Tom Ruff of the local MLS has a great commentary about what happened to the Phoenix real estate market in 2014. (After clicking the link above, scroll down past the graphs to read his entire commentary.)


Distressed Sales Down

“In December of 2013 (17.1%) of our sales were distressed and in December 2014 (9.8%) of our sales were distressed.”

Home Prices Up Slightly

“By removing all the distressed sales and comparing only the “normal” sales between December 2013 and December 2014, we see the price per-square-foot rose only slightly, 1.7% from $133.10 to $135.41.”

2% is kinda of a normal year. Actually, on the low side of appreciation for a “normal” year.

Number of Home Sales Down

“ARMLS reported 79,399 homes sold in 2014, coming in 11% below the total last year

Home sellers: You were not crazy. It was harder to sell a home in 2014 than in 2012 or 2013, although prices were higher in 2014 than most of 2013 and all of 2012.

Homes Hitting the Market Way Down

“In the last 7 months of 2014, all but two of those months reported the lowest number of new listings in the 14 years ARMLS has been tracking new inventory.”

See my post here for my explanation.

Banks Foreclosing Fast

“The banks aren’t dragging their feet to finish the foreclosure process, as 50% of those that end in foreclosure will be completed in less than 97 days after the notice is filed.”

Boy, that’s a change! During the peak of foreclosures, it took banks more than 6 months to complete a foreclosure on average.

2014 Summary

“The price increases we’ve seen in the last 18 months are characteristic of a normal sustainable market, interest rates are at historical lows (3.86% Dec. 2014), the millennials are one year older, births are increasing, gas prices are low ($2.04 national average), boomerang buyers have had one more year to repair their credit and conventional buyers are making up a larger percentage of home purchases.”

2015 Outlook

“People are feeling better about themselves. I feel it’s a safe bet to say 2015 sales volume will exceed 2014. I don’t think it will be the breakout year we’ve been awaiting, but in terms of sales volume, it will definitely be better.”

[All bolding is mine.]

I think Tom is right on target. What do you think?

Leave a comment below. Thanks! John