Thanks for checking in, welcome to my blog! Allow me to post you up with what's happening in the Tucson real estate market ~ Alan
I don't believe it is our heat that is causing a pullback of sorts in real estate sales this month.
I think the real reason is everyone is on vacation! July was the first month of the year
where business was not on fire. One gets the distinct feeling that buyers, would-be sellers
and even realtors are largely missing in action, taking advantage of a last minute vacation
before the new school year starts and everyone is back to business.
And, whatever it is, buyers should take note - it could be the one moment you have to
experience making a deal without as much fear from getting outbid by another buyer. You
know this isn't going to last...inventory levels remain on the lower side and interest rates really
haven't risen since the first quarter. And, with a new "Pathway to Purchase" program that
recently unveiled itself, (a government-based stimulus program designed to aid buyers with
the ability to borrow their downpayment), it's just a matter of time until it's crazy out there again!
Anyone remember that 1973 hit song by Stevie Wonder? Well, if so, the lyrics should
also include "...buyers, keep on buyin', while sellers keep on sellin'..." at least for Tucson,
AZ, our current summer hotness notwithstanding. Even with our temps at 106, we are
not hibernating in our air-conditioned offices, transactions are being made and the
market continues to knock on our doors.
Inventory remains lower, to much lower, depending on neighborhood and price point.
Interestingly enough, low inventory continues almost everywhere in the US, so it is not
just us alone. But Tucson's cadre of buyers are still quite price conscious, even in the face
of lower inventory. It is important for sellers to realize they should still be priced well
according to their market and not price themselves into the sky, or the home will sit!
As we approach monsoon, may you keep on tryin' till you reach your highest ground!
RENTAL MARKET STILL MOVING UP!
While we at Long Realty don't cover the property management side of the business,
it is worth at least noting what's going on with Tucson rentals out there. Investors
are still making Tucson their choice. Recently, a 140-unit complex, "University Villa"
on Ironwood Hill Dr., just closed for 17.45 million. And, a new 4-story complex is
underway at Speedway and Tyndall, which will feature construction of a modern
set of 57 units. This will ease some of the pressure of the rental market, particularly
the student housing sector of the rental market.
Even with all of the previous high-rise rental developments in the past few years,
and the addition of more units on the way, rental prices are still up compared to
those years prior to all of that. Tucson is still penciling out very nicely for the
investors out there!
MARKET MARCHES ON!
March and April were both hot market months and we have seen no slowdown as yet.
Interest rates are creeping up, 4.75-5.00% are fast becoming the new norm for the
30 year mortgage rates available out there. The Federal Reserve raised their federal
funds rate from 1.5 to 1.75% which has precipitated this mortgage rise.
Septic Tanks need to be certified within 20 days of a deal, this is a big change from
waiting until the last week of the deal. It will take the unpredictability out of the
equation and provide information at the onset of the deal rather than the end of
the deal, a welcome change!
Older AC's that have run on R-22 refrigerant will unfortunately see that refrigerant
being phased out. It doesn't necessarily mean that the old AC will be rendered
defunct. There are options besides getting a new system, including retrofitting the
old system to handle and operate with new refrigerant available today.
FULL BLOWN FEBRUARY!
The market has responded in kind as per usual this Spring - buyers are coming out of the
woodwork, shopping, making deals, multiple offers commonplace and inventory is being
absorbed quickly. Here is a link for some interesting reading about where Americans
were moving to during the 2017 year:
When it comes to inbound moving from other parts of the US, Arizona is ranked number 1!
This intriguing article was produced by North American Van Lines Moving Company, bravo!
It's been called a "game-changer" for Tucson. A new 300-foot skyscraper is now slated in downtown
where now lies a vacant parking lot on Broadway between Sixth and Scott Avenues. Although it will
not quite have the status of being the tallest building in Tucson, it will come pretty close (the tallest
currently is 1 S. Church at 320 feet, 23 floors high). When completed, the new tower will rise 20
stories and should set the tone for Tucson's future downtown skyline. It's an amazing step for
Tucson's economics - an out of state developer has this much confidence in demand to lay out
some 110 million to create this Rio-Nuevo approved project. Another powerful component to an
already revitalized downtown!
Meanwhile back on the ground floor, the Tucson real estate market continues good-to-excellent with
buyers and sellers right back at it post holiday season. Deals are being made, sometimes complete
with multiple offers on the very well priced properties. The decided sense is that 2018 will mirror
the bountiful real estate market of 2017. Although mortgage rates have inched up to ~ 4.375%,
the market has not slowed.
Remember that "Magic 8 Ball" response? I think it is a match for what is coming for us in 2018.
Although I'd be remiss to say "It is certain", I'm quite comfortable with "Signs point to yes".
Recent consumer information puts Arizona as the 5th highest state population growth for 2017,
Pima County's jobless rate is down again, optimism among small US companies advanced to its
highest level since 1983 and new-home prices reached record levels in 2017 for Tucson, higher
than the market's peak in 2006, fueling home-builder confidence to open several new communities
Looking back at 2017.... in the words of Garrett Morris of SNL, 2017 has been a berry berry good
year for us! Central Tucson lead the way in garnering an appreciation increase of more than 10%
in sold prices for the year, versus 2016. The Foothills, while on a slower pace, still enjoyed better
than a 4% increase in sold prices versus last year. These figures represent extensive areas,
neighborhoods do vary widely. I am happy to let you know what YOUR neighborhood experienced
for the year, feel free to contact me anytime at (520) 631-7222. Have a wonderful rest of your
2017 and all the best for 2018!
OV IS OK!
Our great neighbor to the northwest has taken first place in WalletHub's article "Best Small Cities
to Live in Arizona" - Oro Valley it is! Cited is the town's low crime rate, educated population and
a nearly non-existent poverty level. It looks as though the whole metro of Tucson is going to close
2017 with nice, positive real estate numbers, I'll keep you posted as we get closer. Activity has
predictably shifted down a bit for the holidays but we're anticipating a healthy January to ramp-up
our market for the new year. All the best to you and yours this holiday season!
Nice to see the recent jump in market and sales activity after a relatively quieter August and
September. Thanks to cooler temps and continued lower interested rates (even though they
have ticked up ~ 1/4%), our market is once again showing its strength. And, speaking of
revitalization, Congress Street just received a shout-out from the American Planning Association
which honored it as being one of the country's greatest 5 streets. They cite the street's
character, quality of restoration and planning, street car, pedestrian access, etc., here is the link:
THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES!
As our monsoon says goodbye for the season, the blissfully cooler days and evenings that we've
been waiting for have arrived and are most welcome! Interestingly, like the weather, the Tucson
real estate market has calmed down a bit as well. After 7 blistering pace months, the market is
taking a little breather. It may be back to school focus, last minute vacation or just a natural
blip in this year's market path. Whatever it is, think of it as a pause that refreshes - inventory
levels get their chance to catch up and buyers are gifted with less chance of running into multiple
offers. At the same time, you can almost feel the reloading going on...so don't get too comfortable,
the white hot pace is going to be back at anytime!
Kudos to Tucson, here's a link to an article from Redfin that puts our city as the number one
college town to invest in! I have assisted buyers investing in university homes for their kids
throughout the decades. This article has the figures in black and white and why it's a smart
way to go!
MONSOON MADNESS AND THE MOTHER OF ALL JULYS!
If there is anything that might have put any damper on our hot market, (that pun intended)
would it, could it have been our heavy monsoon season thus far? Not really - buyers and sellers
haven't missed a step, the strength of our market continues forward. The past month of July
completely shattered all previous rainfall records for any July, with a recordation of 6.8 inches of
rain! Great to get all of that water with the humbling heat we all experienced in June. Although
this historic monsoon season is upon us, our fast-paced business is as usual. Please note, needing
roof estimates, roof repairs and exterior painting can and will be challenging, definitely provide for
some extra time. And enjoy the record-setting monsoon season!
Tucson's weather this June has brought record temps, a span of 115+ degree days and a summer
we haven't seen the likes of in quite a spell. We hit 116 on June 20th, tied for the 2nd hottest
temp ever recorded in Tucson history. Tucson's all-time high was recorded on June 26, 1990
when the thermometer topped out at 117.
Just as I was expecting this month's extreme heat to throw a pause into our market...that notion
ended up melting in the heat. This June has us working hard, encountering real estate as hot
ever, complete with multiple offers, buyers not hesitating to act and deals being made as fast
as at any clip in this blisteringly strong market we've experienced thus far this year. Believe it,
don't be fooled by the heavy heat and bring your A-game to the negotiating table!
Yes, the sun is shining. Yes, Tucson has already reached triple digits, yes, U of A
and Tucson schools are out and snowbirds have left the building. What we are not
seeing is the typical slowdown of our real estate business. The market, thus far
anyway, has decided that business is as usual. Which means a market as hot as the
weather and ready to strike. We are still seeing multiple offers and well-priced
property snatched up long before you expected. Continue seeing busy inspectors,
appraisers and handymen and allow appropriate time periods for your transactions.
Our super schools have scored! US News and World Report has come up with the
TOP 15 High Schools in the USA. Basis Tucson North was number 2 and Basis Oro
Valley marched in at number 3 while TUSD's University High School rounded out
the list at number 15. Just another great reason to call Tucson home!
Our hot market continues - not to be interrupted by the Fed Funds interest rate increase -
lenders anticipated the rise and mortgages have actually ticked down to ~ 4.25% towards
month's end. Buyers are out there in great numbers and not hesitating to make moves
on the well priced properties out there.
New housing is way up and resale homes are flying off the shelves, er, streets. Tucson is
said to be one of the hottest markets in the country in terms of most value increase (5%)
since the first of the new year!
It's no joke! The Dow Industrial Average broke the 20,000 mark and is still climbing. Economic
figures continue to impress! One thing you can bank on coming along for the ride - rising
interest rates. They do tend to accompany growing, healthy economies and our current
economic environment appears to be ready to follow suit at any moment. Hang on to those
loan-locks and keep your eye on the fluctuations.
Turning locally, Tucson was recently projected as being the 9th hottest housing market in the US
for 2017 by Realtor.com, not too shabby!
NEW CONTRACT DEAD AHEAD!
The new State of Arizona Real Estate Contract is coming! This is the first significant change in the
contract we've used for residential real estate to come along in several years. While many
clauses in the new contract merely spell out in greater length the same items we've always
had, there is a huge change in it with regards to the presumption of seller "warranted" items.
In the soon-to-be-old-contract, unless the deal was "AS-IS", it was assumed that the seller
would warrant the operation of critical home systems, such as heating, cooling, electrical and
plumbing systems. The new contract takes this presumption away and states the home's systems
"are what they are" leaving buyers to perform diligent inspections to gain as much material
information as possible on any given property. So, what to remember? Sellers, have a good
idea as to what is working or not working and formally disclose. Buyers, realize your inspection
period has never been more important, use this time to diligently inspect any given property.
Feel free to contact me for further explanations, this new contract is set to go into effect in February.
MORE "ALL GOOD" STUFF!
No surprise, our year is ending on a decidedly great note. Tucson's unemployment rate has
plunged to just over 4%, lower than the national figure of 4.6%. According to economist
George Hammond of UA, job growth in Tucson should exceed 1.7% in 2017 and Tucson is
expected to add 7000 jobs during the new year as well. S & P has placed Pima County as
the 3rd fastest job creator in the country!
Meanwhile, Tucson's retail sector is up, the new multi-story downtown hotel is slated to open,
the transformation of the Ronstadt Center is underway, along with its 400 new housing units,
and, coupling that with the downtown senior housing project, a total of 1000 added housing
units will be put into motion for 2017 in downtown alone.
And, as we say 'so long' to 2016, homeowners will also be happy to know that we gained some
8% in value appreciation this year for Central Tucson houses. House sales (units sold) were also
up nicely, 20% higher for the year! For the Catalina Foothills, houses (units sold) were up 8%
for the year and appreciation coming in about half of Central's, values being higher by about
4% than the previous year. Such a nice, solid year....all indicators are pointing for more to come!
Enjoy the rest of what's left of 2016 and here's to a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
IT'S ALL GOOD!
Following the latest deluge of good consumer news -- consumer confidence reported being at
its highest level in some 9 years, the Dow traveling north of 19000 for the first time in history,
unemployment benefits filings at a 4-decade low and Raytheon promising a major local
expansion complete with upwards of 2000 added jobs -- real estate sales in Tucson are
responding in kind! Activity is higher than normal for the season, carrying right on through
Thanksgiving break. We are looking to capture about 10% in appreciated home value
this year! Inventory levels continue low, serious buyers are out there seriously shopping and
deals are being made. Enjoy the season!
Things are still ramped up in our local real estate market - I'm too busy to write this blog! :-p
Will be back to you next month, enjoy the cooler weather finally!
TIME TO TOOT OUR OWN HORN!
Thank you to the community for choosing Long Realty Co. as their number one for residential
real estate! The AZ Star Reader's Choice Awards were just passed out and Long won for
Residential Real Estate Brokerage, Long Mortgage, Long Insurance, and Commercial Brokerage -
all receiving #1 honors! Here is a link to know more about this great company that I have been
with for over 20 years:
It includes a cool and interesting 4-min YouTube video about Long Realty, fun to watch,
just click the See Our Story orange button once you are on. Let me know if I may ever be
of any assistance and I'll get Tucson's number one company working for you! ~ Alan
JULY + AUGUST 2016
The market continues as hot as our summer with no slow-down in sight, it looks like our great
real estate year in Tucson is going coast to coast, Jan to Dec. At the same time, it is great to
notice some current NY Times and USA Today articles exalting Tucson's culinary scene...
Not entirely surprising to Tucsonans, for years we've dined happily at so many fresh and fun,
diverse and delicious, upscale and casual, overall wonderful restaurants here in the Old Pueblo
and could create catalogs about them. Now Tucson has garnered the attention of the national
stage and here are some of those interesting articles making the rounds recently:
And job growth finds our little town number 3 in the US on this Bloomberg list:
BAT-CATS BOW TO CHANTICLEERS
A big salute to U of A's baseball team, whom were not supposed to be anywhere near a College
World Series, yet managed to come within one win of the championship before ultimately losing
to Coastal Carolina.
Meanwhile, you buyers out there, if you are looking for that one extra base to help you reach
home, here are some new and interesting programs that could be game-changers for you!
Down Payment Assistance (DPA), Pima Bond Money and Arizona Pathway to Purchase are the
new opportunities, drafted to help you steal home. Down payment loans, all but shut-out the
past several years, are now available to individuals up to $20,000, or, up to 10% of your
purchase price, if you wish to take a swing at it. These loans would have to be paid back unless
they're owner-occupied for the entire 5 years. But, perhaps this is the green-light pitch you've
been sitting on, swing for the fences and bring down the house! Please contact me for more
info, I'm happy to coach you through it!
CATERPILLAR IS COMING!
Just in case you have been in hiding under a rock, the Caterpillar company is making its way
into the Old Pueblo. Some 600 executive jobs will be added into our local economy, once again
showing the attraction of our metro area. Meanwhile, May has been a great month for sales in
our housing market. We have not felt the usual slow-down that we normally experience at this
time. Buyers are buying, mortgage rates continue exceptionally low and the Spring's quick pace
has definitely not subsided. Enjoy the heat! :)
REAL ESTATE SCAM ALERT!
Unfortunately, phishers and spoofers are at it again. Sadly, they never seem to quit devising
ways to fool the public and have reached out to our industry in some wickedly creative ways.
If they can find their way into your email box and crack your personal information, they are
are using true real estate transactions to drain bank accounts of unsuspecting buyers and
sellers. BE AWARE!
One devious plan involves them sending an email to you that looks like it's coming from
a real escrow officer or real estate agent. It asks for you to provide them your bank routing
information needed to close. They can steal hundreds of thousands of dollars this way and
once the deed is done, their whereabouts will most likely be untraceable.
Another hack attack goes like this: Spoofers enlist new for-sale listings, complete with the
true agent's listing description and photographs and subsequently repost them on sites such
as Craigslist and Facebook, as a rental property. "We decided not to sell, ignore the realtor's
sign, we just want to rent the property now" are some of the things they will tell you when
you call them. They'll ask you to drive by, poke around, and if you are interested to please
send them a check to reserve the property.
Please be on your toes. Certainly, if you are in the midst of a real estate deal, know that
an escrow officer or realtor will never ask you for sensitive personal information via email.
If you are ever in doubt, please follow your urge to pick up the phone and verify!
ACTIVITY UPTICK ALERT!
March Madness is with us once again, lots of action within our local real estate market!
Unit sales are up, closed price points have also ticked up March 2016 V. March 2015, and
and the housing atmosphere is sustaining positively in the right direction so far this year.
The Blenman-Elm/Catalina Vista Neighborhoods will soon be experiencing some
new development across from the Arizona Inn, specifically in the Potter Place pocket.
The plan is for a dozen or so luxury homes to be built, priced in the $750,000 to
1.1 million range.
On a larger scale, Mattamy Homes has recently purchased some 173 acres on the
Eastside from the City of Tucson. This development will be just west of Civano and
will incorporate and preserve the open acreage of the popular "Fantasy Island"
mountain bike trail park within the site.
FEBRUARY'S FABULOUS FINANCING!
Back in December, the feds decided to raise the central bank's benchmark interest rate
for the first time in 10 years. Many took a collective breath in and wondered what this
might do to mortgage interest rates, and how it might affect our market. Not so much.
In fact, the truth is that mortgage interest rates have actually gone down in the 2 1/2
months since the hike. January's 4% for a fixed 30-year mortgage has morphed into
3.75% for February!
In addition to this, we are hearing more and more of government down payment
assistance programs. See your favorite loan officer to see if you might be able to
qualify for these interesting options!
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
As we make our way into the New Year, many have been asking as to what we should
expect for 2016. What will affect real estate? Where will interest rates be? How about
the new TRID rules? What about oil prices? Who will win the election? Etc, etc, etc. It's
easy to spout out predictions but studies have continually found that "expert" forecasting
can hardly beat monkeys throwing darts. And this is the year of the monkey!
Tucson has been experiencing a nice, balanced market for a few years now, equating
to slight rises in appreciation depending on the exact neighborhood in question. In
general, we are feeling that we won't be surprised if 2016 produces a rise in value in the
3-6% range. We are also guessing that interest rates will not rise much, if at all, from
where they are now, around 4% for a 30 year mortgage. The market here continues
along its recovery with lots of listings and lots of buyers-balanced! And that is good.
Boom markets are not easy to operate in and nobody likes bust markets. So enjoy
your balanced market and may you experience a fantastic year!
BACK ON THE RISE!
Congratulations, Tucson, real estate sales in town kept a brisk pace all year long,
property value appreciation is up about 5% this year. More homes were sold this
year than last, unit sales of houses were up about 13% over a year ago. Listing levels
are basically close to the same, though we are ending the year with slightly less listings
for sale than at the end of 2014.
Great news on the appreciation - 2014 was basically an even year, 2013 and 2012 were
rising years and with 2015 being on the positive side of the fence, we are cumulatively
up about 25% from the low point of our market in 2011. Tucson real estate is continuing
to find its path through the great recovery.
All the best to you this holiday season and have a wonderful 2016!
As per usual, October in Tucson is rocking! The market has awaken from its
summer slumber and things are taking off once again. It feels just like the
first quarter of this year where February and March were by far our strongest
months. Good to see the comeback and with all of the added action, we
may well end up with positive appreciation for the year of 2015 - we shall see!
NEW FINANCING DISCLOSURES, NEW R.E. CONTRACT!
Just as we've all been getting used to the way things have been going with
all of the financial requirements to fund a loan, a new set of rules is
coming along very soon. This is called "TRID" which stands for Tila Respa
Integrated Disclosure (Tila is Truth and Lending Act) and rolls out on
October 3rd. The new Arizona Real Estate Contract coincides with this
date, although not a lot has changed on it.
What is important to know is that the new lending forms, disclosures, rules
and timelines are likely going to affect the timing needed to close deals
involving financing, and, they are designed to be more protective to consumers.