We had a phenomenal start to 2020. The Sedona real estate market posted a record-setting 1st Quarter for Single-Family Residences. The stats show the second highest number of sales ever recorded by the Sedona Verde Valley Association of Realtors – 128 sales. Up 39% from 1st Quarter 2019. Only 2005’s freakish figures exceeded it – 153 back then. Prices, however remained modest with a mere 2.6% increase in the Median Recorded Selling Price to $574,106 and a 1.5% increase in the Average Price Per Square Foot to $278. By 31 March Listings had dropped 14% to 164 single family residence on the market. And, Pending Sales plummeted 21% to 54.
Sedona Homes sold 1st Quarter 2020
Increase in homes sold compared to first Qtr 2019
CoVid-19 Affects the Sedona Market
Strong Luxury Home and mediocre Vacant Land sales were pretty much on par with 2019. There were 11 sales of homes over $1 million in 1st Quarter 2019 and 10 in 2020. Vacant land sales were 33 in 2019 and 31 in 2020. Oddly enough, however, condo and townhome sales dipped to about half of 2019’s; even so, prices rose about 9 percent. All-in-all, though, it was an impressively robust opening quarter that should have been a harbinger of a great year to come for our market.
Then, by mid-March, we hit the CoVid-19 wall. Back in late-February, the Sedona real estate community was somewhat concerned that it had potential to become a serious threat to our local market, but many believed that we would be spared any profound dislocation. Boy, were we incredibly naïve. Within a matter of days, we saw much of the world, the nation, then our own state and town more-or-less shut down by the increasing virulence of the pandemic. Buyers, naturally, were simply forced to stop coming and put their put their plans on indefinite hold. A few others, spooked by stock market volatility, bailed out of transactions already in progress. And, an eerie quiet settled over the market.
At this juncture, given the unprecedented nature of the medical crisis and its massive economic ramifications, it’s still fruitless to speculate on full extent of how pervasive and damaging the pandemic is likely to become and how deep the recession will be, ultimately, much less, how quickly we can recover as a nation.
That said, a ray of hope lies in the premise that people’s desire to live in Sedona will still be as strong or even stronger once we weather the crisis. People have always been drawn to Sedona’s spectacular scenery, salubrious climate, and welcoming populace – and, will continue to do so. Beyond that, many of the buyers who did complete their purchases in the face of the epidemic, expressed a desire to find sanctuary in a more remote rural area, closer to nature, and relatively free of urban woes and crowding – seeing Sedona as the Shangri La that it is. Presuming that most prospective buyers will still have the means to purchase real estate in Sedona, it is reasonable to expect that, eventually, pent-up demand will make its presence felt and we’ll see a strong revival of the market down the road. Let’s hope that’s soon.