Purchase Price, Affordability, Sales & New Listings, Jobs Update
April 1, 2019
Grand Canyon Title Agency
Median Purchase Price Continues Ascent
The median purchase of a previously owned single-family home in Maricopa County (Greater Phoenix) continued its rise in February. It was $293,000 this past February which was $3,000 or one percent higher than in January, and $17,000 or six percent higher than February 2018 when it was $276,000. See Chart one for a monthly median purchase price history for the last sixty-two months.
While the median purchase price climbed, the thirty-year fixed mortgage rate declined. According to Freddie Mac, in February 2019 the average thirty year fixed mortgage rate was 4.37%. Its lowest rate in twelve months. The last time it was lower was in February of 2018 when it was 4.33%. Just ninety days ago, the thirty-year fixed mortgage rate was one-half of a percent higher than February 2019 when it was 4.83% in November. The current lower rate is a reason why buyers may want to consider purchasing a home. Another reason is that the first part of the year is the time when the most new listings hit the market. This means more choices for buyers.
The cost to own has gone up a little. Table one compares a principal and interest payment in February 2018 to February 2019. Note the comparison of the median purchase price of a previously owned single-family home for both months, with a ten percent down payment applied and the Freddie Mac thirty-year fixed mortgage rate for both months. The monthly principal and interest were $82.20 higher in February 2019 over February 2018. See Table one.
Sales, New Listings, Median Purchase Price for Fifteen Cities
Table one compares sales, new listings and median purchase price for previously owned single family homes for fifteen cities located in either Maricopa County or Pinal County. The table compares the results for January 2019 to January 2018.
Five cities had sales that were breakeven year-over-year, while sales were down in ten of the cities. The breakeven cities were Goodyear, Casa Grande, El Mirage, Fountain Hills and Apache Junction. New listings were up year-over-year in six of the cities. The median purchase price was up in fourteen of the cities year-over-year. The only city showing a decline was Chandler.
Maricopa County: Sales and New Listings
February 2019 sales of previously owned single-family were down ten percent compared to February 2018. However, February 2019 sales were 640 or seventeen percent higher than January 2019! While March 2019 sales may not match March 2018, they should be much higher than in February. Traditionally, the first part of the year is when most sellers sell and when most buyers buy.
Fifteen Cities: February Sales, New Listings, Median Purchase Price
While sales and new listings were down year-over-year for most cities, the median purchase price was up in all but one.
Table two compares February 2018 to February 2019 for sales, new listings and the median purchase price for previously owned single-family homes for fifteen cities located in either Maricopa County or Pinal County. Year-over-year sales were down in ten of the cities; new listings were down in ten cities. However, fourteen cities had a higher median purchase price.
According to the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, in 2018 in Maricopa County there were 68,100 more people employed than in 2017. Table three shows the three main job categories: Good Producing, Service-Providing and Government and their sub-categories. Year-over-year every category had higher employment except for the sub-category Federal Government.
There are more people employed than ever before in Maricopa County. So why are year-over-year sales down but prices up?
Stay tuned for next month’s edition for some answers. If you think you know the reason(s) why, please email me at FWilcox@GCTA.com