any time in the last three years.
  • Active REOs increased but these represent only 2.6% of total active listings.
  • The improved demand is a good sign for this sector and although there is still plenty of supply, 88% of this supply is NOT distressed. Thus we see pricing continuing to firm up.

For a copy of the full report, just fill out the contact form in the right hand column (“Have a question?”), and I’ll send a copy your way.