News Article From: 09-25-2008
4th Issue of September 2008
September ARMLS Reports
The listing count reported in the August Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS)1 Reports, which were released on September 16th, was 54,043—up 497 listings from the July reports. The listing quantity declined for the previous 4 months, and has now returned to approximately the same level as April 2007. With the exception of December 2007, the listing count has been fairly flat for the last twelve months. This current level, however, is substantially above the record level of listings prior to January 2005 which was 30,046 listings in February 2003.
ARMLS-reported sales for August dropped about 4% from the July sales figure with an decrease of 246. On an annually adjusted basis sales were up 1,370 or over 31% from August 2007. This is the third month that there has been an increase in sales over the same month in the prior year since September 2005. August’s sales quantity is typically a little higher than July’s and seems to be following the normal calendar cycle. In this normal calendar cycle, sales tend to be highest in the summer and then gradually taper off over the next few months before resuming the climb during the first quarter of each year. The winter months are consistently the lowest in sales.
Our sources of data for these displays are the ARMLS reports. In these, there are three months, January – March 2005, for which we have not shown listing data because of apparent discrepancies. Additionally, ARMLS notes that the listing information for March through August 2002 may contain errors, but we have chosen to display this reasonable data above.
Our Assessment of the Resale Market
Supply and demand are interrelated variables in the Real Estate Market. Currently both of these variables are driving the market. Up until two years ago, demand was the primary driver. Then for the past two years supply was the primary driver. In the last few months demand has also fallen off substantially from what we had considered the norm - a pace similar to 2002 and 2003.
Because of the prolonged over-supply situation, appreciation in resale housing prices has totally disappeared. The market has now entered a phase where we are seeing an overall price level decline. A significant price adjustment will be necessary to realign the supply and demand variable. It is difficult to tell how long that will take.
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1 (ARMLS) Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service empasses most of Maricopa and