We seem to be living in time when extremes are the norm. From a hyperbolic Sellers’ Market in the spring, we plodded through one of the slowest summers for home and land closed sales on record – down 50 percent compared with 2021. With, of course, a twist. August recorded the fewest number of single-family residence sales in the past two years – down 70 percent, yet hit, just to keep things interesting, the highest monthly median recorded selling price.
Our periodic market barometer – the “Market Action Index” – from respected Altos Research showed a “Slight Seller’s Advantage” at the beginning of September. On a scale of 0-100, anything 30 or below is considered a Buyer’s Market. Last spring the index was at 72 – an extreme sellers’ market. In early September it was 33 for the greater Sedona Area. A massive swing. Altos’s overall statistics indicate that 56 percent of listings had price decreases. Breaking that out by zip code, 86336 had a 48 percentage decrease whereas 86351, the Village of Oak Creek, experienced a shocking 68 percent.
Compared with both early September 2021 and spring 2022, this September saw twice the number of listings and half the number of pending sales. In response, prices have, indeed, softened as anticipated. The median recorded sales price for June through August was down 9.5 percent compared with the previous three months.
Despite that, Zillow still appears to believe that we are actually in an appreciating market. On 21 May they forecasted a 13.5% increase for the year ahead in Sedona (Zip – 86336) home valuations. They seem since to have backed off making predictions for the City, but they did put out a projection of 5.1% for the Village of Oak Creek (86351) on 21 August. That’s always possible, but it would require a strong and sustained fall rally.
MRSP June-August down compared to previous 3 months
Percentage of Sedona homes had price decreases
That said I have been encouraged by some signs of life in the housing market and anecdotal evidence of buyers starting to return, to wit, increased property showings, strong turn-outs for open houses, and an uptick in buyers scheduling visits in the days and weeks ahead, as the fall high season progresses.
Minute by Minute Dynamic Changing Market
The situation with the Vacant Land Market is a tad more grim but with some glimmers of hope. After a drought of sales in July and most of August, we finally saw 10 closings in the last week of August, so perhaps buyers are also starting to return to that market. Compared with last year, though, closed sales were down 57% and pending sales dropped from 40 to 10. But one bit of good news for sellers is that the median recorded selling price is up 25% to $315,000 as buyers gravitate toward the luxury lots.
In any case, across the board, all sectors are more-or-less close to being Buyers’ Markets – and that’s what’s needed to bring prospective purchasers back so we can achieve a sustainable, balanced market. So, stay tuned. The market continues to be dynamic with weekly zigs and zags.