Although sales across the nation remain strong this is the lowest inventory we’ve seen. Click here for the REMAX national housing report. We here in Flagstaff have seen a steady increase and it doesn’t appear to be slowing. If you have been thinking of selling now is the time!
If you are interested in selling your home and/or buying a new one contact us @ 928-714-0001 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Elite Team at RE/MAX Peak Properties is delighted to welcome agents from Coldwell Banker NARICO to RE/MAX. For several years now, the owners of the two companies have been working on a vision to merge Coldwell Banker NARICO and RE/MAX Peak Properties, which have been the two most successful real estate brokerages in Flagstaff. The vision became a reality in March 2015 when Coldwell Banker NARICO merged into RE/MAX Peak Properties.
Coldwell Banker NARICO was the oldest brokerage in Flagstaff, going back to the 1960s. RE/MAX Peak Properties has been the top-selling residential brokerage in Flagstaff for the past ten years and has consistently been voted “Best of Flagstaff” for real estate sales and service.
RE/MAX Peak Properties will operate two offices in town. One from its previously existing location at the historic Koch House at 717 W. Riordan Road (where we of the Elite Team office) and a branch office at the former Coldwell Banker NARICO location at 1120 W. University in the Woodlands Village commercial area.
You can find lots of Flagstaff real estate agent to give you optimistic advice; and there are some pessimists. I strive to be the realist. I hope you see that in my Monthly Flagstaff Real Estate Reports. This past week, I’ve been reading about national trends from a variety of analysts.
National Association of Realtors®
The National Association of Realtors® gathers data from all the multiple-listing services in the country. Like other sources, this data lags by a month what I can give in reporting on our local Flagstaff home sales market. An NAR economist provided some 10-year data that, I think, gives an interesting perspective on where our market is now. Of particular note is that 2014 has not produced home price increases as high as those produced in 2013.
Here are other highlights of the NAR housing data:
Total homes sold in the United States for August 2014 is slightly below the ten-year average. That’s true for the West Region, where Arizona is. The Midwest and the South are the only two regions to show current sales above the ten-year August average.
Regionally, since the low point of sales in 2010, there had been three consecutive year-over-year gains, but that changed this year with sales declining in August.
The median home price in August 2014 is higher than the ten-year August average median price for the U.S. and all four regions. The West leads all regions with the highest home prices. (That may be why fewer homes are being sold in the West.)
The median price year-over-year percentage change shows prices having a positive change for the last three years after struggling the previous six years. The West has predominately guided the direction of home prices for the U.S. and all regions over the ten-year cycle. For the U.S. and the four regions the best price percentage increase took place in 2005 except for the South, which had its best gains in 2013. The biggest decline took place in 2009 for all U.S regions except the West, which had the largest drop in 2008 when home values declined more than 20%. This August the Midwest is the only region to have a negative year-over-year price percentage change.
CoreLogic is a data supply company that split off from First American in 2010. CoreLogic’s real estate data is drawn from public records and propriety sources. According to CoreLogic, as reported by MarketWatch.com, year-over-year home-price growth fell to 6.4% in August, down from 6.8% in July and 11.4% in August 2013. The firm expects housing appreciation is expected to slow down even further, with annual growth in August 2015 hitting 5.2%.
Annual home-price growth in major cities is slowing down, with many still substantially below peak prices. Nationally, home prices in August were down 12.1% from a 2006 peak, according to CoreLogic.
CoreLogic data on the mortgage market suggests that severe credit tightening in 2014 is holding back the housing market. In May, credit availability for all home loans was half of what it was in the late 1990’s, when the housing market was making steady gains much like today, according to the firm’s Housing Credit Index.
Anthony B. Sanders, an economics professor at George Mason University, isn’t the only economist who has said lately that it’s not the credit availability that is the problem. Sanders recently said the main issue in the housing market is the income of borrowers, not the standards of lenders. He said the subprime collapse in 2008 damaged the finances of borrowers and that incomes, particularly for low-wage workers, have been stagnant.
Dave Liniger, the Chief Executive Officer of RE/MAX International, has been following housing trends since the early 1970’s. In the 11 years that I’ve been following him, his predictions have not been wrong. He sees a fairly flat market ahead into the middle of 2015 when the volume of sales will increase and continue strong through 2016-2017. What that means for prices is a local market matter – remember all real estate is local.
Zillow to acquire Trulia, but still account for only 4% of real estate agents’ marketing budgets
Last Monday, after six weeks of secret negotiations, Zillow and Trulia announced a plan to merge in 2015. The motivation for the merger is to lower costs for development and delivery of real estate search services. While the two brands will remain separate in their external appearances, at least initially after the planned stock merger, they will combine operations behind the scenes.
Currently, Zillow has 83 million unique users and Trulia has 54 million, including users on both mobile and desktop platforms, according to Aaron Kessler and Ben Cohen, in a research note for Raymond James. “While we believe the deal could receive some [antitrust] regulatory scrutiny, Zillow noted that combined the companies represent less than 4% of the estimated $12 billion real-estate professionals spend on consumer marketing,” they wrote, as quoted in Amy Hoak’s MarketWatch column.
RE/MAX Chairman and Co-Founder Dave Liniger, who recently met with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff at RE/MAX World Headquarters in Denver, welcomed the news. He called the two portals “partners in our success.” Liniger added that companies such as Trulia and Zillow have the capital and technology resources to build sophisticated search platforms. Brokerage networks like RE/MAX have thousands of agents who have established personal relationships with buyers and sellers in their local markets.
“Some people in my industry panic and think the Internet is going to put Realtors out of business,” Liniger said. “But we don’t sell a commodity. We sell unique properties; each one is different. The value of someone to guide you through a [home] purchase is far more important than simply viewing homes online. We look at the portals as our friends,” Liniger said. “We wish them success.”
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.
Two indicators of nationwide home sales and prices trends were reported in the last couple of days
The National Association of Realtors®Pending Home Sales Index declined in February compared with January, but is significantly (8.4%) higher than February 2012. Real estate sales contract activity has been above year-ago levels for the past 22 months; the data reflect contracts but not closings. Low inventory is blamed for the reduction in activity and the Realtor® association outlook sees no change in that for the next several months.
Meanwhile, yesterday Case-Shiller released data for Januarywhich showed that U.S. home prices rose 7.3% from a year ago in its 10-city index and 8.1% for the 20-city index. All 20 cities showed year-over-year gains with Phoenix leading the way with a 23.2% gain. Case-Shiller’s methodology prevents inclusion of smaller markets like Flagstaff in its analysis. Case-Shiller data reported for January is a 3-month moving average of data from November, December, and January.
Last week, the National Association of Realtor® reported data on more recent sales showing the same price trends: Existing Home Sales Report.