Friday, May 8, 2009

April Residential Sales Statistics

The Tucson Association of Realtors has released the Residential Sales Statistics for April. The average sale price was $193,351, down 5.3% from the previous month and down 23.8% since April 2008. Median sale price was $164,000, down 0.61% since March and down 15.9% since last year. However, except for a blip upward in February, the median sale price has been stable since the first of the year.

882 units sold, which is down 1.12% since March and down 13.1% since last year. The good news is active listings continues to decline, reaching 6,890 in April, which was down 7.08% from March and 21.78% since last year.

The reduction in number of houses for sale means we continue to get closer to a balance market, which is a six month supply of listings. With 6,890 active listings and 882 sales in April, we now have a 6,890/882 = 7.81 month inventory.

Getting a jumbo mortgage (over $417,000) usually requires 30% down payment and involves a 2% jump in the interest rate above the current 5% rate offered on conforming loans. So the luxury market will suffer until lending restrictions are loosened. Only seven properties priced over $750,000 sold last month. Similar to last month, 87% of the sales were of properties priced under $300,000.

Housing Opportunity Index

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo have released the Housing Opportunity Index for the fourth quarter of 2008. The HOI measures the percent of houses sold in each of 222 cities that were affordable to a family earning the median income. The index assumes the family will spend 28% of their gross income on their house payment.

The median income in Tucson was $55,000 and the median house sale price was $170,000, according to this study. This makes 64.1% of our houses affordable to the average family. We ranked 132 in affordability nationally.

Lots of other data are available at this site. It's interesting to see how interest rates affect affordability. Obviously, with interest rates currently at historic lows, a family's home buying dollars will stretch a lot further today than they will when interest rates go back up to more normal levels.