Saturday, September 14, 2013

Keeping Cool

Steve and I have been escaping the heat and revealing in the glorious conifer forest at the top of Mount Lemmon, only an hour from Tucson. The 26 mile road up the mountain climbs 6,800 feet. You'll see changes in vegetation similar to what you'd see in a drive from Mexico to Canada. It never ceases to amaze and delight me, especially when the temperature is 30 to 40 degrees cooler than it is in Tucson.
We encountered a lightning storm on the Marshall Gulch Trail, and got a little rain. Imagine our shock as we drove down the mountain and saw what appeared to be snow. It was two inches of hail in August. Do we live in a magical place or what?
Back in the desert, the wildlife in my backyard have their own ways of keeping cool.
This Mourning Dove isn't injured. After airing both of his wing pits, he flew away.
This Harris Antelope Squirrel also looks injured. He reminded me of a Rocky the Flying Squirrel. He is on my patio, engaging in heat dumping. He is actually able to transfer excess heat from his body to the patio.

Another variation on the heat dumping concept.

August Residential Sales Statistics

The Tucson Association of Realtors has released the Residential Sales Statistics for August.

Average sale price was $191,283 in August, a 27% increase since we hit bottom at $150,699 in September 2011. In Tucson, sale prices and number of sales typically peak in the summer, and decline in the fall. August's average sale price was 3% lower than July's, so that may indicate we will experience the usual autumn slowing of market activity. There were 1,205 sales last month, and we can probably expect fewer sales each month from now through February, when buyers recover from their holiday distractions.

We had 4,249 active listings last month, an 8% increase from July, and a 19% increase since August last year. If the number of active listings continues to increase, it might result in a reduction of sale prices. However, most of the action is in the $120,000 to $250,000 range. With 1,695 active listings divided by 590 listings sold, we have a 2.87 month supply of listings in that range. Anything below a six month inventory is a seller's market, so we have a strong seller's market for that price range. In the $50,000 to $100,000 range, we have a 465 listings divided by 194 sales for a 2.4 month inventory. For the most part, the houses under $100,000 need quite a bit of repair.

Overall, we have a 4,249 listing divided by 1,205 sales for a 3.53 month supply of listings. So the increased inventory may continue to put downward pressure on houses priced above $300,000, but in the entry level and investor market, the competition is still strong for well-maintained houses. 

Except for slight dips in the past two winters, median sale price has steadily increased from $117,500 in September 2011 to $160,500 last month. Half the properties sell for less than the median price, and half sell for more.