Saturday, May 15, 2010

April Residential Sale Statistics

The Tucson Association of Realtors has released the Residential Sales Statistics for April. The $8,000 tax credit for first time buyers really had its intended effect: number of homes sold was up 31% from April 2009. Buyers needed to be in escrow by April 30 to get this tax credit, and will need to close by June 30, so the strong numbers will continue for a few more months. What happens then, no one knows for sure.

The tax credit also helped stabilize home prices. Average sale price was $199,986, which is 4% higher than April 2009. At $159,000, the median home price is 2% lower than last April, but almost 1% more than in March 2010.

FHA financing, with allows loans up to $316,000, accounted for 30% of the sales. Conventional financing (not insured by FHA or VA) was 31% of the sales. A whopping 27% of buyers paid cash. So many of my buyers who wanted to buy their first home this spring were been beaten out by investors who paid cash for foreclosed and otherwise distressed properties. Most of these houses that sold for cash would not qualify for financing because they are in terrible condition. The fixer upper bargains that can be bought with cash are astounding. Houses priced under $100,000 that are move-in ready are rare.

Eighty-six percent of the sales were under $300,000. Hmm, do you think the $316,000 limit on FHA loans has anything to do with that?

The easiest place to sell a house was in zip codes 85706, 85714 and 85741, where over 38% of the houses on the market sold last month. These areas are in South Tucson. In the Tucson metro area, the lowest rate of turnover was in Northeast Tucson zip codes 85749 and 85750, Central Tucson west of First Ave (85705) and the West Foothills (85718). In these zip codes, fewer than 13% of the active listings sold. Rural areas are struggling even more. In all the Tucson MLS, 19% of the active listings sold, or 1,227 sales out of 6,603 listings.

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