What’s interesting about Flagstaff home sales in April is not the median price ($300,000) or the volume of sales (up 15% from one year ago). No, what’s interesting is the number of Flagstaff homes under contract to sell – a total of 146. If most of those sales close in May, as is likely, it may be the first time since August 2005 that more than 100 Flagstaff single-family homes sell in one month.
Someone else’s records may show that over 100 sales occurred in any given month in Flagstaff since August 2005. Mine have been in the mid-90s for a few months here and there since then, but what is significant is the trend. If we burst through 100 sales in May, it will be a significant increase in home buyers and sellers matching each other’s’ expectations compared with the last almost 9 years. (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.)
The chart shows that Flagstaff home sales above 400,000 are still sluggish.
Townhome sales (not shown) are also sluggish, with 7.5 months of supply on the market at the beginning of May at the pace of sales in April. The price of those townhomes sold is healthy, however, at $169 per square foot for a median sale price above $295,000. I think townhome sales are suffering in competition with new homes available on small lots.
Compared with a year ago, Flagstaff home sales were down nearly 6% in October – but that’s only a difference of four homes. Prices were stable compared with one year ago. The shocking difference is the level of inventory – down 35% at the beginning of November 2012 from the beginning of November 2011. Last year, there were 448 Flagstaff single-family homes on the market at the beginning of the winter season. This year there were just 292 homes at the same time.
That’s shifted the Flagstaff real estate market from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market. New listings and reported sales since the beginning of the month haven’t changed that picture. Today, for example, we have one new listing on the market and eleven new contracts and five sales.
Comparing this month’s chart (on the right) to last month’s, we can see that the inventory squeeze is moving up in price ranges. At this rate, instead of stable prices, I’ll be reporting rising prices. October’s median Flagstaff home price was $322,320, which is up from one year ago when it was $320,136. Get on board!
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).