Whoa... spring has sprung and the Sedona real estate market is moving quickly.  Upper end homes and vacant land activity is high - with five $1M+ homes already closed in 2014 and eight (8) more currently in escrow waiting for closing.  Luxury Vacant land is also on the upswing with 14 lot sales in Sedona over $250k so far in 2014 and an additional 10 in escrow.  That marks a huge increase in the upper end land market here in town and shows that luxury buyers are back in force.  We haven't seen vacant land prices rise, so apparently buyers are cashing in on the last of the well priced luxury lots. 


Most buyers area dialed in on the current market conditions and are aware that the "smokin' deals" on residential properties have gone away, and prices are slowly on the rise.  Foreclosures haven't dried up altogether, but as of this second, there are only 7 available residential properties that are bank owned.  Look for this number to continue to decrease as we move forward and upward with pricing.  As prices rise we'll also see an upswing of residential properties coming on the market as some buyers have been waiting for market conditions to get better before putting their homes on the market. 

Current inventory of homes in Sedona shows 394 single family homes on the market - with 39 currently in escrow - making a total  of 355 available homes in Sedona.  Condos and townhomes numbers are similar - with 45 on the market and 13 of these already tied up with buyers - making only 32 available condos and townhomes in Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. 

Vacant land is 341 lots on the market with 23 tied up with buyers - making a total of only 318 available building sites in all of Sedona and the VOC.  Amazing that half of the lots in escrow are selling for over $250k - that's a healthy sign! 

Look for increased sales volume in April and May as many of the upper end listings are in escrow - which will bring up the average price per square foot - which will in turn raise the price of the lower end of the market... Stay tuned or email me for more details!

Congratulations... you're considering buying property in one of the most beautiful places in the world!

Just like the rest of the country, Sedona real estate prices have risen over the last few years... and homes and land here can be pricey!

If you're going to take the plunge you'll need a good Realtor to help you assess the market, give you information and negotiate on your behalf.

There are many agents in town, but you'll want one that is busy enough to know what's happening in the market, but not so busy that you get lost in the shuffle.

It might help you to ask questions before you start working with an agent... so that you know upfront that you're both on the same page - and that they have the skillset to help you. Choosing an agent that's busy is important because they can guage the market better than agents who haven't had a sale in months. Working with an agent is FREE - so why not choose the best person to represent you in the purchase of Sedona Real Estate... A good way to start is by looking for an ABR - Accredited Buyers Representative - They're agents who've gone above and beyond the others and taken additional classes that show how to properly represent a buyer... your agent should be one of these! Be prepared to sign a Buyer Broker Agreement and Agency Confirmation with your agent - this is a simple form that shows what you're looking for and that you're working with a qualified agent.

The Buyer Broker Agreement solidifies the relationship and assures you that the agent will work for you as best possible and lays out groundwork for you... like making sure that you see homes with your agent, mention to other agents at open houses that you're working with someone.

This paper helps the agent feel comfortable giving information, background, and market conditions to you.

It also helps you by knowing up front that your buyer broker will work on your behalf.

As an agent we can do lots of work... we don't ask for money up front, just the security that if we work for you, you'll honor us by giving a commitment.

I've got 100 excuses for why there isn't a October or November version of this newsletter - but let's just chalk it up to the REALLY busy market conditions.  Let's start with the easy stats  - there are currenly 407 homes on the market in Sedona (areas 40-46), and a whopping 74 in escrow with buyers, so that leaves only 333 truly available homes. This level of activity is above past years and is a sure sign of the recovering market. 


The average price per square foot in town is hovering around $203 per square foot - but remember - this is for an "average" house with "average" views in an "average" location.  This dollar amount works if you're looking for an investment home or something simple, but if you're looking at custom homes with views - prices can be closer to $300 per square foot or higher.  

The # of homes sold YTD is approx 6% higher than last year, and the $ volume of sales is up approximately 11%.

Over the last 3 months - the average Sedona home sale was a 2048 sq ft home that SOLD for $419,327 - showing an average price per square foot of $198.  If we compare this to the same 3 month period in 2011 (2264 sq ft home w a SOLD price of $355,402 - w/ an average ppsf of $154) - it shows the strides that the market has taken in a short period of time.  Those quarterly comparisons (with a smaller sample size) magnify the annual statistics which show price increases of 18% over the last two years.  Our official outlook is that we expect the market to level off (as the inventory levels already have) and expect an appreciation more in the 5-6% annual rate that's consistent with Sedona's long term gains.  

 

 

 

 

Fall weather is upon us - I say that loosely, as autumn here means that it's after Monsoon Season, the humidity is back down to near zero and it's 85 degrees during the day and in the low 50's at night.  Perfect if you asked me... whether you like to hike, mountain bike, or just relax and enjoy the views - this is arguably the best time of year in Red Rock country. 

It's been an interesting year in Sedona Real Estate - the year always starts off slowly and kicks into gear around March.  Our month of May was the busiest month in over 6 years and it's leveled off a bit since then, but the last three months volume was approximately 40% higher than in 2012.  Inventory is probably finished tailing off and seems to have leveled off.  If we break down the homes there are 411 residential units on the market - and 339 are truly available.  And among these 339 active residential units, only 277 are single family homes.  Units sold are 6.9% above 2012 figures and we're 13.2% up in dollar volume.  This means that more homes are selling this year, and that they're selling for more money.  That's partly due to the dropoff in foreclosures and short sales and the surge in mid range and luxury homes sales in 2013.  We've had 25 homes over $1M sell this year - compared to 22 in ALL of 2012.  

The relative lack of homes for sale under $300k has also fed into the price surge in our lowest priced homes.  There are only 24 homes in all of town priced under $300k - and we had 5 sell in the last month.  This means we have under a 6 month inventory, which signifies a sellers market in the most affordable homes in town.  Great news for sellers and it might make potential buyers act quicker knowing that prices still seem to be on the upswing!

 

We're on the tail end of Monsoon season here in Sedona - which means that our typically slow summer season is almost finished.  Real estate sales sagged a little compared to Spring 2013 months, but it was busier than normal - with 54 sales in the month of July (50 in 2012).  The overall number of Sedona sales are about 4% up over last year - but volume is up by nearly 10% - which probably has several causes: 1) minor price increases in the lower end of the market 2) higher level of activity in our Sedona luxury homes market.


Current availability of homes is at a 7 year low - with only 375 homes on the market (72 are currently in escrow with another buyer -so the true available homes are 303).  If we rule out condos/townhomes/MFG homes, then there are only 250 available homes in the entire Sedona area.  No wonder prices are starting to come up incrementally.  I wouldn't expect to see appreciation levels like you'll see in Phoenix, Vegas, San Francisco - but look for single digit improvement starting in the lowest price ranges and working their way up (as long as inventory stays low and interest rates don't spike). 


We've seen rate increases across the board for lending - so if you're looking to borrow money to purchase a house, the rates I've seen quoted this week were in the mid 4% range.  Trends and rumors seem to point to higher rates in the future - and I've mentioned this before, but not everybody believes me... a 1% increase in the interest rate means that you can afford 10% less of a house.  So, if you're looking at a $400k house and the rate jumps a point when you're searching - then you'll be looking at a $360k house to get the same payment promised earlier. 


Our strong fall market kicks into high gear in a few weeks - so expect to see more listings come available and even more buyers snapping them up at a quick rate!