Market Data - March 2019
We are looking at single family homes priced from $500,000 upwards in all areas of the Northeast Valley, including Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Fountain Hills, Rio Verde, Arcadia, Biltmore, Cave Creek and Carefree.
On March 1st, 2019 we had 3,155 active listings over $500,000. This is a 3% increase from 3,052 last month but typical for the time of year and represents 4% fewer listings than we saw on March 1st, 2018. The supply trend was moving clearly downwards during 2018 until we reached November. Although December through February have seen supply start on a rising trend again, the March number is neutral. The price ranges between $1.5 million and $2 million and over $3 million saw a slight decrease last month, but the range over $3 million is still close to its record high at 348 listings. It is going to take a very long time for all 348 of those to sell at the current sales rate. 99% of active listings are normal with 26 short sales / pre-foreclosures and seven lender-owned properties. Normally luxury listing counts climb during the first three months of each year, reaching a peak at the beginning of April and it looks as though 2019 will be no different.
Demand – Sales
February 2019 gave us 340 closed transactions though ARMLS. This is two more than February 2018, when we saw 338. It confirms the bounce back in sales volume that we forecast last month. 340 is the second highest total for February that we have recorded, with 2005 the record holder on 345. The range between $600.000 and $800,000 set a new record with 108 sales. So did the range between $1 million and $1.5 million with 56. The range over $3 million equaled the all-time record of eleven. At that record rate the 348 active listings over $3 million would take just over two and a half years to clear.
Demand – Under Contract
We can anticipate future sales by looking at homes under contract. We started March 2019 with 691 listings under contract, which is down 8% from the 753 of March 1st, 2018. This is the same percentage difference as last month. The weakness is concentrated in the low end from $500,000 to $1.5 million. Above $1.5 million we now have more homes under contract than we had at this time in 2018. This suggests that the top end of the market will again be strong in March after its very quiet January. Normal sales comprise 97% of luxury homes in escrow, the same as last year.
Due to relatively low volumes and a wide range of price points, the Northeast Valley luxury market can display a lot of volatility if measured on a monthly basis. We therefore prefer to measure over a longer period in order to identify trends more accurately. Since the market low of $219 in 1Q 2012 we have seen the twelve-month average move upwards to $281 per sq. ft. which is an increase of 28%. Luxury home pricing first peaked in August 2015 when the twelve-month average price per sq. ft. hit $269 and finally exceeded that level fourteen months ago. The twelve-month average currently stands at $281, up 3% from $273 in February 2018. The six-month average has climbed to $285, up from $276 in February 2018 and the three-month average stands at $286, up from $285 in February 2018.
Overall luxury pricing has established a rising price trend again over the last fourteen months, having moved sideways between 2015 and 2017.
Under Contract Pricing
We have seen a rise in sales pricing over the past fifteen months, but under contract pricing had been showing little movement until December when we saw an abrupt rise to $300 per sq. ft. This reflected the low percentage of homes under $1 million in escrow at the start of January and a relatively strong showing from homes over $1 million. At the start of March our figure has risen again to $310. We therefore expect sales $/SF to remain strong during March.
The average under contract price for normal listings is $314 per sq. ft. The average for (the very few) lender owned homes is $196 per sq. ft and short sales average $235 per sq. ft.
Area Reports - March 2019
Although we publish montly reports for the following five communities, we track sales in all areas of the Northeast Valley. If you have questions about a specific area that is not covered in the areas below, please call us at 480-991-2050 and we can provide you with up-to-date market information.