Although real estate market forecasters lack a crystal ball, and nobody has invented tea leaves that tell us what the market will look like a year from now, current market statistics give us an idea of where the market is headed. Some good stuff has happened in that regard in Mesa, Ariz., lightening more than a few heavy housing industry hearts.
First, we should look at last year. About 7,500 new residents decided to call Mesa home in 2011. Prices bottomed out in the third quarter, hitting an average sales price of $110,100. Foreclosures made up a little over 34 percent of closed sales. That must be a magic number because the inventory of available homes today sits 34 percent lower than it did at this time last year.
Shrinking inventories usually herald higher prices, and Mesa’s average sales price is up 29 percent from a year ago to $155,000. While this is good news, that figure is significantly lower than Maricopa County’s average sales price, according to Movoto.com.
There’s good news in the commercial real estate sector as well, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. Retail occupancy rates are rising and Mesa is leading the way.
Foreclosure and Short Sale Homes in Mesa
The number of foreclosure sales fell almost 3.7 percent in June, but the number still remains about three times what we see in a normal market.
Distressed properties made up almost 47 percent of total sales in June, with short sales dominating that segment. This is good news for the market as short sales typically sell for more than foreclosures thereby putting less pressure on neighborhood values. Since more homeowners are choosing short sale as a foreclosure-avoidance option, forecasters expect the number of these real estate transactions to continue to outpace foreclosures.
Buying a Home in Mesa: Home Prices and the Buyer’s Dilemma
With interest rates still low we are seeing consistent demand for homes, putting additional pressure on the inventory. If you’re planning to purchase a home in Mesa, be prepared for fierce competition as the inventory of available homes continues to shrink.
This dilemma is particularly painful at certain price points. For instance, the inventory of house listings in Mesa priced below $200,000 has shrunk an astounding 85 percent over the February 2011 figure. This price point is especially competitive, so be prepared to duke it out for the home of your dreams.
The news isn’t much better if you are home shopping in the $200,000 to $300,000 range – the inventory of homes is down by more than half over last year’s number. In fact, in June, there were only 1,555 listings in this price range in all of Maricopa County, according to the Cromford Report.
Life is hunky dory for Mesa home sellers what with being able to sell quickly and for top dollar. “Most of the homes that that are in good condition and priced right are seeing multiple offers,” according to Crown Key Real Estate agent Scott Whitwam. “I haven’t had a property on the Mesa market for longer than four days.”
Even high-end homes in Mesa are moving quickly, Whitwam says. “My partner sold a $700,000 home and it took only two weeks.”
Whitwam counsels his clients to quickly get through the loan approval process and to avoid asking sellers for too many concessions.
“Something that’s happening right now that’s very positive is that banks are being more proactive with their short sales, so they’re closing a lot quicker,” which is a boon to both buyers and sellers, according to Whitwam.
Are you looking to buy a home in Mesa? Or are you a homeowner listing your house for sale? We’d love to hear about your experience in the Mesa real estate market.