June 2012 finds Flagstaff home sales healthier than they were one year ago, but still leaving much to be desired for both buyers and sellers. Volume of Flagstaff single-family homes sold was up over 18% in June compared with June 2011. Driving that volume was a median price drop of 11% year-to-year.
For buyers, there is just not much to choose from in any price range. The most selection this month is found in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. Below that range, homes get quickly snapped up so that would-be buyers find themselves empty-handed in too many cases. In the higher price ranges, for many months we had seen high inventories but by the beginning of July that supply has fallen away or sold off. Potential new listings seem to think a price increase is right around the corner and they are holding out. Depending on a homeower’s needed time frame, that may or may not be wise — if you’re thinking of selling, call me for a personal consultation.
The good news for F;agstaff home owners is that they won’t have a lot of competition if they list now. Expect a tough sales process, however. The low volume of sales means that appraisers are having a very hard time justifying sale prices to lenders. Earlier this year, appraisers usually (rightly) described Flagstaff as a “declining market.” Our inventory crunch has leveled off the drop in median sales price. The percentage of sales that are distressed properties (bank-owned or short sales) has dropped from 63% in January to 29% in June. So I’m seeing appraisals classifying the Flagstaff real estate market as “stable,” but comps are hard to find.
With the shadow inventory still there and the economic recovery very slow, we’re not going to see prices bouncing back anytime soon – certainly not in 2012. (Shadow inventory are properties owned, or soon to be owned, by banks and short sales on the market.) When those prices do start to tick-up a bit, perhaps in 2013, many homeowners who have been waiting for that welcome development will list and that new influx of inventory will keep prices from moving up quickly. In sum, we’re bouncing along the bottom of the real estate market and we’ll keep doing that for a while.
To buy or sell a Flagstaff home, start here: Flagstaff real estate website Written by Ann Heitland