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Home prices rise throughout South Mountain and Laveen

Sunset in Laveen, Arizona

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(This article appears in the February 2016 print  issue of the South Mountain District News)

Home prices for existing homes rose throughout the South Mountain and Laveen village areas during 2015, a steady trend that local realtors predict will continue throughout 2016.

Sam Lawmaster

“I like this kind of steady increase. It’s not only good for the buyers, but it’s good for sellers,” said Sam Lawmaster, a Laveen resident and a  Realtor with Realty One. “The economy has improved and interests are staying low, so there are still people buying. When you have historically low interest rates and inventory as low as it, it’s typical supply and demand and house prices start to rise.”

For the Laveen area with ZIP code 85339, the average sales price for an existing home increased from $188,894 in 2014 to $198,535 in 2015, an increase of 5.1 percent. In neighboring South Mountain Village, prices were up nearly 22 percent at $118,990 in ZIP 85040 and up 8.1 percent to $164,857 in 85041. In the 85042 area, prices increased 7.25 percent to $189,025.

According to Victor Vidales, owner at ReMax New Heights Realty in south Phoenix, prices for January appear to be continuing the trend.

The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service’s Pending Price Index projected a median sales price for January 2016 of $212,000 and it ended at $210,000 compared to $194,700 in 2015.

Victor Vidales

Vidales said that January started off with 7,486 Pending or listings Under Contract compared to 6,731 last year. In January of 2015, ARMLS reported 4,784 sales, this year we had 5,433 sales for January 2016.

“This is a great sign and a great way to start the year,” Vidales said. “I believe our local real estate market will continue to be strong throughout 2016 but there are national concerns with the overall economy that could impact our local market and the type of year we have.”

For example, he cited recent volatility in the financial markets and some nervousness on the part of the Federal Reserve Bank about the health of the U.S. economy, and slow Gross Domestic Product growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

“These factors have reminded us all that economic and real estate market cycles are alive and well. As for now, values are strong and inventory levels are still at record lows with high demand for the affordability offered in our south Phoenix and Laveen communities. We are still the best bang for the buck when you compare our housing stock to the rest of the Valley.”

Doyle Perry
Doyle Perry

Doyle Perry, a Realtor and owner of Black Realty in Laveen, said he expects prices to continue climbing as the year progresses with more sales during the spring and summer months. “I see a lot more people looking now,” Perry noted.

He also believes that when the South Mountain Freeway – currently under legal review — is formally under way, the housing market in Laveen will gain more ground. “Once the freeway becomes certain, within a year that will crank up the market.”

The number of days a house stayed on the market in 2015 vs. 2014 decreased in 85339 and 85040, but remained flat in 85041 and 85042. Total number of homes sold rose in 85339, 85041 and 85042, but were one less in 85040 when compared with 2014.

Lawmaster said new homes being built by Beazer and Richmond American, as well as other builders, also will help prices for existing homes. He noted that several residential developments that have been largely dormant since the real estate market crash in 2008, are now adding homes to the once vacant lots. In addition, new retail and other construction is exploding along Baseline Road.

“All the new builds and the new businesses, the new commercial and residential along the Baseline corridor are really adding value to this area,” Lawmaster said.

Here’s a breakdown of the four ZIP code areas:

85339 – Average Sales Price rose 5.10 percent between 2014 and 2015, from $188,894 in 2014 to $198,535 in 2015.  Total number of sales also rose year-over-year by 18.4 percent with 875 homes sold in 85339 in 2015, an increase of 136 sales over 2014.  The number of days to sell a home in Laveen decreased 11.84 percent; in 2014 it took 76 days on average to sell a home versus 67 days in 2015.

85040 – The average sales price of homes in 2015 was $118,990, up 21.83 percent over 2014.  Total number of sales in the ZIP code remained flat at 324 residential sales in 2015 versus 325 in 2014.  The average number of days to sell a home decreased from 59 in 2014 to 45 in 2015.

85041 – 2015 saw an increase of 8.12 percent in the sales price of homes in the ZIP code over 2014, with homes selling for an average price of $164,857 during 2015.  There was a 10.1 percent increase in the number of completed sales in 2015 over 2014, rising to 796 homes sold in 2015, an increase of 73 completed home sales year-over-year.  Number of days to sell a home remained relatively flat in 85041, with 66 average days in 2015 and 67 days in 2014.

85042 – The average sales price of homes in 2015 was $189,025, up 7.25 percent over 2014. Total number of sales in the ZIP code increased 6.2 percent at 534 residential sales in 2015 versus 503 in 2014.  The average number of days to sell a home remained the same year- over-year at 63 days.

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