If home sales are a gauge of a market’s desirability, Ahwatukee has gotten a lot more desirable over the last two years. Sales of single-family residences (SFR) in January 2013 were 88 percent higher than in January 2011, and 5 percent higher than in January 2012.
If those numbers are divided up to show the portion of distressed sales versus normal sales, the Ahwatukee market is not only showing strength, but sales are also much more wholesome.
Normal sales of SFRs last January increased nearly three-fold from the January two years ago. Compared to last year, SFR sales were 50 percent higher, bringing the total number of normal SFR sales to nearly 80 percent of the 105 single-family homes sold in January 2013. Two years earlier normal SFR sales equaled only 38 percent of total SFR sales.
The sale of condominiums in Ahwatukee also performed admirably. While 75 percent of condo sales two years ago were distressed sales — that is, short sales, bank owned sales or government owed sales — last January the number of distressed condo sales had dropped to only 20 percent of total sales.
Although condos sales two years ago were higher than sales last January, last month’s figure at 20 units was more than 60 percent higher than the year before.
In terms of distress versus non-distress sales, normal condo sales were roughly the same in January 2011 and 2012 at five to seven units. Last January, normal condo sales had more than doubled to 16 units.
If sales gauge the real estate market’s desirability, then how long it takes to sell a home and how close to asking price it sells for measures the market’s efficiency.
Ahwatukee real estate agents are selling homes quickly and at prices close to asking. Both market efficiency indicators are at levels close to those set in 2005 when the market was very strong and beginning to overheat.
For all three Ahwatukee ZIP codes the average days on the market in the third quarter of 2010 was between 65 and 100 days. By the third quarter of 2012, ADOM had dropped to between 29 and 42 days.
And while Ahwatukee homes prices increased from 15 to 30 percent over the last year, homes continued to sell at close to asking price. Over the last year, the difference between asking price and sale price actually decreased while prices overall were increased.
During the third quarter of 2011 homes in Ahwatukee sold between 97 to 98 percent of the asking price. As of the third quarter of 2012, homes were selling between 98 and 99 percent of the asking price, and prices rose roughly 15 to 30 percent between then.
Those two figures indicate that real estate agents were setting prices realistically while at the same time increasing them, a balancing act that deserves some hat tipping.
Editor’s note: The figures used in this story are based on information from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service that was specific to the 85044, 85045 and 85048 ZIP codes.
• Christopher Leone is a graduate student from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He is interning this semester for the AFN.