Monday, May 21, 2012

April Residential Sale Statistics

The Tucson Association of Realtors has published the Residential Sales Statistics for April, and once again, Everything's Coming Up Saguaro Blossoms for You and Me. Average sale price was $175,766, up 4.5% from March, and up 1% from last April. 1,276 units were sold,  a 10.7% increase from last April. Most amazing, number of listings is way, way down to 3,770, a 40% decline from April 2011. We have a three-month supply of listings. Anything below a six month supply is a sellers' market.

And indeed it is. Bidding wars are back. I just beat out five other offers on a property by offering $1,000 above any competing offer, and waiving the appraisal. It's like 2005 all over again.

However, I don't think we will see a return to the insane price increases of the mid-aughts. These days, buyers need be qualified for a mortgage. Investors, who used to buy a house under construction with the intention of doing no work and selling for a profit once the house was completed, no longer have that option. Today's investors are paying cash for uninhabitable houses, renovating them, and reselling to people who will live in them. It's great to see all those abandoned, trashed houses becoming homes again.

We have now seen the average sale price increase in six of the last seven months. Tucson real estate is looking really good. I get several calls a week from investors who want to get on the fix and flip gravy train, but with rising prices and increased activity among investors, it has become difficult to find a housing bargain. Most people who call me want to buy a $30,000 to $40,000 house in a decent area. I tell them they have a lot of competition.

Foreclosures were 30% of the sales, and short sales were 13% of the sales. It's a relief to see distressed sales comprising less than half of the sales. As prices rise, fewer homeowners will find themselves under water when they need to sell. I am doing more of what we used to call "normal" sales: no banks involved on the seller's side.

Buying a Condo in Tucson? Consider This.

Most of the condo listings in Tucson indicate that a buyer can purchase the condo using FHA financing. Most of the time, this is not true.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that insures FHA mortgages, established some rules last year that created huge liability for condo complexes that want to allow FHA financing. As a result, only three condo complexes currently qualify for FHA financing.

I explained the risks of obtaining HUD certification in my 7/23/11 blog post.

The eligible complexes, and the date their HUD certification expires are 1) Midtown Condominiums, 3646 E Blacklidge Dr., 9/28/2012, 2) Pinnacle Canyon Condominiums, 6/21/2013, and 3) Tierra Catalina Condominiums, 3201 E Skyline Dr., 4/7/2013.

Condos Eligible for FHA Financing in Tucson.