No rebound in 2007

The number of home sales (blue line) in the first few months of the year usually foreshadow how the rest of the year will play out. It’s looking like the number of home sales in metro Phoenix in 2007 will be the lowest for any year on this chart.

The inventory of listed homes for sale (red line) continued to increase and was above 50,000 on May 15. The increase, however, was less than in during the previous months. June’s inventory number should tell as a lot about how the summer and fall will play out.

Prices are all over the board, strong in Phoenix and weak in the outlying areas, but overall the median home price in metro Phoenix is hanging tough despite the lower sales and higher inventory. I’m becoming more and more convinced that for metro Phoenix as a whole (not individual sub-markets) that jobs are more important than home sales and home inventory in determining the median home price.

As long as home sellers have plenty of jobs, they are willing to stay in their homes unless they get “their” price. They don’t have to sell because they have good jobs.

In conclusion, COME ON 2008!

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P.S. If you want to sell your home, you need to find a great Realtor (I can recommend one in particular) and you have to be aggressive on price. Remember during the boom, it wasn’t unusual for home sellers to sell their homes for $20,000, $30,000 or more than the comps said the home was worth. There’s no law that says you have to sell your home what it comps out for.

Today in fact, in some Phoenix area sub-markets, we see the opposite of the boom. Home sellers often have to price their homes below the comps to get their homes sold. I know it rips your guts out but that is what you want to do if you want to sell in those areas. I’m just being honest with you.

During the boom, I often told home sellers, “Your home comps out at $X but I think you can sell it for $Y.” That hasn’t changed. The only difference now is that in some locations Y can be less than X.

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