Posts by: ARMLS

Work Better with Two Monitors

Having more than one monitor makes it possible to look at your inbox and calendar at the same time. It makes cross-referencing two contracts much easier. Having the MLS open on one screen while typing an email response to a client in Gmail on another screen becomes a breeze. Watch this short video:

How’s it done? Cost is no longer prohibitive, high quality monitors can now be purchased under $99. Your computer operating system and hardware must support having multiple monitors. The best way to determine this, and to proceed with setup, is by contacting your IT person.

Valley Analyst Talks June Numbers

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Tom Ruff

Tom Ruff of The Information Market gave his monthly perspective on the residential market in this month’s issue of STAT (download here). Tom’s commentary is below but you’ll want to download STAT (PDF) to see the charts referenced.

Boring, flat, tedious, tame, humdrum, and meh are just a few of the terms local writers have used to describe the first six months of our housing market. If our current housing market were a color, it would most likely be beige. Home sales volume for the first half of 2014 was 16.4% lower than the same period last year. There were 47,012 closed sales from January through June 2013. In the first six months of this year, only 39,306 closed transactions were reported.

Beige

Beige

The first six months of 2014 were characterized by low demand and a supply that typically left in its a wake a market which slightly favored the buyer. The median sales price in June was $195,000, 5.4% higher than where we began the year at $185,000. As we have cautioned a number of times this year – we are not viewing this increase as an indication that home values are appreciating, but rather as an indication of the homes that are selling. It is this pundit’s opinion that home prices for the first six months are best described as stable and flat.

Midyear Data Points of Interest and Emerging Trends

Supply: The imbalance between supply and demand is closing, not because demand is improving, but because supply is declining. In June of this year there were 8,677 new home listings. This is the lowest number of new listings for the month of June in the 14 years ARMLS has compiled this data. There were 6.2% fewer new listings this June as opposed to last year for the same period. It will be interesting to see how this metric progresses over the coming months.

Interest rates: Between January 2013 and January 2014 we saw the average 30-year fixed interest rate rise from 3.41% to 4.43%, an increase of over 1%. The largest portion of this increase occurred in May and June, just over one year ago. This year we’ve seen interest rates move subtly and consistently downwards. As stated, we began January of this year with an average 30-year fixed rate of 4.43%. The last reported rate from Freddie Mac on July 3rd of this year was 4.12%. This is the first time this year where interest rates are lower than last year for the same period (on July 1, 2013 rates were 4.37%).

Foreclosures: There were 10,887 distressed homes in Maricopa County in June of 2013. The amount of “shadow inventory” over the past year has declined 40.5%. We currently have 3,995 residential properties in foreclosure and 2,481 residential proper ties that are bank owned. Simply stated, 6,476 residential properties in Maricopa County are currently defined as distressed. The total number of distressed properties in Maricopa County declined 4.7% month-over-month, indicative of the rate of decline each month this year. I see this trend continuing through the remainder of 2014. As your point of reference, the number of distressed properties in Maricopa County peaked in February of 2010 at 62,123.

Market Composition: While demand has been lacking this year, the composition of the sales taking place paints a picture of marked improvement. We’re seeing fewer distressed sales and fewer investor purchases translating into a higher percentage of homes being purchased by traditional buyers and a higher percentage of the homes they are purchasing as normal/non distressed buys. This change in the composition of homes purchased is best exemplified in two metrics, year-over- year short sales and year-over-year investor activity. In June of 2013 there were 1,049 short sales, this year the number of short sales fell 73.9% to 274. As for investor activity, the table below details the consistent decline over the past year in the percentage of homes we define as investor purchases. As you can see, there were 1,033 fewer investor purchases this June.

Better-chart-STAT

New Construction: Of all the facets of our real estate market in the first half of 2014, the number of new builds being sold without a doubt has been the most disappointing. In a year where most experts expected to see new home construction improve, the opposite has occurred. So far this year there have been 4,117 new builds sold compared to 4,712 same period last year (12.6% lower). What makes this number most disappointing is that 2013 was considered a very weak year for new construction. However, under the category of silver lining, the number of new homes sold in June 2014 (819) surpassed the total number of new homes sold in June 2013(754) at an 8.6% increase. This is the first time we’ve seen a year-over-year improvement this year. Could this be an emerging trend? We’ll keep you posted.

Looking Ahead: The last four months has seen the Pending Price Index (PPI) project the median sales price about 1% below the final reported number, this trend continued in June where we projected the median sales price to be $192,000 with the actual median price coming in at $195,000. Our sales volume projections came in as expected with the sales volume in June slightly lower than the sales volume in May. In July the Pending Price Index expects the median sales price to rise again projecting a median sales price of $197,000. We also expect sales volume to decline again in July with the expected volume to come in around 6,600. As a note of caution, when next month’s sales numbers are reported, expect a large decrease in year-over-year comparisons. This decrease is because July of 2013 was a banner month where 8,216 sales took place. July 2013 sales exceeded our expectations as buyers rushed to close while interest rates were rapidly rising.

Download STAT (PDF)
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Rentals vs. Home Sales – RCQ Battle

RENT Check, our monthly rental report, displays the ratio of closed rentals to home sales in the MLS each month. We call that ratio the RENT Check Quotient, RCQ for short. Even if you don’t work rentals, knowing if rentals are sucking up the buyer pool can be helpful. Below we’ve compiled the RCQ from all previous RENT Check reports into a chart, which we intend on publishing semi-annually: (The individual RCQ values can always be found on this page each month.)

RCQ-History-2014

How you can compile the RENT Check RCQ
It’s easy and you can do it yourself! First, start a Rental Quick Search in flexmls. Then select Status: Closed and choose a Lease Start Date for the period you would like to evaluate. Add any criteria you would like, for example a ZIP code you work. Get the count of closed rentals.

Perform a similar Residential Quick Search, choose Close of Escrow date under Closed with the dates you chose for the first search. Apply any similar criteria you applied in the Rental search, then get a count.

Now, divide the number of closed rentals by the number of closed residential sales (3500/5400). The result will be a decimal, that’s the RCQ. Move the decimal point two places to the right, drop the leading zero and add a percent sign to show it as a percentage, example: 0.566 -> 56.6%. Download the historical RCQ data here.

We Need Your Help!

credit-cardSubscriber fees are now past-due, which means in less than a week several Subscribers will be shut-off for non-payment. We don’t want to shut-off anyone this year (or any year for that matter). Pay your fees here!

We’ve reminded Subscribers by:
Sending 5 email blasts
Placing a giant annoying orange payment button on ARMLS.com
Posting on Facebook, Twitter and this blog
Posting to the MLS message board
Forcing a mandatory payment reminder screen to use flexmls® Web
…and various other places/messages

How you can help us:
Simply share this blog post by clicking one of the following icons:



Access to the MLS system and use of the Lockbox Key will be suspended if payment is not received by ARMLS® before close of business (6 p.m.) on July 7, 2014. A $15 reinstatement fee will be added to all delinquent accounts.

Monsoon Definitions

GSE? Reverted? Bulk? In the Monsoon Tax system, there are several categories of transactions and other terms you may not know. Here is a short list of definitions:

Monsoon-Blog3rd Party
Successful Trustee’s Sale purchase.

Bulk
Multiple property sale, properties may be scattered across the Valley with a single transaction recorded, usually between investors.

FCV / FCVR
FCV, Full Cash Value is calculated by the County Assessor, and is what they consider to be the value of the home. FCVR is the ratio between the FCV and the last Sold Price. A FCVR of 1.0 would mean that the property’s sales price and FCV were the same.

Flip
Property purchased by an investor then resold within 180 days.

GSE
Sale by Government-Sponsored Enterprise (Fannie-Mae, FHL, etc.).

Prelim vs. Final Tax Assessment
The Prelim Tax Assessment is the County Assessor’s estimate of the total tax bill for that year. The Final Tax Assessment is the actual amount of taxes billed for that property.

Reverted
Failed Trustee’s sale, property reverts to beneficiary (mortgage holder).

Want more Monsoon info? Check out the Monsoon Wiki.

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