Realtor

Our local real estate market typically cools off going into fall — much more than our weather. And while we are seeing some numbers starting to change slightly like autumn leaves, there is no strong indication that we will see a significant drop anytime soon.

The average number of days a listing spent on the market in Maricopa County increased again slightly, from 26.05 days in July to 27.2 days in August. 

According to The Cromford Report, 53% of sales closed in Maricopa County during August sold for over the listing price, down from 57% of July sales. One could argue that rising list prices account for more sales selling at and not over those prices, but a slight drop in sales price per square foot — from $260.60 per square foot in July versus $258.61 in August — makes a slightly different point. 

August saw 416 MLS listing sales closed in Glendale and 343 closed in Peoria. Today, there are 261 active and available listings (not counting properties already under contract or pending close of escrow) in MLS in Glendale and 218 active listings in Peoria. 

That is 63% of one month’s inventory in Glendale, up from 59% last month, and 64% of one month’s inventory in Peoria, up from 56%. But while we see a little higher numbers in Peoria and Glendale, the overall Maricopa County inventory is 75% of August’s closed sales, up only from 73% in July. 

According to ShowingTime, the platform Realtors use to schedule most of the MLS showings, showings of Peoria listings in the $200,000 to $399,999 range had an average of 13.9 showings per listing, while homes in Glendale in the $200,000 to $399,999 range had an average number of 15.6 showings per listing. That’s still quite a bit of buyer activity, and not all showings are scheduled through ShowingTime, so actual numbers are typically higher.

According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates are still holding steady. As of Sept. 16, National Mortgage Rates reported U.S. weekly averages of 2.86% for a 30-year fixed, 2.12 % for a 15-year fixed rate, and 2.51% for a five-year ARM.

The buyers’ method of financing can affect how competitive their offers are, how much they will end up paying for a home, or if they can get an offer accepted on a qualifying property at all. According to MLS statistics, 74% of Maricopa County buyers financed their home purchase in August, while the rest paid cash. 

Buyers using a conventional mortgage paid a minimum of $220,000 in Maricopa County, $250,000 in Glendale and $265,000 in Peoria. Buyers with these loans are more readily accepted by sellers, as they have fewer restrictions. Because of fewer restrictions, many properties qualify for a conventional loan that will not qualify for FHA or VA financing. Conventional financing made up 73.2% of August’s financed sales.

In August, FHA buyers in Maricopa County paid a minimum of $200,000 for a detached home with three bedrooms and two baths. Peoria FHA buyers paid a minimum of $345,000, and Glendale FHA buyers $300,000. FHA buyers made up 9.1% of financed purchases in August, significantly fewer than the number of conventional buyers.

Maricopa County VA buyers paid a minimum of $260,990, Glendale VA buyers paid a minimum of $315,000, and Peoria VA buyers a minimum of $350,000. Home sales financed with VA loans made up only 6.6% of August sales. Unfortunately, offers with VA financing are often less likely to be accepted, especially in this hot housing market where conventional buyers are so plentiful.

The remaining financed transactions used other financing methods. For the week ending Aug. 29, only 3% of Maricopa County sellers contributed to their buyer’s closing costs.

At the other end of the market, the highest-priced detached home sale in Maricopa County last month closed at $9.6 million. Peoria’s highest-price detached home sold for $1.55 million, and the highest-price detached home in Glendale sold for $2.285 million.

If you think your finances could use a change, know that you are not alone. Homeowners, tenants and landlords are encouraged to contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s housing counseling program at 1-800-569-4287 or visit consumerfinance.gov/housing to find assistance.

Lisa R. Baker is a Realtor and a community volunteer in the city of Glendale. She can be reached at me@lisarbaker.com.