Scottsdale real estate appreciation lags behind rest of Phoenix Metro

Here’s another example of how local real estate is.  The news keeps reporting on the recovery of the Phoenix Metro real estate market, and it’s true, we have a very active market.  However, from the charts below, you can see that, by city, there are some striking differences, particularly in Scottsdale.

In the City of Phoenix, it’s very clear that prices are on the rise, with annual appreciation based on the monthly average of price per square foot, rising from almost –20% in June 2011 to +20 in April 2012.  That’s a 40% improvement!

Phoenix appreciation

Mesa has improved from the negative to the positive also, with current appreciation rates bouncing between 5 and 15% annually.

Mesa appreciation

Tempe is showing huge gains, too. With prices steadily improving from almost –30% in February 2011 to about 15% currently.

Tempe appreciation

Chandler is also on the rise, showing annual appreciation of over 20% in the past year.

Chandler appreciation

However, the picture is not so clear in Scottsdale. In 2011, the market jumped from negative to positive appreciation twice! And has continued to improve for the early months of 2012. While the gains are almost as striking as the nearby cities, it’s not a consistent improvement, and has dropped off in the second quarter.

So, while appreciation in Scottsdale remains slightly positive, it still has not reached the double digit improvements seen nearby.  So, essentially, it looks like there’s an opportunity for researching and investing in the Scottsdale real market while it lags behind.  I’ll clearly state that I have no idea what the futures holds, but it is possible that Scottsdale homes will begin to see appreciation that other cities in Metro Phoenix have already experienced. Prices were slower to drop in Scottsdale, so it is quite possible that they’ll be slower to rebound.

Scottsdale appreciation

More on Scottsdale and Phoenix real estate:

Severe shortage of homes for sale in Phoenix

From Michael Orr at the Cromford Report:  The short supply of homes for sale in the Phoenix area is getting more severe.

March 29 – The supply shortage is getting increasingly severe as new listings are now being added to ARMLS at the slowest seasonal rate since the current ARMLS database began in 2000. This new chart illustrates the trend. Note that January and February listings are well down compared with the same month last year. Note also that with only 2 days left to go in March we are going to be substantially down on both 2010 and 2011. In fact it already is certain to come in at the lowest level for any March in the last 13 years.


The Scottsdale Real Estate Market is Insane!


Yes, I think the Scottsdale real estate market is insane. And not just Scottsdale, it’s Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, and all the rest of the Valley of the Sun.

I’ve been working like a maniac for the month of March, and have seen so much craziness.  I feel for buyers who are totally challenged to find a home in our low inventory situation, and then who have to overbid to get one of the very few homes available.

Sellers on the other hand are starting to come out of the closet. And being surprised to find that they may not have to give their home away. That they actually have a product, their home, that’s in demand.

It’s total craziness.

For example:

  • One of my home buying clients sent me their short list of homes on Friday afternoon, so I can set up showings for Saturday. I schedule the showings, and then Saturday morning, I check the MLS, just to make sure that all of the homes they wanted to view were still available. Three of the six homes they wanted to see were under contract, overnight.
  • This same client now jokes cynically that if a house has been on the market over 20 days, there just must be something wrong with it.
  • Another home buyer is telling that searching for her first home is like another full time job. Her frustration level has escalated, too.

Sellers, on the other hand, are calling the shots.  Setting a price to today’s market, one that’s realistic for the home’s condition and location, will almost guarantee multiple offers.

  • Last night, I called to set up a showing for a Scottsdale home that went on the market a couple days ago.  The first allowed showings were for today.  As of last night, the selling agent said he had ten showing appointments scheduled for today, and that three buyers were ready to make offers, sight unseen. He was sure that the house would sell for over list price.

If that isn’t insanity, what is?

On the plus side, home prices are appreciating. Sellers who thought they would have to short sale,  and aren’t terribly “under water” can see that some day they may have a home with some value.

  • I was able to help a seller last month, who thought she was going to have to short sale her Scottsdale townhouse.  We priced the home so that she could walk away without have to bring any cash to the closing table.  She got her first offer within days, and when the home didn’t appraise, she took a second offer that did appraise over the very same price two weeks later!
  • And for another potential home seller, who thought she was going to have to short sell, we found that the estimated selling price of her home increased over 5% in just a couple weeks.


Some of my comments here are tongue-in-cheek. But, seriously, buying  a home should really be a highlight, not a chore, or a battle, or even a second job.

If you’re a home seller, call me! Let me tell you what I think the value of your home is today. And then, give you some ideas of what the market is doing in your neighborhood.

If you are a home buyer, yes, please call me, too. I will counsel you on what you need to do before you start your home search, and then also on strategies to get your offer accepted.

The real estate market is always changing, here in Scottsdale, as well as the rest of the world. We were hoping for a balanced market and looked how quickly it’s changed back to a seller’s market. And in only seven short years.


Scottsdale Real Estate: Million Dollar Homes for Sale

million dollar Scottsdale homes on Facebook

Scottsdale has more than its fair share of beautiful homes. If you’d like to take a quick look at what a million dollars will buy you in Scottsdale real estate, I invite you to my Facebook page for At Home in Scottsdale.

If you haven’t “Liked” my Facebook page before, you’ll have that option.  Once you Click the Like button, you will land on a page with links to million dollar homes in downtown, central and north Scottsdale.

And, if you’ve already Liked my Facebook page, just click on the Welcome tab in the left hand column, and go to the same million dollar listings page.

Easy. Always available. And current, with only property listings that are really still on the market.

Scottsdale Real Estate: Cash Buyers and Lack of Inventory Are Driving Home Prices Up

Cash Sales Dominated 2011

Scottsdale has a serious shortage of homes for sale right now. And cash buyers are out in droves.  In 2011, 47% of the more 100,000 home purchases in Phoenix were cash transactions.

I can talk through the past couple of days with you, just to illustrate the real situations that buyers are encountering.

Buyer made a full-price offer on a bank owned property that had been on the market for a LONG time (over 6 months). However, the bank had just took another major price reduction, so the property finally caught my clients’ attention. We wrote an offer.  The bank received multiple offers, so Best & Final offer was requested,  and while the buyer increased their offer to over list price, but other cash buyer went even higher. 

So we went on to Plan B, which in actuality was more like Plan J, based on the number of houses that they’d tried to purchase.  I call to set up showing for this property, but occupant says that she thinks the house might be under contract.  I call the agent who says, “Yes, we got six offers the first day the house was on the market, three were cash, all over list price.”

Needless to say, my client is now VERY frustrated.

I get an email and a call yesterday afternoon.  She says, “New house on the market today. We want it. Write the contract now.” I did and we negotiated to acceptable terms within the next six hours. Today, I hear that property has a  cash offer in backup position.

When we were in the boom years, people threw contracts at houses, with escalation clauses, and more and more money. And it’s not much different right now, and that seems really odd.

Interest rates are incredibly low.

There aren’t many houses on the market.

Prices are in almost the same place they were before the boom.

People still want to buy houses, yet have a much more conservative mindset.

Buyers are wanting to make sure they get a good value, but finding very quickly that values really are appreciating, and demand is very, very high for an inventory that is very, very low.

Sellers are getting savvy, and removing the appraisal contingency on purchase contracts. When this happens and the buyer is getting a loan, they must come up with any difference between the appraisal and the purchase price, if there is one. And in some cases, buyers are complying.

We’ve all been wondering when home prices would start to appreciate. Last year, we saw just over 6% appreciation in homes priced under $100,000.

Based on the dramatic change in buyer and seller perception over the past several weeks and months, it sure looks like me may see that appreciation creep up into higher price ranges.

As prices increase, more sellers will consider selling which will add to a desperately low inventory, and give some of these buyers who have been writing 5-10 offers, just to get one accepted, some hope that they may actually be able to buy a home. 

And in part, they will have some of the cash buyers who beat them out of their first home buying attempts to thank. Odd, isn’t it?

Full Price Offer in 20 Minutes: Is a Seller’s Market Heading our Way?

I woke to an interesting post on Facebook this morning, and when I shared it with my friends, a couple fellow real estate agents added their experiences on how quickly their listings are selling.


Location, condition, and setting the right price are key, of course!

While sellers don’t want to “give their house away”, once they’ve made the decision to do it, getting the house sold is definitely the goal. The sooner the better.

Here are a few tips (all short videos) for Scottsdale home sellers:

How much is your Scottsdale home worth?
Common Home Seller Mistakes
What is home staging? Re-staging? Web staging?
Marketing Your Home Online

RPR–A National Home Search Database for Realtors

I was recently asked to share my experience with a relatively new national home search database provided to real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors. Named Realtors Property Resource, or RPR for short, the database has an incredible amount of current and historical real estate information available.

For me, RPR proved to be invaluable when I was working with an international client, owning out-of-state property.  Using the system, I was able to quickly come up with an estimated value of his stateside property. And then, I discovered there was much more to the system than I knew.

RPR is another way that I can help buyers and sellers make smart decision in their real estate transactions.  If you’d like a Market Report for your home and neighborhood, just let me know.

Other home search options: