January 2019 Update – 2018 Year In Review Market Recap

The 2018 Sedona real estate market turned out to be a record year for number of sales, but that was set despite a significant slowdown in the 4th Quarter. Single-Family Residences finally cracked the “500 Ceiling” with 511 for the first time since 2005. That’s a 10% increase over a very strong 2017. Luxury Single-Family Homes recorded 53 sales – second only to 2006’s 55. And, if we add the two townhomes that came in at over a million dollars, 2018 equaled that all-time record. The Condo/Townhome Sector, indeed, had its best year since 2003 with 136 sales. As for Vacant Land, a robust 2017 saw 141 parcels sold, the most since 2005. 2018 beat that by 23% with 173. So, another record set. That said, the price point remains flat.


Single family home sales year 2018


Median recorded sales price single family homes

Sedona was ahead of the national curve

Indeed, despite all of the strong sales figures across the board, prices saw relatively modest increases. The Median Recorded Sales Price for Single-Family Residences eventually settled at $560,000, 7% ahead of 2017. Same for the Condo/Townhome Sector. That MRSP finished the year at $299,750, 7% over 2017. Luxury Homes’ $/Sq.Ft. was up 5 % over last year, to $352, but 6 % lower than in 2016. And, it’s only 1 % above the average over the previous five years, 348. Vacant Land, at $148,500, finished slightly off the $150,000 it sat at for most of 2018. That was 8 % better than 2017’s $137,500, yet 9 % below 2013’s $157,500. Still, as far as housing prices go, Sedona was certainly ahead of the national curve. The National Association of Realtors is reporting about a 5 % increase in the MRSP across the country in 2018 over 2017.

Barring economic or political upheavals, I am optimistic that 2019 will see a healthful, stable, and sustainable Sedona real estate market.

As noted, though, there is a bit of a shadow over all the record-breaking volume in 2018. In the Single-Family Residence Sector, sales were actually down 12.6% in the 4th Quarter, compared with last year, as Sedona finally fell in line with the slowdown in the rest of the country. Nationally, the NAR cited a 3.1% decline in year-over-year 2018/2017 sales. In the Western U.S, however, sales were off by 6.5%, year-to year, and 14.2% for just December 2018 versus December 2017.

Lots of conjecture about the reasons for the slow-down – increasing interest rates, affordability issues because of rising prices, lack of inventory, stock market volatility, political turmoil, concern that we’re overdue for a recession. Probably some kernels of truth in each of them. That said, I do find it ironically reassuring that the Federal Reserve, who scrutinizes the economy more closely than anyone and has the most credibility in doing so, is confident enough in the economy’s ongoing strength that they continue to raise short-term interest rates to avert inflation.

It’s imprudent to take much stock in early returns, but at least 2019 is starting out reasonably well. By Mid-February Single-family homes sales were running about 6% ahead of the same period in 2018. The Median Recorded Sales price was 9% higher than in February 2018, but 9% lower than December 2018. Again, too early and too small a number of sales to make major projections. That said, barring economic or political upheavals, I am optimistic that 2019 will see a reasonably strong, stable, and sustainable Sedona real estate market.