Phoenix – Ahwatukee-Foothills Real Estate Market Update – April 1, 2020
Is It Still Possible To Buy And Sell Real Estate With The Corona Virus?
As we monitor the National real estate news, we are repeatedly hearing that the real estate market has ground to a halt. However, this is not what we are seeing on the street in the Ahwatukee-Foothills market.
Ahwatukee-Foothills property sales in March stayed strong with 125 closed listings at an average sale price of $422,623. This is up from the average property value of $374,840. that we saw in the 2019 Ahwatukee Foothills real estate market.
Granted the sales that closed in March probably went under contract in February, before we became aware of the pending impact of the Corona Virus. However, a look at the 160 properties that went under contract in March indicates that the market activity was strong in March. There are 94 pending sales as of April 1st as we enter the month. With reasonable market activity, the 94 pending sales would appear to predict at least 120 to 130 closed sales in the AhwatukeeFoothills market in April.
The average days on market for an Ahwatukee-Foothills closed listing was 51 days in March which is down from the 67 average days on market February. The listing inventory has been hovering around 130 units for the past several months. The active listing inventory increased noticeably to 160 units at the time of writing, (March 1.)
We noted that 22 of the active listings were million dollar plus properties. We don’t typically take note of the number of million-dollar-plus properties on the market, however, 22 million-dollar-plus units or 14% of the active market is a disproportionately high number for AhwatukeeFoothills. We opted to take a look at the Scottsdale market of million-dollar-plus only to discover that 788 of the 1,951, or 40% of the active listings in the Scottsdale market are for million-dollar-plus properties. This is in a market where last year only 10% of total sales were for million-dollar-plus properties. The number of million-dollar-plus active listings is disproportionately high for the Scottsdale market as well. No one is talking about this disparity as far as we know. We only have the observation and the numbers to go on. If we look for a possible cause, we could hypothesize that we might be seeing a one-month aberration. However, given the stock market volatility resulting from the Corona Virus pandemic, we hypothesize that investors might be liquidating assets for the purpose of shifting to a cash position in a changing market. The simple fact is that we don’t know at this point why the luxury market inventory has increased so dramatically and disproportionately in a relatively short period of time. It is worth noting and monitoring.
No one could have predicted a month ago that the world and the real estate market would be experiencing the shifts we are currently seeing.
We are still listing properties and we are experiencing surprising and serious buyer activity and showings as our listings come on the market.
The biggest difference we are seeing is the caution buyers, sellers and agents are exhibiting with regard to social distancing, use of hand sanitizers and efforts to sanitize light switches and doorknobs. We encourage our buyers to drive in their own vehicles while we drive in our vehicle to protect from any contagion. We are encouraging sellers to leave the property for showings and to turn all of the lights so buyers and agents don’t have to touch light switches in the property. We encourage the buyers to enter the property ahead of us and we follow at least six feet behind. This provides the potential buyers an opportunity to see the property without the worry of social distancing and constitute safe practices to protect the buyer, seller and the agent. We are encouraging sellers to sanitize light switches and doorknobs on their return to further protect against infection.
For over ten years we have considered an HD video an important part of every listing at all price points. We have also used high definition HDR photos for over ten years to highlight the features of every property. HD videos and HDR property photos have demonstrated the features of the properties so well that down through the years, we have sold properties to out of state buyers, sight unseen, without the buyers, ever being in the property. These same technologies have become critical in our real estate practice today, in light of the steps we need to take to social distance and still continue to serve our client’s real estate and health needs.
We have used electronic signatures for listing and sales contracts since their inception several years ago. Buyers and sellers and agents can sign documents electronically and safely from the security of their own homes or offices. Safe boundaries are maintained and the buyer and seller real estate needs are transacted safely and securely.
The one component that is gone from our perspective is the open house. We decided to stop all open house activities for the foreseeable future. The National Association of Realtors States that Open houses and yard signs account for 7% of property sales, however, it is our opinion that the risk to the public at this time outweighs the potential benefits.
On a positive note, our HD listing videos and HD interior photos are proving to be very effective in replacing an open house or a buyer showing to enable a potential buyer to assess the features and amenities of a property. Buyers are telling us that our HD videos and high definition videos allow them to pick properties they want to see and eliminate properties that do not meet their needs. Historically, we have presented this to sellers as a benefit in that unnecessary traffic is eliminated. In the current environment, eliminating unnecessary traffic has an extended benefit.
It is not business as usual, in the Ahwatukee-Foothills real estate market, however, as the numbers show, the real estate market is active and properties are being listed and sold. Real Estate has been listed as an essential activity and agents who are experienced and prepared are stepping up to provide technologies to facilitate and provide for the needs and safety of buyers and sellers whose need dictates that they buy or sell a property. The recent and continuing activity in the market indicates that it is still a good time to buy or sell an Ahwatukee-Foothills property, with the caveat and caution being, to conduct yourself safely and prudently, employing all of the technologies and preventive measures at your disposal. We often close these articles with a comment that it will be interesting to see where this market goes. It will continue to be especially interesting to observe where this market goes in the coming days, weeks and months. Stay Safe, be Blessed, and wash your hands!
Pick your real estate agent wisely!
I am available for any questions
Henderson Real Estate
*Ahwatukee Foothills is the official name of an Urban Village in Phoenix. Ahwatukee Foothills lies south of South Mountain Park. “Ahwatukee Foothills” is comprised of zip codes 85044, 85045 and 85048. Some confusion occurs when some folks refer to Old Ahwatukee as “Ahwatukee” and “Ahwatukee Foothills” as a separate entity. So, for clarity, when we use the term “Ahwatukee” we are referring to the entire area designated “Ahwatukee Foothills,” including (85044, 85045, and 85048) unless otherwise noted.