Ahwatukee is seeing an increase in real estate activity compared to the same time last year.
When you compare the real estate activity from the beginning of this year to the end of April 2013 with the same time last year, we are seeing more homeowners putting their home on the market for sale.
Even though we are seeing more homes come up for sale, the number of buyers and sellers who have agreed on purchase price and terms, and are ready to proceed to closing did not increase.
Also the number of residential homes sold year to date was not that different from the same time last year.
How many homeowners decided to sell so far this year?
Since January, we have had a total of 256 homes available for sale compared to only 40 homes same time last year. That is more than a 500 percent increase. So this year we do not have a shrinking inventory situation as we did last year. Increasing home prices, banks and homeowners understanding the short sale process better and other factors could be the reason we are seeing more homes come up for sale in Ahwatukee and all over the Valley.
Out of the 256 homes that were available for sale in Ahwatukee 196 of these homes were priced below $500,000 compared to last year where only 27 of the 40 were priced below $500,000.
The lowest price last year to date was $55,000 while the lowest price this year was $63,000.
Are there buyers out there who are actually buying and getting keys to the house?
The number of actual buyers this year to date did not really change significantly from last year. Last year we had 537 homes, which had new owners, while this year we had 524 homes with new owners.
It took a much shorter time for buyers to get the keys to their new homes this year, an average of 57 days compared to 80 days, same time last year.
The average price of all the homes sold so far this year was $265,597, which is higher than the average sales price of $229, 156 the same time last year.
So far in Ahwatukee the most expensive home we have seen sold went for $1,287,500 compared to $1,299,000 last year, but on average, it took a much shorter time to sell this year.
The average median price for the homes that were bought this year was $240,000, which again is higher than the $189,000 we saw last year. This shows houses are selling for slightly more than they did last year.
How were buyers paying for the homes?
Ahwatukee had more buyers using a conventional loan than last year and less buyers using FHA loans. We had 262 buyers use a conventional loan compared to 252 buyers last year. We saw 94 buyers use an FHA loan, but only 66 of them used FHA this year.
Buyers using cash did not change significantly, with 169 last year and 161 this year.
Seven more buyers used VA loans than last year, meaning more homeowners who are selling accepted VA loans than they did last year. This is good news for buyers because it was very difficult as a buyer to get your offer accepted last year if you intended to use a VA loan.
In summary, the real estate market in Ahwatukee is not doing as terrible as it may sound or look. Some homeowners are beginning to see some equity, not a lot but just enough to break even so they are selling. Others are bringing some money to the table to get the house sold. It is better than it was just a few years ago. Buyers have much more hope than they did last year, when they could not have their offers accepted by sellers.
• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Dorette Oppong-Takyi is a real estate agent serving Ahwatukee and surrounding areas. Reach her at (480) 442-0779 or www.luxurylivinginphoenix.com.