Flagstaff home sales in November were strong compared with last year and steady compared with recent months. The median price of the single-family homes sold in the Flagstaff metro area in November was $352,500, which is 13.7% higher than the median in November 2013. The number of Flagstaff single-family homes sold in November (68) was the lowest since last April, but not out of line with seasonal expectations; and that’s 15% higher than the number sold in November 2013.
Those percentages look pretty spectacular, but a significant part of the reason is that we’re looking at relatively low numbers. The first chart shows that there hasn’t been a huge improvement in sales since 2009 – a healthy improvement, but we’re not in bubble-land. The chart also shows that the increase in price is as much due to the reduction in inventory for sale as it is to the increased number of buyers. The second chart shows sales by price range. For those who follow this blog monthly, you’ll know that the number of buyers in the higher price ranges has increased, and that’s brought up the median price as well.
The average price per square foot for November 2013 single-family home sales in Flagstaff was $189. The average size of Flagstaff homes sold was 2218 square feet.
There were very few – just 8 – Flagstaff townhomes sold in November. Part of that is lack of inventory. Many more townhomes will be available in the Spring. The median price was $285,000.
NOTE: THE DATA REPORTED HERE ARE BASED ON HOME SALES IN THE FLAGSTAFF METRO AREA (THE CITY OF FLAGSTAFF AND IMMEDIATELY SURROUNDING COUNTY AREAS THAT HAVE FLAGSTAFF MAILING ADDRESSES) AS REPORTED IN THE MULTIPLE-LISTING-SERVICE MAINTAINED BY THE NORTHERN ARIZONA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.® THE DATA MAY NOT REFLECT ALL SALES (BUT IT SURELY REFLECTS MOST OF THEM).
Perfect location near Flagstaff Medical Center, Basis and Montessori schools,YMCA, urban trail to Buffalo Park, and downtown Flagstaff! This three bedroom, 2.5 bath Flagstaff townhome has a private fenced backyard with patio looks toward the San Francisco Peaks. Ceiling fans in each room. Upgraded window coverings and light fixtures. This is minutes from everywhere in Flagstaff, and affordable, too. It’s been rented for $1300 per month and you can buy it and live in it for less! Seller is licensed real estate agent.
Some thoughts on Flagstaff neighborhoods this season
It’s often said that the three most important factors in real estate are: Location, location, and location. One of the cardinal rules of real estate sales is to “know your product.” Put those together and it’s apparent that when you’re buying a Flagstaff home you’ll want an agent who knows Flagstaff.
Because of my years selling Flagstaff real estate, I can honestly say that I know the neighborhoods around town “just like my own.” The rest of the Elite Team at RE/MAX Peak Properties is just as knowledgeable — Eric Davis and Jessica Garard are both Flagstaff natives and have been selling Flagstaff real estate for years.
If you were interested in the Coconino Estates neighborhood, you might like to know that this time of year, the neighbors place luminaria and that folks from all over town gather to walk the neighborhood and enjoy the lights. If you like to snowshoe through the pines, you’ll want to know which Flagstaff neighborhoods have quick and easy access to forest trails. If you’re a skier, you’ll want to be close to routes to the Arizona Snowbowl and Flagstaff Nordic Center.
Beautiful Linwood Heights home was sold yesterday — 39 days after it was listed on the Northern Arizona MLS
Linwood Estates Home
This four bedroom, three bath Flagstaff home features an amazing great room with fabulous views of the San Francisco Peaks. The photos and virtual tour were fabulous. (I say that to compliment my photographer – and because it’s true). So, it’s not too surprising that we had offers to deal with before I had time to blog about this great Flagstaff home.
Linwood Heights, where the home is located, is a unique Flagstaff community at the northwest urban/rural interface within the City of Flagstaff with all city services. Linwood Heights HOA maintains a private, fenced park with ramadas for owner use only and access to National Forest land. The home itself sits on 1.89 private acres.
So, throw away the rule book that says you can’t sell homes over $600,000 in Flagstaff. I’ve just done two in the last 45 days.
September Flagstaff homes sales show a healthy but not spectacular real estate market
The median price of single-family homes sold in Flagstaff in September was $305,000 – up 11% from one year ago. Flagstaff home sales volume also rose from September 2012, by 14 units to a total of 76 Flagstaff home sales in the recent month. The median price for a Flagstaff single family home sold in September was down from August, when it hit $322,500 – a number topped in recent years only by June’s median.
Flagstaff’s real estate market is not “on-fire” but that’s largely because would-be home sellers are not making their homes available. The ratio of homes for sale to homes sold remains under 6 in most price categories – that means there is more demand than supply and we could sell more homes if they were offered. It’s a sellers’ market for those who want to sell. Buyers have few selections because of the low inventory situation in most price categories. There were a lot of Flagstaff homes under contract as of the beginning of October, so October home sales should be strong.
Homes priced above $500,000 are still facing a tough sell in Flagstaff’s real estate market, as you can see in the chart.
Meanwhile, the Flagstaff townhome median price is 17% higher than it was in September 2012. For September, the median Flagstaff townhome sale was $280,000, for an average 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 1650 square foot townhome. Seventeen townhome sales were made in September – up just one unit from September 2012. There are more townhomes on the market than last year, but it’s still a demand-driven market – at the right price. I remember when townhomes were going for $350,000 and up – if there are sellers out there who are waiting for that, it will be a while yet.
Note: The data reported here are based on home sales in the Flagstaff metro area (the City of Flagstaff and immediately surrounding county areas that have Flagstaff mailing addresses) as reported in the multiple-listing-service maintained by the Northern Arizona Association of Realtors.® The data may not reflect all sales (but it surely reflects most of them).
Reports on existing home and new home sales go in opposite directions.
New-home sales fell 13.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000 in July, the lowest rate since October, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported today, according to MarketWatch.com. Still, new-home sales in July were up 6.8% from July 2012. Month-to-month data for new home are quite volatile and economists had expected some pull back after sales gains in recent months.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors® issued its monthly report on existing home sales, compiled from MLS information around the country. According tothis national composite, home sales rose strongly in July, with the median price maintaining double-digit year-over-year increases.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said changes in affordability are impacting the market. “Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off the sidelines,” he said. “The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals. However, further rate increases will diminish the pool of eligible buyers.” See Yun’s full statement in the video.
When buying a Flagstaff home, consider these points
Anyone who has ever bought a home—or rented one, for that matter—has likely heard this standard piece of advice: Don’t commit to more than you can afford.
But there are other questions you should be pondering before and during your home search to find a place that’s best for your needs. Housing designer Marianne Cusato wrote a whole book, The Just Right Home, about how people can search their souls to find a home that’s a perfect fit.
“Right now, it’s a great time to purchase,” she said, especially given low mortgage-interest rates. “But you’ll lose more money by jumping into the wrong house” than paying higher interest rates later. So take a breath. It pays to critically consider your housing options.
For example, unexpected repairs can catch homeowners off guard. Or, if you decide after a couple of years that you need to move again, you’ll be spending money on another round of closing costs.
Even if a bad choice doesn’t cost you money, it could mean the difference between loving and tolerating where you live. A recent survey by Trulia, a real-estate website, found that 56% of renters and 50% of homeowners have regrets about their current home or the process of choosing it. Homeowners most commonly wished they had bought a larger home, according to the survey of 2,000 consumers. Renters most commonly wished they had bought instead of rented.
As the adage has it, the three most important considerations when buying real estate are location, location and location. After all, you can change much about how a home functions and looks after you purchase it, but you can’t change the location of the lot on which it is built.
“Proximity,” according to Cusato, is where the home is in relation to what you do every day. She urges that you “Think about where you have to go to take the kids to school, where you go to work, where you get groceries. What do you want your lifestyle to be in your free time?”
Buying at a distance from a city center may give you a less expensive home price, but some who did this during the housing boom ended up spending 30% of their incomes on transportation alone. Your time is valuable. Do you want to spend it commuting?
2. What hidden costs are in store?
Perhaps your list of must-haves includes a large yard for the kids to play in. But before buying all that land, Cusato said she advises considering whether it’s worth the expense of keeping it up. Think about how you want to engage with your outdoor. If all you want is a pretty scene through a window, maybe a smaller yard with a view makes more sense for you—that way someone else is on the hook for the upkeep.
Also consider what it will take to heat and cool the home before buying it. Cusato suggests asking for utility bills, but I always advise that you be cautious in looking at what someone else spent to heat or cool a home – their comfort level and occupancy use may not be the same as yours. Look at the structural components and think about the space. Use consultants.
3. Ask yourself: Is it what you really want?
It’s easy to go with the flow and do what you think most people do: rent after college, then buy a starter house, then a move-up house, then a retirement home in Arizona. Instead, focus on meeting your needs, Cusato said. Personally, I bought five homes from age 26 to 45 and plan to die in this last one – I finally got it right.
Don’t worry too much right now about the resale value of the home. “Worry about the next owner later. When we actually meet our needs, there are a lot of people who have those similar needs, too,” she said.
4. Ask yourself: Is this what you really need?
Take a reality check. Will it be enough space for your family a few years down the line, or will you have to move if your family grows? Will it be too much space in a few years?
Can you afford this home now and in the future? Don’t stretch, figuring you’ll have a bigger income down the line, Cusato said. If you get a raise, it should make your budget that much more comfortable.
It’s really easy to push that limit by mistake. “Maybe you push the limit on the mortgage, but then get ambushed by how much it is to get to and from [the house] or how much it is to maintain it,” she said.
5. Have you mastered the balancing act?
A home isn’t sustainable if you can’t easily live in it or can’t make the payments, or if you simply don’t like living there. But “there’s no such thing as the perfect house at the perfect price in the perfect place,” either, Cusato said.
Compromises will need to be made, especially purchasing in a smaller, expensive market like Flagstaff. Get help thinking through what’s right for you. Contact the Elite Team at RE/MAX Peak Properties.
Lots of room for the the money — and great views come with this Flagstaff home!
Update: On August 3, this Flagstaff rural home went under contract!
Get away to beautiful views while retaining all the modern conveniences in your new Flagstaff home. Single-level home in popular Hutchison Acres subdivision offers elbow room and views! This home is moments from Flagstaff Mall and from fabulous National Forest and National Monument experiences. This single level home sits on a property that offers you panoramic views of the San Francisco Peaks, Sunset Crater and Coconino National Forest. Established Hutchison Acres subdivision is north of Flagstaff, making it the perfect location for Tuba City commuters.
Amenities of this Flagstaff home include the single-level style. Split bedroom floor plan. HUGE fenced backyard with open space view at the back. Direct forest access is nearby. CENTRAL AIR-CONDITIONING! (Still rare in Flagstaff mountain homes.) The living areas feature vaulted ceilings in formal living room and wonderful light in the Arizona room. Modern kitchen with refrigerator included. Large master bedroom and bathroom have plenty of closet space. Three car garage. Laundry room has sink and storage cabinets.
This is a three bedroom home with approximately 1800 sq. feet and sits on a lot of 36,155 square feet (.83 acre).
Five ways your agent should be working to keep your home sale on track.
While the numbers for Flagstaff home sales show that it’s technically a seller’s market, at least in some prices ranges where inventory is very low, the “buy or else” mentally of the housing boom will kill a deal for most sellers. Amy Hoak addresses issues that have become all to familiar in the Flagstaff market in the last few months — appraisal problems, buyers with cold feet, half-baked loan prequalifications, and more. When you’re ready to sell, make sure your agent is prepared to anticipate and negotiate these issues on your behalf. Also, make sure you’re not surprised and ready to take a deep breath or two during the process.