Bonny Holland
Submitted photo

Once again, the sun is shining on the housing market in Phoenix. Arizona is attractive once again to buyers with retirement, and a warmer climate, on the horizon. In 2012, domestic migration climbed high as it had been in the past five years as Arizona welcomed 26,000 migrants from other states. Across the state, as mortgage rates are decreasing and home values rising, the housing market is enjoying an influx as baby boomers choose our sunny skies. Even local retirees are opting to downsize, placing their current homes up for sale in favor of less maintenance.

In search of smaller living spaces, the demand for turnkey housing in Arizona is on the rise. Retirees are glad to give up a little square footage so they can spend less time cleaning the pool and more time lounging by it. The impact is a win-win — their home sales increase inventory for those looking for larger ones, and, purchasing their own new space fuels the local economy.

If you’re one of those lucky retiring boomers, at Arizona Mortgage Specialists, Inc., Mike Langs says it’s important for you to plan to purchase before you retire. Some plan years in advance, and purchase a home to use as a rental property, which only requires a 20 percent down payment. Then, you can opt to rent it out for five years, retire, and move in. Others purchase a second home, which only requires a 10 percent down payment.

Since September 2012, the Phoenix housing market has seen a recovery since the housing collapse that can only be described as robust. Housing prices have rebounded 30 percent here, in contrast with the national market increase of 11 percent during the same time period. Compared to other markets, the meteoric rise has been influenced by the decreased number of homes available, creating a leaner supply of homes on the market.

So what about right here in Ahwatukee? According to Mike Salyer, managing broker at Keller Williams Sonoran Living, there were 429 homes for sale here in September 2011, where 145 units commanded a median sales price of $170,000.00. But in September 2013, out of 346 available homes, 114 sold at a median price of $260,000.00. The decreased number of available homes in the Ahwatukee area has helped speed up the housing recovery overall. This rapid increase both in values and price have made Ahwatukee more attractive to sellers and buyers alike. While investors are still interested, there seems to be a shift towards more traditional owner-occupier, or second homebuyers, rather than investors.

A final positive indicator is the amount of new construction being launched in the Phoenix area. In recent times, home building, while increasing, has happened at a slower rate than in years past. The number of new builds increases each month; however, there is a decreased rate at which new projects are started.

Current trends, while positive overall, are beginning to move toward a more balanced level. The Phoenix housing market saw sharp swings during the housing crisis a few years back. Both buyers and sellers alike can rest easy, as it seems the Ahwatukee housing market is landing on stable ground. While many agree that at some point the supply will increase at a more rapid rate, it hasn’t happened just yet. One thing is for certain, the Ahwatukee housing market is showing signs of steady growth, which is good news for us all.

• Bonny Holland is with Keller Williams, Sonoran Living in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (602) 369-1085, www.leadingluxuryexperts.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

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