Real estate sign in front of new house for sale

Sellers have no reason to be jittery about the Valley’s housing market—and especially some West Valley cities—judging by the Cromford Report’s latest look at last month’s home sale data for the region.

Avondale and Glendale have the hottest housing markets in the Valley, according to the latest index developed by Cromford Report—the leading analyst of the Phoenix Metro housing market.

Cromford uses a variety of data for an index that shows how favorable the market is toward buyers or sellers in 17 Valley municipalities.

With 100 on the index representing a balanced market, the higher above 100 for any city, the more tilted the market is toward sellers.

On that score, first-place Avondale has an unprecedented 717 with Glendale in second place at 530.2.

Phoenix ranks seventh with 387.4, followed by ninth-place Goodyear with 365.2. 

Peoria’s 311.6 score gets it into 12th place, followed closely by Buckeye in 13th with a 303.6.

All that spells bad news for people looking to buy a home.

Cromford said that while the Valley’s nearly unprecedented low inventory of homes for sale is loosening a tad, prices are rising at an even quicker pace than they had in the first half of 2020.

“The housing market is extremely strong and has been hitting a number of new records in the last few days,” Cromford said, adding that inventory declined by only 3.5%—far weaker than in June.

“This is because we are seeing far more new listings than we got during the first half of the year,” Cromford said, adding the increase “appears to be setting in for the long run.”

Noting that closings were up 13% over July 2019, Cromford said demand—far from being curbed by the pandemic—“has reached heights that make it very strong by any historical standard.”

And that means buyers can expect prices to rise faster—and homeowners can expect to see their houses appreciate at an even higher rate.

The average price per square foot rose 4.5% in July—which Cromford said would be normal year over year but not from one month to the next.

The total number of new and resale home deals closed in July in Maricopa County was 11,205—up 4.7 % over July 2019. The median sales price was $325,000, up 13.6 % from $286,000 a year ago.

Of the total closures, new homes accounted for 1,662—up 22.9% from July 2019. The median sales price was $363,511, up 2.1 % from $356,001 a year ago.

Prices on resales soared last month over July 2019.

The 9,543 closed resale home transaction had a median price of  $317,000—up 14.4% from $277,000 in July 2019.

“This happened during a summer month, making it even more remarkable, because summer months are usually rather weak for pricing, even in strong markets,” it said.

Median sale price has risen 12.5% between July 2019 and last month, and the double-digit increase in appreciation is “something which we have not seen for six years,” Cromford said.

Cromford said all this adds up to a market that is “extremely unfavorable for buyers” just about anywhere in the Valley—and especially in the East Valley, where Chandler and Mesa rank fourth and fifth, respectively, on its index.

“Not only do they have to contend with prices rising at an unusually high rate, when they do find a house on which they would like to make an offer, they will probably find dozens of other buyers with exactly the same idea in mind,” Cromford said, adding this somber note for those looking to buy:

“We do not see things improving for buyers during August and most sellers can get away with being pretty much as unreasonable as they wish to be. Frustration, tension and stress are the order of the day.”