If you have spent any time looking for information about market conditions, you know that there are a lot of great statistics out there telling you about the housing market and whether or not it’s a good time to buy or sell. This is really useful, but can be difficult to interpret. To get a better understanding of what’s really going on in the world of real estate, we created the Local Market Expert Series.
Each month, we ask real estate experts about the market conditions in their area. In this month’s installment of the Local Market Expert Series, we hear from Joani Frankel of Sun City, AZ. Frankel has served the Greater Phoenix area as a REALTOR® and buyer’s representative since 1978. She is a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and is specially trained in addressing the needs of buyers and sellers over 50 years of age.
What changes have you noticed in your market’s inventory over the last 6 months and how does your inventory look now?
Frankel: “The greater Phoenix area, also known as the “Valley of the Sun” has been consistently plagued with LOW inventory. Here in the Sun Cities we are coming into prime buying time as our treasured Snowbirds are returning and the savvy sellers are just getting their homes ready for market. In the past 6 months our total market inventory has not exceeded 23,000 active and available listings. For Sun City, where the number of households totals 23,500 the active and available listings total ONLY 318.”
What’s your outlook on the recovery of home prices in your local market?
Frankel: “The bottom practically fell out of the real estate market in the late 2000s both here in Arizona and around the USA. Over the past few years prices have consistently risen “Valley wide” and in particular here in the Sun City. While not back to peak pricing, we have experienced consistent price increases, with double digit appreciation in 2015. I expect continued price increase as demand is high and inventory is low. This is often leading to multiple offers and homes selling, once again, over listed price. I expect 2016 to show continued appreciation and feel a buyer can be comfortable anticipating the same over the next few years.”
Have you noticed an upswing in sales for a particular type of property (townhouses, condos, single-family homes, etc.)? If so, is there a specific segment of buyers which is driving the upswing for those properties?
Frankel: “I have notice an upswing in the condo/townhouse/duplex or twin home market. I attribute this to a variety of factors #1. As winters get colder our “up North” snowbirds are flocking south in increased numbers. Many of these are still working full or part time in the their home locales but are being smart to position themselves with a stake in Sun City home ownership. The condo/townhouse/duplex or twin home is a great “lock and leave” property that can easily be closed up for summer months with less concern than having to maintain a single family home. #2. Many of these same buyers own more than one vacation home in other parts of the country or world and are being more moderate in purchase price so they can continue to enjoy various locations. #3. The main buyer market is what one calls the “Boomer” generation. These people have seen their share of market fluctuations both in housing and various investments so they are being wise and cautious as they seek to make Sun City either their permanent, vacation, or vacation to permanent home.”
What specific local economic factors are driving home sales in your area?
Frankel: “Arizona has come back quite strong in its economic outlook with unemployment levels reaching 6.1% in October 2015 down from a high in November 2009 of 11.2%. One of the main drivers of the Arizona economy is construction and this is booming in both residential and commercial arenas. High tech is another huge economic draw for Arizona and companies such as Boeing, Intel and Honeywell lead the pack helping to provide economic stability. As the economy has improved nationally another area of improvement is in the travel/vacation /entertainment sectors. With access to major sports venues (think football, basketball, hockey and yes…another Super Bowl), great restaurants and shopping, and most of all, amazing weather with sunshine being a joyful actuality, Sun City will continue to be a favorite destination for many years to come.”
What do you enjoy most about living in Sun City, AZ? When you are not selling real estate what do you do for fun?
Frankel: “Although I do work more than full time I have been able to take advantage of the 7 Sun City Recreation centers, the fabulous classes offered, the concerts, dances and plays. Although I am personally not a golfer I know that the 8 golf courses, open to all residents, are a major draw to many. I love the easy atmosphere, the proximity to all amenities, the availability of more than 120 clubs and truly subscribe to the adage here “If you are bored in Sun City it is your own fault.” Come visit my beautiful city. I’ll be waiting for you!”
Homes.com would like to thank Joani Frankel for her wonderful insight into Sun City’s market conditions! To check out available listings for sale in Sun City, AZ, visit Homes.com or go to myphxazhomes.com to search the MLS!