STAT Market Update: May 2016

Horseshoe Bend AZ

Each month Tom Ruff of The Information Market gives his stellar commentary on the housing market. Tom is armed with Pending data of which others do not have access. His insights are below. Read the full issue of STAT for the accompanying graphs.

Exactly ten years ago, the median resale home sale price rose to peak prices at $253,400 in Maricopa County when looking at tax records. In April of 2009, the median resale home price fell to $119,000 but rose steadily through 2010 propelled by tax incentives. When those ended, the median fell back to $112,000 in August of 2011 hitting its natural bottom, around 56% below its peak. Today, we refer to 2011 as the bottom of our market. A common topic among housing reports is comparing home prices today with the peak prices of 2006 using this barometer to gauge how far along various housing markets are in their recovery. This month in STAT we will use this common metric as it applies in Maricopa County using tax data.

The median sales price for all resale homes sold in Maricopa County for May 2016 was $225,000, or 89% of peak prices. There are pockets in Maricopa County where the current resale median is very close to the peak median, places where the peak has been surpassed and parts of the county where the median price is only 50% to 65% of the peak value. Arcadia and north central Phoenix are examples of areas where current median prices compare favorably to peak prices. ZIP codes which report favorably are: 85018, 85014, 85013, 85016 and 85257.

Using ZIP code 85014 as an example of an area fully recovered, the peak annual median resale price was $268,000 in 2006. The median resale price fell 58% before bottoming at $112,500. Prices since the bottom have risen 240%. The median resale price for the first 5 months of 2016 in 85014 is $270,000 or 101% of peak pricing. There is currently only 2.4 months supply of inventory listed. It’s a hot ZIP with sought after neighborhoods — a central location in the Madison Elementary school district with short walking distances to some of the newest and hottest restaurants in Phoenix.

Areas where the current median sales price is still well below peak prices can best be described as west central Phoenix and the far northwest Valley. The median resale prices in these areas fell more dramatically from peak to bottom, ranging from 60% to 85%. Examples of these ZIP codes are: 85009, 85355, 85396, 85342, and 85031.

Using ZIP code 85031 as an example of an area with a way to go, the peak annual median resale price was $190,950. The median resale price fell 80.6% before bottoming at $37,000. Prices since the bottom have risen 338%. The median resale price for the first 5 months of 2016 in 85031 was $125,000 or 65% of peak pricing. There is currently only 2.0 months supply of inventory listed. This was one of the hardest hit areas as evidenced by the 80.6% decline in prices as well as an area attractive to investors as evidenced by the 338% rise from the bottom.

As our resale median home values continue to rise we need to mention one important difference between our peak prices in 2006 and our current prices, mainly the cost of money. In June of 2006, the 30- year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.68% as reported by Freddie Mac, where for the week ending June 9, 2016 the average rate was 3.66%. Interest rates today are 46% lower than they were in June 2006. When we apply these rates to a $200,000 mortgage, the interest paid in June of 2006 would have been $1,113 per month compared to $610 today.

We hope that this data has helped kill off some broad generalizations about how the market has changed in the last ten years with our reporting. Even if all the experts can’t agree about what has happened in the last ten years, we can at least agree that we are all ten years older.

The ARMLS Pending Price Index (PPI)
Our last PPI projected a May 2016 median sales price of $223,839 with the actual median coming in at $225,700 – off by 1.3%. MLS sales volume in May 2016 was 8,676 landing at 176 more sales than our projected volume of 8,500. Looking ahead to June, we predict a median sales price of $227,000. We begin June with 7,551 pending and 4,329 UCB listings giving us a total of 11,880 residential listings practically under contract. This compares to 12,076 of the same type of listings at this time last year. We expect sales volume in June to be very similar to last year with an accompanying increase in the median sales price. Our projected sales volume for May 2016 is 8,400.

Final Thought
In his report, “The New American Home”, Stephen Kim of Barclays Capital finds that trends from the US indicate the Baby Boomers are looking to downsize, while Millennials are choosing style over square footage. The net-net? The new American home is shrinking in size for the first time in 40 years. He examines how the US housing market has picked itself up after the global financial crisis of 2008 and is now changing in a very profound way… the nation’s two largest demographic groups now desire smaller, but well-appointed houses, termed “jewel boxes”.

What Does My Subscribership Get Me?

Girl Examines Her ARMLS Subscriber Benefits

On top of our obvious services like MLS access and the tax system, we offer a range of perks and benefits to our Subscribers. Whether you want to improve your lead generation, master ShowingTime or just get more familiar with the MLS, being a Subscriber can help get you to where you want to be.

Resources and Tools

Choose between Valley-wide classes, live and pre-recorded webinars, or scheduled office visits. You can also join our Facebook live events or catch them afterwards on our page.

Our STAT newsletter is emailed to all Subscribers every month. The RBI product provides market statistical analysis at the MLS, Region, City and ZIP code levels. You can access RBI through the Products tab in Flexmls.

Reach us on FacebookTwitter, email, by phone (480-303-7020), live chat or any one of our Support Centers.


Search Products
New Home Source Professional, Homesnap, Flexmls Pro Mobile (Apple / Android),  RL Brown Magic Professional and Realtors Property Resource all let you search for comprehensive information using a diverse set of tools.

Monsoon is our tax records and MLS search application. Whether you’re a long time pro or just getting started, we offer training and update alerts to help everyone stay at the top of their game.

As an industry leading showing management system, ShowingTime simplifies the showing process and delivers control back to the Subscribers. Through its customizable platform, you can select your preferred contact method, schedule all showings online, map out bulk showing tours and more!

Is Your Listing Age Appropriate?


The Age Restriction (Age Rstrt) field is an easy one to over-look! Doing so could waste another Subscriber’s time, increase your DOM and even resort in a non-penalty violation. So if you’re entering an age restricted property, save other agents time by selecting Age Rstrt if applicable.

Adding Age Restrictions

Under the Details tab, select Age Rstrt (See Rmks) in the Special Listing Cond field. Be sure to hit Save Changes when you’re through.

Searching for Age Restrictions

Under the Special Listing Conditions field, select Age Rstrt (See Rmks) 

You can also filter out listings that have age requirements by clicking on the or until you reach not.

Should You Start Farming in Monsoon?


The concept of farming can be daunting to many agents. Perhaps you don’t know where to start or aren’t generating the results you want. An agriculture farmer wouldn’t just throw down seeds and hope for the best, and neither should you when it comes to farming for leads. Adding some strategic elements into your farming could be the missing component to your success.

Finding Your Audience
Instead of blanket farming a subdivision with the hopes that someone contacts you because they need to buy or sell, let’s first try finding people who need to buy or sell and then target them specifically. By digging into the Monsoon tax system, we’re able to do just that. The Monsoon tax system taps into the Assessor’s office and is able to pull data that Flexmls cannot. One prime example is properties in a foreclosure status.


By using the three criteria pieces Active, Pending and UCB from the foreclosure tab with NOT selected in Monsoon, you’re able to locate homeowners whose homes are currently NOT for sale but have received a notice in the mail indicating that their home will be placed into a foreclosure status. The purpose of locating such homeowners is to target them for a possible listing. Many of these homeowners are frozen in fear and unaware that options exist. Sending a well-crafted letter advising them they don’t have to lose their home to a foreclosure and explaining their choices can result in relief for the homeowner and a new client for you. Remember it does not necessarily mean that these homes would be short sales. At this time, all that is known is that they are delinquent with their mortgage. The amount of equity they have is yet to be determined.

Printing Labels
Clicking on the Print Labels tab lets you easily print pre-made labels and even chose between the property and mailing address.


You can also print labels for renters. Under the Tax tab, select your city. Once you’ve defined your area, you’ll want to manually add the fields Owner Intended Use and Legal Class. Be sure to select Rental for both options. This will now ensure that you are truly pulling rental homes in your desired area.


After your results populate, you can once again generate mailing labels by clicking on the Print Labels tab. In this scenario you would be selecting the option “Use Property Address labeled ‘Current Resident”.


These were just two outside the box farming tactics. The secret is to dig into all the possible search fields to find criteria combinations that could be of value.


Remember, the key is to farm smarter not harder and to get the most bang out of your postage buck!

Annual Billing


Your 2016 ARMLS fees are now ready to be paid. Head over to and enter your Flexmls ID and password to access the payment portal. Once processed, your payment will be applied to your account immediately.


Fees are due by June 30, 2016. For questions contact ARMLS Billing at or by phone 480-303-7248.

Diving into the Pools Field


Navigating the pools field can sometimes feel like a sink-or-swim situation, but understanding all of the pool field options can help you make a splash with your clients instead of ending up all wet.

The Pool option in the General Property Description field should be your go-to choice when setting up pool parameters.


Once selected, you’ll see the familiar four options- Both Private & Community, Community Only, Private Only and None. If your client just wants the ability to swim, selecting Community Only and Private Only will bring up houses that either have a private pool on the property or have access to a pool shared by the community. When you select Both Private & Community only listings that have both will appear.


The default Pool-Private field helps you search for specific features your Client wants in their private pool, such as heated or diving pools. Selecting Pool-Private without selecting Pool from the General Property Description fields can throw off your search and produce inaccurate results.


STAT Market Update: April 2016


Each month Tom Ruff of The Information Market gives his stellar commentary on the housing market. Tom is armed with Pending data of which others do not have access. His insights are below. Read the full issue of STAT for the accompanying graphs.

The metric I’m most frequently asked about in STAT is also the metric I never mention in my commentary: Days on Market. The acronyms ADOM (Agent Days on Market) and CDOM (Cumulative Days on Market) are used by ARMLS to describe how many days a property has been available for sale. A property has to be off the MLS for at least 90 days for the CDOM to restart, even if it is listed by a different agent.

We report the average days on market for properties sold based on CDOM. The number of days a home sits on the market can tell us a lot about pricing. A high CDOM is commonly a strong indicator that the home is overpriced. On an individual listing basis, CDOM can be significant. While the CDOM can be extremely important property by property, the overall market average of these numbers tells us very little. This month in STAT I’m going to tell you very little, simply because you’ve asked.

Outliers are the first issue to deal with every time I embark on a data study. A listing date, a contract date and a closing date offer multiple opportunities for errors. When viewing an individual property, the inconsistencies are obvious and correctable. When viewing the data set as a whole, we rely on the size of the sample to overcome the data inconsistencies. For the purpose of this study, we’re looking at ARMLS sales for the first four months of 2016 in Maricopa County. In our research we’ve added a median metric.

If you want a modest tool to set seller expectations or compare your personal average CDOM to the collective of agents, the table below affords you the opportunity. It should be repeated – this is closed data, meaning the seller and buyer agreed on value.



CDOM can make for an interesting conversation and is important on an individual listing basis. As for the average Days on Market as reported in STAT, the metric is about as interesting as a dinner conversation with a housing analyst, which may be best avoided. The metric can give individual agents a means to compare their personal statistics to others for advertising purposes. As a means for judging the temperature of the market, supply and demand are a much more telling indicator.


The ARMLS Pending Price Index (PPI)

Our last Pending Price Index projected an April median price of $220,000 with the actual median coming in at $222,000, off by 0.91%. MLS sales volume in April landed at 8,293, 107 fewer sales than our projected volume of 8,400. Looking ahead to May, the ARMLS Pending Price Index projects a median sales price of $223,839. We begin May 2016 with 7,911 pending and 4,622 UCB listings giving us a total of 12,533 residential listings practically under contract. This compares to 12,291 of the same type of listings at this time last year. We expect sales volume in May to be slightly higher than the numbers last year with an accompanying increase in the median sales price. There will be 21 business days this May compared to 20 business days in May 2015. Our projected sales volume for May is 8,500.

Sean Becketti says our final thought for this month best: “Disappointing April employment data once again kept a lid on Treasury yields, which have struggled to stay above 1.8 percent since late March. As a result, the 30-year mortgage rate fell 4 basis points to 3.57 percent, a new low for 2016 and the lowest mark in 3 years. Prospective homebuyers will continue to take advantage of a falling rate environment that has seen mortgage rates drop in 14 of the previous 19 weeks.” — Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac.

3 New MLS Fields

We’ve made some improvements to the MLS by adding 3 new fields. These updates can make searching and communicating with other Subscribers easier and more effective.

1. Use ShowingTime added to Showing Instructions


Use ShowingTime can be set in Show Instructions – DND2 if you wish to require ShowingTime be used to schedule showings.

2. FIRPTA may apply added to Special Listing Conditions


FIRPTA may apply can now be disclosed and searched in Special Listing Conditions.

3. Garage dimensions and Basement dimensions 


Garage dimensions and Basement dimensions can now be entered and are displayed on the detail report.


How to Edit the COE Date

Closeup of a pencil erasing Edit text -- proofreading or editing concept


As with most things in life, some times real estate deals don’t “escrow” according to plan. This means that changing the Close of Escrow date is pretty common. And as long as the COE date hasn’t passed, you can do it right from Flexmls. If your COE date has closed within the last seven days, your brokerage can edit the date for you. If your COE date has been closed for more than seven days, give us a call at 480-303-7020 to change the date.

To Change COE in Flexmls

Under the Add/Change tab, select Change and enter your listing number. Once you’ve pulled up your listing, click Listing Information.


Under the Status Change Info section, find the Close of Escrow field and edit the dates, making sure to click Save Changes when you’re done.


New Portal Preferences


You can now choose what happens after a client clicks a listing link from an auto email. Previously, all clients were taken to the News Feed. Now, you can choose from three destinations:

News Feed (the default)
Links will open in the client’s news feed showing the selected listing and up to 200 of the most recent listings the client has received from their subscriptions.

Emailed Listings
Links will open showing only the listings from that email with the clicked listing selected.

Saved Searches
Links will open to the selected listings within the saved search that generated the email.

This setting can be applied for all clients:

Or on a per-client basis:

If you are happy with the current default (News Feed), nothing has changed for you.

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