Posts Tagged ‘phoenix housing market’

Homeowner Confidence Still Low

September 1, 2010

Home Owner Confidence in the Housing Market is still lowThe media tells us that the housing market has stabilized, but homeowners aren’t so sure. A recent report by Zillow.com shows that homeowner confidence has dropped in the second quarter of 2010. One-third of homeowners believe that home prices can still go lower.

Nationwide, only 24 percent of homeowners think their home has increased in value in the past year, even though 34 percent of homes are actually worth more than a few months ago.

Perhaps some of the reason is because many believe that the economic recovery is temporary. The nation as a whole is indeed teetering on the brink, with the national debt closing in on the gross domestic product for the first time since the Great Depression. Many economists are predicting a second dip, and even a full-blown depression, as early as 2011.

On the other hand, history shows that significant economic recessions and depressions tend to result in American’s feeling less secure for decades to come. How many of us recall the oddly frugal habits of our parents or grandparents that were a direct result of the Great Depression? Many of their generation didn’t even trust banks to hold their money and instead invested their savings in jars buried in the backyard.

Zillow’s report also showed that “27 percent of homeowners believed their own homes’ values would increase in the next 12 months, 35 percent believed they will stay the same, 12 percent expected a decrease and 26 percent did not know.”

Western homeowners, including those here in Arizona, who do expect a rise in home values, are hoping for a 10 percent jump. Northeastern homeowners also expect that 10 percent, but the rest of the nation is coming in closer at a hopeful 5 percent.

There are also many homeowners who want to sell their house, but have not had any success or just haven’t bothered. They are waiting for sure signs of stability and rising prices to put their homes on the market.

Unfortunately, the potential of 3.8 million new homes on the market could cause those rising home prices to slow or even stop. The higher the inventory, the more homes buyers have to choose from and the more sellers have to lower their prices. It’s a buyer’s market, but most homeowners want to see a seller’s market.

What can we expect? The housing market is sure to recover eventually, but that recovery may not be as fast as many would like to see. Zillow suggests for three to five years after “the bottom” that the housing market will grow at a very slow rate until the inventory levels out.


If you are in worried about the housing market, give the Curtis Johnson team a call. The Curtis Johnson Team is helping individuals who are facing foreclosure and those who are seeking their dream homes.

Go to www.CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

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From Snow-Bunnies to Sun-Lovers: More Canadians Buying Homes in Arizona

August 19, 2010

From snow boots to flip flops, more Canadians are buying in ArizonaWhether Canadians are flocking to purchase homes in Arizona because it’s a buyer’s market, or simply because they are tired of snow, the effect is the same: 1/4 of all out-of-state buyers in the Phoenix area recently are Canadian citizens!

It’s true that you don’t have to “shovel sunshine” – and this alone could be the original source of Canadians who are buying homes in Phoenix. However, as we all know, the real estate market in Arizona is struggling, the United States dollar isn’t as strong as it could be, and the fear of loss of jobs or loss of retirement income is at nearly every American’s doorstep. But Canada’s dollar is stronger, and they are not as affected by the recession.

Canada’s retirees, who may have decided another winter of shoveling several feet of snow is just not possible for their aging bodies, younger people, and even investors are looking to the struggling US real estate market for bargains. The warmer the area the better;we sure have plenty of warmth here in Phoenix!

Is this good or bad for the Phoenix area? Well, it will certainly bring non-US dollars into the area, which is a good thing for our economy. It will mean fewer foreclosures and other empty homes on the market, which will eventually increase and stabilize home prices again. Since many of the Canadian buyers are retired, it’s quite possible that these new residents will have independent sources of income, so will not decrease the pool of available jobs. Many may even increase the job market if they are small business owners or even just need to hire some domestic help -not to mention the increase in services and places to shop that will be needed with an increase in population.

This trend is not new; even before the recession we were seeing more and more Canadians heading to the sunny city of Phoenix. Now we see fewer Californians purchasing in Phoenix, a population that has traditionally been the leader in out-of-state buyers. We are also seeing an increase in buyers from northern United States regions and the Midwest.

Quite possibly, the best thing that these new buyers will bring is more stability. Those who are looking to invest and live in Phoenix these days are a population group that typically stays put for a long time.

If you are ready to trade in your snow-bunny gear for shorts and sandals, give the Curtis Johnson team a call. We know the Phoenix area and can help you find the home of your dreams or a great investment property. Contact the Curtis Johnson team, go to CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

New Home Starts Up and Down in June; Builder Confidence Dropping

July 22, 2010

There was good news and bad news released this week for home builders in Phoenix, Arizona and the nation. The good news is that the expected drop in June’s single-family new home starts didn’t really happen. In fact it was essentially unchanged from a month before, which could indicate that the plunge in new home construction has reached the bottom and is leveling off.

Perhaps this news will perk up the confidence of Arizona home builders. The National Association of Home Builders released the July Housing Market Index showing a drop in builder confidence from previous months. This reflects the slow market that builders are seeing and shows that their perception of the market is very bad. Anything below 50 is considered low.

There is more bad news about what else has dropped. A steep plunge of over 21% in multi-family housing starts pulled the overall rate down to a lower-than-predicted level. Many economists forecasted combined June housing starts would drop to 550,000. Actual numbers came in about 10,000 below that estimate, for an overall drop of 5%.

Graph of New Home Starts

This drop was expected after the end of the home buyer tax credit, however economists are now hoping that the slight drop of only 0.7% in single family home starts is a sign of better things to come.

On the flip side, permits for new housing starts increased just over 2% in June. This number reflects a drop in single family housing permits but a 19% increase in multi-family permits. The Northeast and the West saw healthy increases in combined permits while the Midwest and the South both saw significant drops.

June housing permits could be an indicator of July’s housing starts, although many are reflected in June’s numbers.

According to the NAHB, “about half of single family homes are started the same month that the permit is issued” and nearly all are started within two months. About one-third of multi-family units are started in the same month. A housing start is defined as the beginning of excavation for the footings or foundation of both single family and multi-family buildings. This is commonly referred to as “ground breaking.”

If you are hunting for a new home or even the perfect patch of land to build on, the Curtis Johnson team can help. Contact the Curtis Johnson team, go to www.CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

Housing Prices Continue to Drop in Phoenix and Nation-wide

June 30, 2010

The Phoenix real estate market has been up and down, but its more down than up now.There is good news for home buyers in the Phoenix area—home prices are continuing to decrease, down half a percent from February. Of course, this sounds like terrible news if you are trying to sell your home, especially if you bought it when home prices were at or near their peak. No matter what shoes you are in, you should take time to look at the current housing market before making your next real estate move.

Sales jumped during the past several months, partially due to the lower prices of homes and partially due to the home buyer tax credit. Now that the credit has ended, home sales have plummeted and sellers are dropping prices in an attempt to catch the eyes of the prospective home buyers still out there. Eventually the market will right itself if left alone, but it will take time.

In the meantime, foreclosures and short sales are increasing. Combine that with slow job growth, increasing unemployment in many areas and fields, and increasingly tight credit requirements. This combination is going to further drive down the value of homes in Arizona and other states. It’s a bargain hunter’s paradise, for sure.

What can you do if you are trying to sell your home in this frustrating market? How do you compete with the foreclosed house down the block? The same tips are tried and true no matter what state the market is in: good staging, fresh paint, decrease clutter, clean, clean, clean, and fix all those issues that might come up. Have someone with a fresh eye take a walk through your house as if they were a home buyer, then write down—and complete—everything they suggest.

If the continuing downturn of the Phoenix housing market has you in a sweat, or if you’re looking to take advantage of lower prices, call the Curtis Johnson team to help you. The Curtis Johnson Team is here to help when you are looking to buy or sell a home. You don’t need to go to the government for help. Instead, go to www.CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.