Thanks for checking in, welcome to my blog! Allow me to post you up with what's happening in the Tucson real estate market ~ Alan
THE PAUSE THAT REFRESHES!
As our monsoon says goodbye for the season, the blissfully cooler days and evenings that we've
been waiting for have arrived and are most welcome! Interestingly, like the weather, the Tucson
real estate market has calmed down a bit as well. After 7 blistering pace months, the market is
taking a little breather. It may be back to school focus, last minute vacation or just a natural
blip in this year's market path. Whatever it is, think of it as a pause that refreshes - inventory
levels get their chance to catch up and buyers are gifted with less chance of running into multiple
offers. At the same time, you can almost feel the reloading going on...so don't get too comfortable,
the white hot pace is going to be back at anytime!
Kudos to Tucson, here's a link to an article from Redfin that puts our city as the number one
college town to invest in! I have assisted buyers investing in university homes for their kids
throughout the decades. This article has the figures in black and white and why it's a smart
way to go!
MONSOON MADNESS AND THE MOTHER OF ALL JULYS!
If there is anything that might have put any damper on our hot market, (that pun intended)
would it, could it have been our heavy monsoon season thus far? Not really - buyers and sellers
haven't missed a step, the strength of our market continues forward. The past month of July
completely shattered all previous rainfall records for any July, with a recordation of 6.8 inches of
rain! Great to get all of that water with the humbling heat we all experienced in June. Although
this historic monsoon season is upon us, our fast-paced business is as usual. Please note, needing
roof estimates, roof repairs and exterior painting can and will be challenging, definitely provide for
some extra time. And enjoy the record-setting monsoon season!
Tucson's weather this June has brought record temps, a span of 115+ degree days and a summer
we haven't seen the likes of in quite a spell. We hit 116 on June 20th, tied for the 2nd hottest
temp ever recorded in Tucson history. Tucson's all-time high was recorded on June 26, 1990
when the thermometer topped out at 117.
Just as I was expecting this month's extreme heat to throw a pause into our market...that notion
ended up melting in the heat. This June has us working hard, encountering real estate as hot
ever, complete with multiple offers, buyers not hesitating to act and deals being made as fast
as at any clip in this blisteringly strong market we've experienced thus far this year. Believe it,
don't be fooled by the heavy heat and bring your A-game to the negotiating table!
Yes, the sun is shining. Yes, Tucson has already reached triple digits, yes, U of A
and Tucson schools are out and snowbirds have left the building. What we are not
seeing is the typical slowdown of our real estate business. The market, thus far
anyway, has decided that business is as usual. Which means a market as hot as the
weather and ready to strike. We are still seeing multiple offers and well-priced
property snatched up long before you expected. Continue seeing busy inspectors,
appraisers and handymen and allow appropriate time periods for your transactions.
Our super schools have scored! US News and World Report has come up with the
TOP 15 High Schools in the USA. Basis Tucson North was number 2 and Basis Oro
Valley marched in at number 3 while TUSD's University High School rounded out
the list at number 15. Just another great reason to call Tucson home!
Our hot market continues - not to be interrupted by the Fed Funds interest rate increase -
lenders anticipated the rise and mortgages have actually ticked down to ~ 4.25% towards
month's end. Buyers are out there in great numbers and not hesitating to make moves
on the well priced properties out there.
New housing is way up and resale homes are flying off the shelves, er, streets. Tucson is
said to be one of the hottest markets in the country in terms of most value increase (5%)
since the first of the new year!
It's no joke! The Dow Industrial Average broke the 20,000 mark and is still climbing. Economic
figures continue to impress! One thing you can bank on coming along for the ride - rising
interest rates. They do tend to accompany growing, healthy economies and our current
economic environment appears to be ready to follow suit at any moment. Hang on to those
loan-locks and keep your eye on the fluctuations.
Turning locally, Tucson was recently projected as being the 9th hottest housing market in the US
for 2017 by Realtor.com, not too shabby!
NEW CONTRACT DEAD AHEAD!
The new State of Arizona Real Estate Contract is coming! This is the first significant change in the
contract we've used for residential real estate to come along in several years. While many
clauses in the new contract merely spell out in greater length the same items we've always
had, there is a huge change in it with regards to the presumption of seller "warranted" items.
In the soon-to-be-old-contract, unless the deal was "AS-IS", it was assumed that the seller
would warrant the operation of critical home systems, such as heating, cooling, electrical and
plumbing systems. The new contract takes this presumption away and states the home's systems
"are what they are" leaving buyers to perform diligent inspections to gain as much material
information as possible on any given property. So, what to remember? Sellers, have a good
idea as to what is working or not working and formally disclose. Buyers, realize your inspection
period has never been more important, use this time to diligently inspect any given property.
Feel free to contact me for further explanations, this new contract is set to go into effect in February.
MORE "ALL GOOD" STUFF!
No surprise, our year is ending on a decidedly great note. Tucson's unemployment rate has
plunged to just over 4%, lower than the national figure of 4.6%. According to economist
George Hammond of UA, job growth in Tucson should exceed 1.7% in 2017 and Tucson is
expected to add 7000 jobs during the new year as well. S & P has placed Pima County as
the 3rd fastest job creator in the country!
Meanwhile, Tucson's retail sector is up, the new multi-story downtown hotel is slated to open,
the transformation of the Ronstadt Center is underway, along with its 400 new housing units,
and, coupling that with the downtown senior housing project, a total of 1000 added housing
units will be put into motion for 2017 in downtown alone.
And, as we say 'so long' to 2016, homeowners will also be happy to know that we gained some
8% in value appreciation this year for Central Tucson houses. House sales (units sold) were also
up nicely, 20% higher for the year! For the Catalina Foothills, houses (units sold) were up 8%
for the year and appreciation coming in about half of Central's, values being higher by about
4% than the previous year. Such a nice, solid year....all indicators are pointing for more to come!
Enjoy the rest of what's left of 2016 and here's to a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
IT'S ALL GOOD!
Following the latest deluge of good consumer news -- consumer confidence reported being at
its highest level in some 9 years, the Dow traveling north of 19000 for the first time in history,
unemployment benefits filings at a 4-decade low and Raytheon promising a major local
expansion complete with upwards of 2000 added jobs -- real estate sales in Tucson are
responding in kind! Activity is higher than normal for the season, carrying right on through
Thanksgiving break. We are looking to capture about 10% in appreciated home value
this year! Inventory levels continue low, serious buyers are out there seriously shopping and
deals are being made. Enjoy the season!
Things are still ramped up in our local real estate market - I'm too busy to write this blog! :-p
Will be back to you next month, enjoy the cooler weather finally!
TIME TO TOOT OUR OWN HORN!
Thank you to the community for choosing Long Realty Co. as their number one for residential
real estate! The AZ Star Reader's Choice Awards were just passed out and Long won for
Residential Real Estate Brokerage, Long Mortgage, Long Insurance, and Commercial Brokerage -
all receiving #1 honors! Here is a link to know more about this great company that I have been
with for over 20 years:
It includes a cool and interesting 4-min YouTube video about Long Realty, fun to watch,
just click the See Our Story orange button once you are on. Let me know if I may ever be
of any assistance and I'll get Tucson's number one company working for you! ~ Alan
JULY + AUGUST 2016
The market continues as hot as our summer with no slow-down in sight, it looks like our great
real estate year in Tucson is going coast to coast, Jan to Dec. At the same time, it is great to
notice some current NY Times and USA Today articles exalting Tucson's culinary scene...
Not entirely surprising to Tucsonans, for years we've dined happily at so many fresh and fun,
diverse and delicious, upscale and casual, overall wonderful restaurants here in the Old Pueblo
and could create catalogs about them. Now Tucson has garnered the attention of the national
stage and here are some of those interesting articles making the rounds recently:
And job growth finds our little town number 3 in the US on this Bloomberg list:
BAT-CATS BOW TO CHANTICLEERS
A big salute to U of A's baseball team, whom were not supposed to be anywhere near a College
World Series, yet managed to come within one win of the championship before ultimately losing
to Coastal Carolina.
Meanwhile, you buyers out there, if you are looking for that one extra base to help you reach
home, here are some new and interesting programs that could be game-changers for you!
Down Payment Assistance (DPA), Pima Bond Money and Arizona Pathway to Purchase are the
new opportunities, drafted to help you steal home. Down payment loans, all but shut-out the
past several years, are now available to individuals up to $20,000, or, up to 10% of your
purchase price, if you wish to take a swing at it. These loans would have to be paid back unless
they're owner-occupied for the entire 5 years. But, perhaps this is the green-light pitch you've
been sitting on, swing for the fences and bring down the house! Please contact me for more
info, I'm happy to coach you through it!
CATERPILLAR IS COMING!
Just in case you have been in hiding under a rock, the Caterpillar company is making its way
into the Old Pueblo. Some 600 executive jobs will be added into our local economy, once again
showing the attraction of our metro area. Meanwhile, May has been a great month for sales in
our housing market. We have not felt the usual slow-down that we normally experience at this
time. Buyers are buying, mortgage rates continue exceptionally low and the Spring's quick pace
has definitely not subsided. Enjoy the heat! :)
REAL ESTATE SCAM ALERT!
Unfortunately, phishers and spoofers are at it again. Sadly, they never seem to quit devising
ways to fool the public and have reached out to our industry in some wickedly creative ways.
If they can find their way into your email box and crack your personal information, they are
are using true real estate transactions to drain bank accounts of unsuspecting buyers and
sellers. BE AWARE!
One devious plan involves them sending an email to you that looks like it's coming from
a real escrow officer or real estate agent. It asks for you to provide them your bank routing
information needed to close. They can steal hundreds of thousands of dollars this way and
once the deed is done, their whereabouts will most likely be untraceable.
Another hack attack goes like this: Spoofers enlist new for-sale listings, complete with the
true agent's listing description and photographs and subsequently repost them on sites such
as Craigslist and Facebook, as a rental property. "We decided not to sell, ignore the realtor's
sign, we just want to rent the property now" are some of the things they will tell you when
you call them. They'll ask you to drive by, poke around, and if you are interested to please
send them a check to reserve the property.
Please be on your toes. Certainly, if you are in the midst of a real estate deal, know that
an escrow officer or realtor will never ask you for sensitive personal information via email.
If you are ever in doubt, please follow your urge to pick up the phone and verify!
ACTIVITY UPTICK ALERT!
March Madness is with us once again, lots of action within our local real estate market!
Unit sales are up, closed price points have also ticked up March 2016 V. March 2015, and
and the housing atmosphere is sustaining positively in the right direction so far this year.
The Blenman-Elm/Catalina Vista Neighborhoods will soon be experiencing some
new development across from the Arizona Inn, specifically in the Potter Place pocket.
The plan is for a dozen or so luxury homes to be built, priced in the $750,000 to
1.1 million range.
On a larger scale, Mattamy Homes has recently purchased some 173 acres on the
Eastside from the City of Tucson. This development will be just west of Civano and
will incorporate and preserve the open acreage of the popular "Fantasy Island"
mountain bike trail park within the site.
FEBRUARY'S FABULOUS FINANCING!
Back in December, the feds decided to raise the central bank's benchmark interest rate
for the first time in 10 years. Many took a collective breath in and wondered what this
might do to mortgage interest rates, and how it might affect our market. Not so much.
In fact, the truth is that mortgage interest rates have actually gone down in the 2 1/2
months since the hike. January's 4% for a fixed 30-year mortgage has morphed into
3.75% for February!
In addition to this, we are hearing more and more of government down payment
assistance programs. See your favorite loan officer to see if you might be able to
qualify for these interesting options!
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
As we make our way into the New Year, many have been asking as to what we should
expect for 2016. What will affect real estate? Where will interest rates be? How about
the new TRID rules? What about oil prices? Who will win the election? Etc, etc, etc. It's
easy to spout out predictions but studies have continually found that "expert" forecasting
can hardly beat monkeys throwing darts. And this is the year of the monkey!
Tucson has been experiencing a nice, balanced market for a few years now, equating
to slight rises in appreciation depending on the exact neighborhood in question. In
general, we are feeling that we won't be surprised if 2016 produces a rise in value in the
3-6% range. We are also guessing that interest rates will not rise much, if at all, from
where they are now, around 4% for a 30 year mortgage. The market here continues
along its recovery with lots of listings and lots of buyers-balanced! And that is good.
Boom markets are not easy to operate in and nobody likes bust markets. So enjoy
your balanced market and may you experience a fantastic year!
BACK ON THE RISE!
Congratulations, Tucson, real estate sales in town kept a brisk pace all year long,
property value appreciation is up about 5% this year. More homes were sold this
year than last, unit sales of houses were up about 13% over a year ago. Listing levels
are basically close to the same, though we are ending the year with slightly less listings
for sale than at the end of 2014.
Great news on the appreciation - 2014 was basically an even year, 2013 and 2012 were
rising years and with 2015 being on the positive side of the fence, we are cumulatively
up about 25% from the low point of our market in 2011. Tucson real estate is continuing
to find its path through the great recovery.
All the best to you this holiday season and have a wonderful 2016!
As per usual, October in Tucson is rocking! The market has awaken from its
summer slumber and things are taking off once again. It feels just like the
first quarter of this year where February and March were by far our strongest
months. Good to see the comeback and with all of the added action, we
may well end up with positive appreciation for the year of 2015 - we shall see!
NEW FINANCING DISCLOSURES, NEW R.E. CONTRACT!
Just as we've all been getting used to the way things have been going with
all of the financial requirements to fund a loan, a new set of rules is
coming along very soon. This is called "TRID" which stands for Tila Respa
Integrated Disclosure (Tila is Truth and Lending Act) and rolls out on
October 3rd. The new Arizona Real Estate Contract coincides with this
date, although not a lot has changed on it.
What is important to know is that the new lending forms, disclosures, rules
and timelines are likely going to affect the timing needed to close deals
involving financing, and, they are designed to be more protective to consumers.
STOCK MARKET CRASH! Many have been asking if the latest stock market
turmoil, following the volatility of the Chinese economy, has had any
effect on our local real estate market. Not really, at least not short
term, none that we can really feel. Potential negative factors have been
promptly tempered with the delay of mortgage interest rate hikes the
feds have been promising for weeks. Business as usual! A largely
balanced market exists today. Unit sales are up about 10% versus last
year, inventory is about 10% less than last year and values have remained
steady so far this year.
TUCSON'S STILL THE PLACE!
Our market is definitely starting to ramp back up, just as our
cooling monsoon season is setting up and folks are coming out of
hiding. Meanwhile, here are some interesting kudos for our town -
USA Today recently extolled our virtues with its article about Tucson
being the the 4th best city in the US to retire to. Factors such as
health care, crime rate, cost of living, low property taxes and weather
all contributed to the high rating. "...just a great place for low
maintenance, outdoor type of lifestyle, plus, your dollar is going
to stretch further..."
Here's the link:
And, how about a shout out to our bookworm community - Amazon recently
ranked Tucson the 4th most well-read city in America. Who would have
thunk it, ahead of L.A., San Francisco, New York and Boston! Our annual
book festival in Spring is quickly becoming larger and one of Tucson's
increasingly revered events.
Here's the link:
MAY I take your order!
Traditionally, May is a month of pause, normally a little quieter than our earlier
Spring months and this May is following suit. This is the perfect time to step up
and enjoy a bit less competition from the usual drove-of-buyers. Pick out just
the right home without feeling as much pressure or that you might lose out to a
stronger or quicker offeree.
This is our first breather since 2015 began. Most realtors are catching up with their
paperwork, closing deals from the past month or two, and clearing their slate for new
business. So, if you feel the time is right, please give me a call or shoot me an email
and we'll get started on your new journey!
As you drive around Tucson these days, you can bet running into great sets of
wildflowers thanks to the rains of earlier in the year. And, you can also continue
to attest the blossoming of the Tucson real estate market as well! April 2015 has
seen our market as brisk as it has been during any of the hot first-quarter months.
Where our real test will be? May and June - if the pace continues through these
normally slower months then we can really figure on a hot market all summer and
more than likely, all year long. Interest rates continue at wonderful rates, about
3.75% for 30 year fixed mortgages.
If you believe the men's Wildcat basketball team is hot, try taking a gander at the
housing market in Tucson! With more and more listings coming on the market,
one would think we would be nearing a glut of for-sale homes...not so! Virtually
as many buyers are out there looking, offering and purchasing real estate, hence,
balancing the market, if not, actually increasing the scarcity of the supply side. If
this trend continues, you'll likely see rising prices for homes.
The increase in the business continues to delay appraisers, inspectors, repairmen,
underwriting and lenders' final approvals. Look for 45 day escrows to be the new
norm. Also, unfortunately enough, look out for appraisers to pick a transaction or
or two to torpedo with a low appraisal. Some won't be in tune with the briskness
of the current market or rising price capabilities. Happy hunting, let me know if I
may be service!
HOT AND GETTING HOTTER! Yes, the market has been picking up ever since the turn
of the new year. February is really busy out there and we are finding that lenders are
delaying with loans, the IRS is delaying verifying tax filings by borrowers, FHA is
delayed in getting case numbers assigned and Fannie Mae is backed up with their
appraisals. Interest rates continue lower, 30 year nearing 3.5% and 15 year close to
2.75%! This is all great news with the great activity. It wasn't what was predicted,
we ended the year with a balanced market and basically even, no depreciation or
appreciation in values for 2014.
HAPPY SEASON TO ALL! And, a happy season it is, indeed! Mortgage rates are 3.75% for 30 year
fixed conventional. The Dow Jones just hit 400 points for its best day in the last 3 years, then followed
up by notching above the 18,000 mark for the first time in history. Prices at our gas pumps are heading
under $2.00. Jobless rates are lower while consumer confidence continues higher. Flipped home
transactions are no longer requiring 2 appraisals. Tucson real estate continues brisk, an overall balanced
market is providing buyers choice and sellers stability. And how about our weather this month! : )
Have a wonderful season and all the best for 2015!
COOKING IN NOVEMBER! Besides the cooking for Thanksgiving, Tucson seems to be coming out of the doldrums and ramping
up sales for the holiday season. This is sort of reverse of the average year, where it is normally slow during Thanksgiving time and
normally ramping up in September and October. So, it is good to see that we have some good activity happening and more buyers
making offers and making deals. Price still seems to be king, it is a price-sensitive market out there. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
WELCOME TO THE COOLER WEATHER! There has been a noticeable increase in open house activity and we seem to be coming out of our summer doldrums. Inventory levels peaked a couple of months back, we can stop fretting about listings piling up and creating a glut. Slight variances depending on price range and area of town, but we are more-less following balanced real estate market here in Tucson. The summer did give up some earlier-in-the-year value gains but stabilizing now. More good news for October, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.1% to 5.9%, its lowest level in some 6 years. Attractive October interest rates are heading lower, around 4% conventional and 3.75% FHA/VA for 30-year financing!
Forbes recently wrote an article about the best places to buy a home in the US right now and Tucson came in numero uno! Here is the snippet:
..."If you want to buy low, foreclosure-riddled Tucson, Ariz., may be just the place. It ranks No. 1 on this list.
Home prices in the Old Pueblo were down more than 45% from their peak, according to the Fiery Case-Shiller index and the February median list price for a home headed to market was $170,000, about 3% higher than it was this time last year, according to Realtor.com. The number of REOs (bank-owned homes) for sale is down 8% from February of 2011 and the number of foreclosures scheduled for sale has dropped 40%. Sales have also picked up, decreasing inventory levels. Single-family houses and condos are selling 12% faster than they were a year ago, averaging 86 days on the market (the national average is 111). The Tucson Association of Realtors report that the total number of sales were up 16% in February from the same month a year ago"...
READY OR NOT, HERE SHE COMES! Just in case you have been hiding under a rock the past few weeks,
the new Tucson Streetcar, aptly named "Sun Link", is ready to roll this Friday, the 25th of July! Kudos all
around, this is something we all have waited several years for, and finally coming to fruition. Sun Link
will offer free rides to the public this Friday through Sunday, to kick off the program.
Sun Link will connect 4th Avenue, Downtown, Mercado District, Main Gate Square,
and the University of Arizona, definitely exciting news! Hats off to the resilient downtown
businesses that hung in there and labored through all of the noise, dust and opportunity
loss during this time. Wishing them an ultra-productive pay back, well done!
Please be extra cautious out there as you get used to the new streetcar, whether you are walking,
bicycling, driving or parking your car, do be aware of distances, markings and potential hazards.
This will keep it all running smoothly!
In other summer news, Arizona is well below the national foreclosure rate, tied for the 14th
lowest rate in the nation, some 58% down from the previous year. Great news, indeed,
less folks falling behind on their mortgage payments is always a good thing, and, we won't
expect to see any significant inventory increase due to foreclosures hitting our market.
Excellent, because our for-sale inventory is as beefy as it has been for quite a while!
SLOW DAY, SUNSHINE! "Good Day, Sunshine", that old Beatles classic still resonates! Tucson is
experiencing its own "Good Day, Sunshine" with plenty of it to go around, and most days this month
topping the 100 degree mark. Our local real estate scene is slower-paced with U of A in Summer Recess,
snowbirds flying to other lands and folks grabbing their get-away plans and making a break for it. Now
is a remarkable time to buy - less competition from other buyers and more homes to choose from. Do it
now, July and August are notoriously brisk months and our Fall season, just around the corner, is always
a time when everyone converges into our real estate market at once. And, our mortgage interest rates are
still excellent, even lower than last month!
TUCSON RECORDS HUGE SALE! As the Arizona Daily Star reported earlier this month, "Tucson's oldest
mall has new owners". The El Con Mall and its 93-acres has been purchased for 81.7 million by a group
fronted by the St. Louis Rams owner Stanley Kroenke. "This is an indicator of how investors view the
Tucson enconomy" said Hank Amos, president of Tucson Realty & Trust. Indeed, it is great to see that
investors have this much confidence in our little town, okay, maybe not so little anymore. "We always welcome an infusion of new capital!" Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild said recently after the sale was posted.
RATES ARE GREAT! As much as we have been warned that mortgage interest rates are going to be on
the increase before too long, we are still enjoying rates in the 3's and 4's. Conventional 15 year rates
are about 3.5% and 30 year rates, about 4.25-4.375%. The only thing rising around here are the home
values! Balanced market continues with good inventory for buyers, and higher sales prices for sellers.
TREES FOR TUCSON! Long Realty has recently joined up with Tucson Mayor Rothschild's 10,000 Trees
for Tucson Campaign. Long Realty is providing 1926 trees for local schools, non-profit organizations and
possibly to YOU, too! To qualify for one of these FREE trees, you have to be a TEP customer and willing
to plant your own tree. The tree will be delivered to you, again, at no charge. Please give me a call or
send me an email and I'll get you aboard the program, just in time for Spring planting!
MORE OF THE SAME! As our Spring-like weather continues, this month has been very
similar to January in more than just weather. Listing inventory is up, interest rates are
down, appreciation month-over-month last year is about 10% higher in value, and about
equal in terms of units sold. An overall balanced market exists, buyers are loving the
extra choices from the inventory rising, and sellers are loving the extra value from the
appreciation. Buying or selling, please let me know if I may be of assistance!
WINTER WEATHER WONDERLAND! As we embark on 2014, we must give a shout-out to
Tucson's winter weather. January saw daytime highs mainly in the mid-70's, with plenty of
Arizona sunshine to go around. This is above the norm for Tucson, about 10 degrees higher,
and we are all loving it. Looking at the rest of the country, our hearts go out to you, that is a
tough gig you all have been through! Hope it is over soon. Let me know if you need a tour
in our land of sunshine!
The Feds have been talking about the of tapering back of bond purchasing. This continues
to worry economists who feel that we are in line for higher mortgage interest rates, soon. I
will believe this when I see it. We have been constantly warned about higher interest rates
for years, and the reality is, nothing substantial.
January sees the market popping out of its 4th quarter '13 doldrums. Feels like the start of
another rising market year. Definitely seeing buyers looking and acting quickly on the well-
priced homes. New for this year, heavier procedures for properties in flood-plains. When those
properties are in escrow, FEMA is now requiring a "Elevation Certificate", inclusive of photos.
Without this, flood insurance can rise exponentially! Let me know if any questions. Enjoy the weather!