Tucson Multiple Listing Service has published its July stats. The number of sales YTD in North Tucson is down about 25% from last year at this time. The number of new listings is about 3.5% less than this time last year.
I always keep up with the market and am constantly previewing new listings and am amazed that in this market (with so many homes for buyers to chose from), that houses are not staged better. Many have too much furniture which makes the house look small or have too many personal pictures everywhere. When there are too many personal pictures, it is hard for a buyer to imagine themselves living in the house. More than a few are priced too high. I always wonder if their agent is not giving them good advice or if they stubbornly do not listen to the advice their agents give them.
It is apparent that the market is not real poor for Sellers, but they really have to make the effort to make their houses, inside and out look as good as possible to stand out from the crowd.
The subprime market debackle has little or no affect on the Foothills market. Most buyers in the Foothills have good credit scores and put a minimum of 10% down. So although you will hear a lot of negativity about the huge affect this situation has on the marketplace, we are lucky enough not to be very affected.
My number crunching of the most recent multiple- listing stats indicate a slow turning in the market conditions of luxury Foothills homes priced from $400,000 and $750,000. After studying the numbers in zip codes 85750 and 85718, it seems that there is only a 5 1/2 month supply of houses priced from $400,000 – $500,000 and a 6 1/2 month supply of houses priced $500,000 – $750,000. Anytime the supply is around a six month supply of homes inventory, it is no longer a “Buyers’ Market” or a “Sellers’ Market”, and is instead, a “Neutral Market”. However, houses priced over $750,000 face a ten month inventory, so it is still a Buyers’ Market in this price range. This is good news for Sellers of Foothills houses priced from $400,000 – $750,000. No longer will they have to continue to reduce prices if their original list price is reasonable, and no longer will they have to give up so much in negotiations. Buyers who are looking for houses in this price range better buy now, because it is likely it will not be too long before the market may turn in the favor of the Sellers.
I am really glad my company–Long Realty– can be so innovative! Because we are going into a really slow season, Long is offering a special to all buyers who purchase a Long listing and use Long Mortgage for their financing. Long is offering the first year of the mortgage at one percent less. The offer runs from July 16 – September 15, 2007. This is also great for those who list with Long since literature on this special will be available at each of the houses we list, plus this special will be advertised and bring more buyers to look at our listings. My personal experience has been that Long Mortgage does a super job; rates are competitive and the service could not be better! Hurray!
There is a rare find of a new A. F. Sterling Home on an acre in the Foothills for just under one one million! “Ventana Reserve”, a small enclave of 17 homes located off of Sunrise and Indian Trails has much to offer! It is so popular that several Tucson realtors have decided to call this community home! This pristine desert area has mountain and city views and is within walking distance to Sabino Canyon and Ventana Canyon. Families are happy to note their children attend District 16 – Catalina Foothills schools that has test scores that are the highest in Pima County and, in the case of the middle school, – Esperero Canyon Middle -has been ranked by some as the best public middle school in the state. The HOA fee is a low $35 per month; these homes are on septic system. This is a rare find indeed!
I just wanted to mention that I just started a new “Sabino Mountain Blog” a few weeks ago. You may want to check it out; go into my website, www.DonnaAnderson.com and hit the “Sabino Mountain Blog” to read it. I was driven to write about the community that I live in and love! Sabino Mountain is a beautiful ridge -top community that has houses that started being built there in the early 2000s. Houses there include Pepper-Viner, Monterey, Outpost Builders semi-custom and custom homes and many other custom home builders. The current resale price ranges are from the high 300s to 2 million (at the present time–there are other houses not for sale that are clearly worth up to 5 million there). There are dramatic views of the Santa Catalina, Rincons and Santa Rita Mountains; great pristine desert and city views abound. It is located right near Sabino Canyon– near Sabino Canyon Road and Synder. The community is gated and has a neighborhood pool and club house. Please feel free to call me at 615-2598 if you would like to view houses for sale in this gorgeous neighborhood that I call home!
Windemere Distinctive Homes recently listed a home in Saguaro Ranch that sold for $4,950,000. Long Realty represented the buyer. Saguaro Ranch is the incredible exclusive community off of Tangerine Rd where you have to go through a tunnel to reach this awesome community. This house was located at 13485 N Old Ranch House Rd; it has 5300 square feet and is located on a little over 4 acres with 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths and 2 half baths. This property is not located in the Foothills, but the sales price was quite noteworthy. Lots in this community cost 1 million+.
The Foothills market is definitely one that is trying to stablilize. I find that in the primary Foothills zip codes of 85750 and 85718, that once the house is priced aggressively, it sells quickly and sometimes with more than one interested buyer making an offer. The key is to price the house 5% below the peak which occurred in March of 2006. Recently it has been locally estimated that Tucson has appreciated about 4% over last year. I have not found this to be the case anywhere in Tucson and have found the Foothills has held its own better than Oro Valley, Vail, Marana and the rest of Tucson. Statistics can be less than totally reliable. If you look at local statistics for average days on the market it is always lower than is the case. This is because excellent agents relist their houses at a minimum of every 60 days and then the clock starts ticking again. It certainly is reasonable to expect a Foothills home to take three or four months to sell when the price is right. There still is not an over-abundance of supply in most Foothills neighborhoods, however, there are some neighborhoods, such as Sabino Mountain, which has an abundance of two-story homes that are priced around the 500K range. It is best for Sellers of two-story homes priced around half a million to wait to list their homes later when inventory decreases. On the flip side, it is a buyers’ dream to purchase a two-story home in Sabino Mountain where you can get a great deal now and there is a lot to choose from. Sabino Mountain is a one-of-a-kind neighborhood located near Sabino Canyon sited on multiple mountain ridges with houses priced from $390,000 and up and is represented by such quality builders as Pepper-Viner and Monterey and semi-custom homes by Outpost and many custom builders.This new development started in 2001 and the last custom home sites are being built upon at the present time. There are many homes there that have Catalina, Santa Rita and Rincon mountain views, along with pristine and vast desert views and sparkling city night skyscapes. Sabino Mountain is gated and has its own community pool and club house. To find out more information about the Tucson Foothills, please do not hesitate to contact me at 520-615-2598.
Many of my clients have asked me to talk about what I think of the present day real estate climate. I have hesitated to write because I find it perplexing. Although I do not find an abundance of homes on the market in the prime Foothills zip codes of 85750 and 85718, it is clearly a buyers’ market. As a listing agent, I have found the quality of the people who visit my listings is not as good as it has been in the past few years: many do not have their homes on the market yet, or have not made the decision whether or not to call Tucson their home. The forecasts have been for prices to drop approximately 5% in 2007, but I find the 5% drop has already occurred. Time will tell if there is a further drop. The houses that are selling are the ones that are the very best in their price range and are priced aggressively. Another factor that has hurt the market is the rising interest rates which hover close to 7%. The good news for the Foothills zip codes is that many that work at major employers at Raytheon and U of A are ruling Oro Valley out since the commute is so long with all the I-10 interstate work going on. Oro Valley is gorgeous and is priced lower and has been a major competitor to zip codes 85718 and 85750. June and July are the major sale months for two-story homes since they attract more families with school -age children. One-story homes are attractive to both families and empty -nesters or second home purchasers; the months for selling for one -stories include the Winter months. I will try to keep my readers posted on our market and will continue to give you my straight-forward assessment.
It used to be very difficult to find a nice home with gorgeous mountain or city views in the Foothills unless you spent over $500,000. This is not the case any more! Recently I found affordable mountain and city view homes in Fairfield, Kachina Hill, LaPaloma, Solace at Sabino, Canyonwood Estates, and Summerset Hill. If you are satisfied with under 1,800 square feet, you can find some of these homes priced even lower than $400,000. This is a great time for fussy buyers to find their dream home at an affordable price! Many of these homes would be ideal for second home buyers. There is no longer a need for buyers seeking affordability to rule out the Foothills.
Donna Anderson, Realtor,Tierra Antigua Realty Donna@DonnaAnderson.com 520-615-2598; website: www.DonnaAnderson.com. AZ licensed