The trend is changing in ZIP codes 85044, 85045 and 85048. What was a strong sellers’ market, is becoming a “normal” market for both buyers and sellers. Properties are not flying off the shelf in a matter of hours. There are fewer multiple offers on them, so they are typically not selling for more than full price. Why are we seeing a change? There are many factors that enter into the equation.

September property sales totaled 114, down 8.1 percent from last month and down .9 percent over September of 2012. As we compare the September sales to 2011 and 2012, this year’s sales were at the lowest level. Yet, the YTD sales for these ZIP codes were still 8.1 percent ahead of last year’s YTD sales.

The median sales price in September was $260,000, down 1.9 percent over the prior year. Currently the medium list price is $330,000, which is down 3 percent over last month and up 25 percent over prior year same month (PYM). September 2013’s average sales price was $297,511, down 6 percent over last month and up 1 percent over PYM. September 2013 sales were down 8 percent and up 1 percent over PYM. September’s YTD sales of 1,313 are ahead of last year’s year-to-date of 1,215 sales.

Inventory continues to climb slightly for the fifth month in a row to 395 listings. Market time (DOM) shows how many days the average property is on the market before it sells. The DOM for September was 44, the same as last month and up 51 percent from 29 days in September of 2012. When DOM and inventory increases, it indicates a trend toward a buyer’s market. Although this scenario is trending toward a buyer’s market, it is not significant enough to indicate that change.

The sales price per square foot is a good indicator for the direction of property values. September 2013 selling price per square foot was up .7 percent to $144 from $143 last month, and up from $127 in September of last year.

The last indicator of the market is inventory, which includes existing listings and new listings. Currently the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) shows 175 new listings for September 2013, up 2.9 percent compared to 170 last month and up 11.5 percent from September of last year. Listings hit a high of 745 listings in October of 2010, when it was definitely a buyer’s market.

Inventory continues to grow slowly. Sellers whose homes are priced well are selling in a reasonable amount of time. Additionally, interest rates continue to hover between 4.00 percent and 4.25 percent. These trends continue to be positive and indicate a healthy market for both buyers and sellers in the Ahwatukee and Foothills areas.

• Linda Berg is branch manager and designated real estate agent for the Ahwatukee/Tempe office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. She has been a Realtor since 1978 and past-president of the Southeast Valley Association of Realtors. Reach her at (480) 753-3122 or www.azmoves.com/Linda.Berg.

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