(“MLS Listings” are measured at one point in time, usually the 15th day of the current month. “Median Price” of homes sold and the total number of home “MLS Sales” are for the entire preceding month.)
Price (green line)
After increasing amazingly strongly from $118,000 in April to $135,500 in September, the median price in metro Phoenix for single family detached homes sold via the MLS was $135,000 in November.
The usual weakness in home prices in the autumn finally stopped the train of increasing prices. We’re likely to see declining or sideways prices until February.
Sales (blue line)
The number of homes sold fell in November which is typical. This was following an unusually strong October where the number of homes sold was actually higher than in September (which is unusual) due to the rush to take advantage of the approaching end of the $8,000 first time homebuyer tax credit. (The program was subsequently extended and expanded.)
Phoenix area home sales in November 2009 were 60% higher than in November 2008.
Listings (red line)
The number of single family detached homes listed for sale on December 15 was down 31% from a year earlier on December 15, 2008.
The inventory of single family homes listed for sale in November was in the normal range with the equivalent of a 5-month supply of homes for sale.
A year ago, in November 2008, we had an 11-month inventory. The inventory peaked at over 17 months in November 2007.
This autumn, the months supply of homes available for sale is similar to what we saw in the autumns of 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Be aware that the supply situation varies tremendously within metro Phoenix depending on the geographic location and the price range of the homes you’re looking at.
Overall, it’s been a pretty strong autumn for home sales and median home prices for the Phoenix area MLS.
Sales and prices will likely be down again next month. After that, I’m not sure what will happen.
The strong autumn suggests a strong spring. However, if the Fed stops buying mortgage backed securities as planned, mortgage interest rates could increase which would, of course, put downward pressure on home sales and home prices.
The real estate market has become unusually dependent on government programs. Political winds and the ensuing government programs are unpredictable.