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Market Update
 

IT'S A BUYERS MARKET

SALES:
9/13/07
Summer was slow in the Real Estate market, which is normal for the Wickenburg area, but this summer was slower than the average of recent years.  Eighteen Properties went under contract between june 1st, and august 31st which is about 1/2 the number we might normally see. The average sale price of those that have closed escrow is $304,000 which isn't far from normal, but of those currently in escrow the average asking price is $465,000. So the average price is as high as ever. Looking on the Bright side September looks to be picking up  with 6 homes going under contract in just the last week, and with an average asking price of $475,000.

inventory/ time on the market:
Currently we have 191 homes on the market which is about 30 more than the beginning of summer, and which is about 30 more than the average of recent years.*  What's interesting is that the selection of homes in the lower price ranges is actually much worse than we have had in years past, but that lack of supply has not translated into quick sales. It seems that with the lack of supply has come lack of demand, and so the average time on the market is still reasonably close to the average of years past (excluding 2005 of course) The time on the market in the higher price ranges has climbed from an average of 4 months last year to an average of 7 month, which is inline with the averages in 2003 and 2004

PRICES:
We have not seen any notable changes in prices over the last year, but there are some good deals to be found out there.  With the slow down in the pace of the market some of the more motivated sellers have had to drop their asking prices below market values to entice a seller.  So in general I would say that in the prices ranges under $350K, values are stable and maybe slightly higher than last year, and over $300K they are stable and maybe slightly lower than last year.

Expectations:
As the weather starts to cool down sales should start to pick up again, so the time on the market should level off, and may even fall a little.  I expect prices to stay about the same, with some good deals here and there.  With some of the new developments coming into to play I expect the inventory of homes may climb a little, but only in those higher price ranges where you find new construction. I am speculating that the interest will pick up with the new inventory of homes, but I don't have any facts on which to base that speculation, so we shall wait and see.

Land:
The demand for land has been much lower than normal of late even though the availability is quite good. I attribute that to a couple of factors. One factor is the cost of new construction, which has climbed considerably this year The other factor is the asking prices of the land that is on the market. The asking prices of land are actually higher in many areas than they were in 2005. Looking on the bright side we have actually seen a number of price reductions, and still continue to see new listings to the market. So I wouldn't say that the values of land are dropping, just that the asking prices are falling back to reasonable numbers, that will in many cases still be comparable or even higher than the banner year of 2005.

* When I mention an average I will exclude 2005 which was a most unusual year in Real Estate.

 

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