2012 Arizona Housing Inventory Reduction

Arizona housing inventory continues to fall to near record levels. The number of homes for sale in the Phoenix metro area is now less that 13,500 homes, and it continues to drop at a staggering rate. Just a few short years ago the Arizona housing inventory peaked at 48,340 homes. Now it is nearly 1/4th of that number. These low inventory numbers have not been seen since 2005, during the housing bubble.

The Reeves Team takes a market snapshot every Tuesday. Take a look below to see just how quickly the inventory has fallen in 2012.

1/18/2012            18,459
1/31/2012            17,744
2/8/2012              17,327
2/20/2012           16,860
2/29/2012           16,154
3/6/2012             15,822
3/14/2012           15,235
3/21/2012           14,845
3/28/2012           14,352
4/4/2012            13,962
4/11/2012           13,846
4/18/2012          13,616
4/25/2012          13,477

More Good News For Arizona Economy

We have been hearing for weeks now that housing prices are on the rise, but now Arizona’s job growth appears to be on solid footing again and getting stronger by the month as well.

Not only did the Arizona Department of Administration report Thursday that the state had 47,000 more jobs in March compared with March 2011, but almost 60 percent of the state’s 100 largest employers surveyed by The Arizona Republic reported adding employees last year.

Some of the gains were substantial. Intel Corp. added 1,300 workers; JPMorgan Chase, 1,100; and Grand Canyon University, almost 900.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of The Arizona Republic 100 list, which first listed the state’s 100 largest employers on May 10, 1992. At the time, the leaders were manufacturers Motorola Inc., AlliedSignal Aerospace Co. and Honeywell International.

Today, the state’s largest employers are Walmart, Banner Health and Wells Fargo & Co. Several health-care, financial and education companies have risen significantly over the past two decades. Some other Arizona Republic 100 companies, such as No. 29 CVS Caremark, No. 54 Go Daddy Group Inc. and Gila River Gaming Enterprises, didn’t exist in 1992.

A look at the state’s fastest-growing job sectors shows that the reasons behind Arizona’s new growth are varied. They include more medical clinics and specialty treatment centers, construction of the new $5 billion Intel fabrication plant in Chandler and a renewed appetite among consumers to go out to eat and shop.

There is still pain, of course. Although the most widely quoted Arizona unemployment rate is 8.6 percent, about 18 percent of Arizonans are out of work, have given up looking or are working part time because they can’t find full-time jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Although more jobs have been created, The market still has a lot of healing to do.

According to the latest state data, the job sectors growing the fastest in Arizona over the past year are health care, restaurants and bars, specialty construction trades (such as electricians and plumbers), retail and public schools. Altogether, they accounted for about 71 percent of the jobs added over the year.

So what do you think? Is the Arizona heading in the right direction for good? Or is this just a temporary increase?

Top 3 Reasons Sellers Should Not Be Present At An Open House

The presence of a seller can be off-putting.

It’s the dreaded question real estate agents fear when speaking to the seller. “May I be present at the open house or showing?”

Having the seller present during an open house or showing of their property is almost always a bad idea. Here are three reasons why.

1. The seller’s presence will make buyers feel awkward.

Home buyers need to feel as comfortable as possible when looking at a potential new home. It’s a big investment, and they should feel welcome to open closets, look in cabinets, look behind the couch, or put their ears up the walls or windows. A serious buyer of a property needs to do whatever they can to learn about the home.

In the presence of a seller, the buyer may feel like a guest in a stranger’s home, a patron at a museum, or something in between. They spend too much time being cautious and not enough time really delving into the property. When buyers don’t feel completely comfortable to explore, they may miss the intricacies of a property. Or they might not give the home a fair chance. This means a missed opportunity for both the buyer and the seller.

2. Sellers tend to talk too much.

Honesty is always the best policy, of course. But don’t forget that this is a “sales” process, and that less is usually more. Let’s say a potential buyer asks the seller about the neighbors. “Oh, we love our neighbors!,” the seller answers. “They drop by our house all the time and we do the same. They’ve got high school-age kids, too, who are a lot of fun. It’s one big, constant block party!” While some might like this idea, others who value their privacy will be turned off.

3. Sellers can get hurt feelings, which can cost them money.

A seller may experience hurt feelings from questions or comments that buyers ask. This could lead to a negotiation that starts off on a bad note.

For example, a buyer touring a home with dark colored walls, floors and heavy window coverings asking his agent what it would cost to refinish the floors and paint the place. The seller, who preferred the dark, may be insulted by the questions and immediately go on the defensive. When the low offer comes in from that buyer, the seller may think that they were trying to discount the price to pay for those cosmetic changes and refuse to budge on price.

Emotions can get the best of a seller. Ultimately, the seller lost a buyer and a good offer.

Exceptions to the rule

Every once in a while it helps for the seller to be present during an open house or showing.

After weeks on the market without any offers, especially with a property that needs serious cosmetic or staging work, it might be helpful for the seller to attend the open house anonymously. They can hear directly from buyers that the paint job is off-putting, how the place feels too much like a bachelor pad, and so on. The real estate agent may have been trying to tell the seller these things all along, but sometimes, independent confirmation is needed before the seller will take action.

 

Will I Have To Repay The 8000 Tax Credit? Q&A

Q: How long do I have to own my home to avoid repayment of the $8,000 tax credit?

A: One of the requirements of getting the 2009 – 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credit is that you have to maintain the home as a primary residence for 36 months. So if you move out — even if you still own the property — you’ll have to repay the credit. Additionally, if you sell the home you have to pay back the credit. The good news is that you only have to repay up to the home’s gain, so you may not have to repay the entire credit.

 

 

Q: I’m looking to move in to a new home. The home I’m currently in is my first home and I accepted the first-time homebuyer credit. I’m wondering how strict the government is on enforcing the mandatory three-year occupancy after accepting the credit. If I want to sell the house at two years and 10 months, would I have to repay the credit? If I would have to repay the credit, would it be prorated, or would I be required to repay the whole $8,000?


A: As you have indicated in your question, one of the requirements of getting the 2009 – 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credit is that you have to maintain the home as a primary residence for 36 months. So if you move out — even if you still own the property — you’ll have to repay the credit. Additionally, if you sell the home you have to pay back the credit. The good news is that you only have to repay up to the home’s gain, so you may not have to repay the entire credit.

There are some exceptions to the requirement to repay the credit immediately on your next tax return:

• If the spouse of a deceased homeowner continues to live in the house. If the spouse sells the home, though, before the time is up he or she must repay half the credit.
• Spouse remains in home to finish the 36 months after a divorce.
• Military or other personnel required to move more than 50 miles away.
• If your home is involuntarily damaged and you are forced to move. However, you have to buy a new home within two years.

 

Q: I bought my house in July 2009. I now have to recieve spinal surgery and have to move to a family member’s house for several months during recovery for necessary care. I thought I would just rent the purchased home while I recover and move back in a year. I will be about six months shy of the thirty six month rule. Do I have to repay the eight grand?

A: One of the requirements of getting the 2009 – 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credit is that you have to maintain the home as a primary residence for 36 months. So if you move out — even if you still own the property — you’ll have to repay the credit. Additionally, if you sell the home you have to pay back the credit. The good news is that you only have to repay up to the home’s gain, so you may not have to repay the entire credit. There are some exceptions to the requirement to repay the credit immediately on your next tax return: