The Phoenix real estate market always slows in the summer; however there is one survey that measures buyer traffic compared with agents expectations for the particular month. So, Phoenix agents know that the hot months are slow, but this May was slower than they expected according to what they reported to the Credit Suisse Monthly Survey. Here’s what Phoenix real estate agents had to say:

• “Large sense of a sellers’ market, and buyers need to buy
now before prices increase.”
• “Good activity under $250K, and reasonable activity in the
higher price ranges up to $600K. Again, no sense of
urgency for owner occupants.”
• “Drop off in second-home market.”
• “Buyers are just not there in the numbers needed.”
• “Buyers are too cautious.”
• “Lack of inventory affecting sales.”

On the national front, tight supply of quality inventories and the resulting higher home prices were a dominating theme from this month’s survey. Agents remained positive on drivers underpinning demand with more discussion of gradual economic improvement, which coupled with favorable (but rising) mortgage rates helped lift buyer urgency. However, buyer interest is being constrained by limited quality inventory, which is leading to higher pricing and competition, and ultimately adding to buyer frustration as affordability stretches out.

In May, 14 of the 40 markets surveyed saw better than expected traffic (vs. 19 in April), 18 saw traffic in-line with expectations (12 in April), and 8 saw lower than expected traffic (9 in April). Seattle exhibited significant strength while markets across California slipped to neutral. (It’s never a good sign for Arizona when California slips — whether you’re talking land slipping into the ocean or housing prices). In TX, San Antonio continues to beat the Top-40 markets’ average, while Dallas and Austin slipped and Houston fell to among the weakest. Boston improved nicely and Portland held strong. Notable underperformers included Miami, Chicago, Phoenix, and Baltimore.

CS MayRemember, all real estate is local. Here’s the May Flagstaff home sales report.