May 2019 Market Update for Maricopa County Residential Sales Fire Back Up Median Purchase Price Sets New Record High Job Growth

Fletcher Wilcox
V.P. Business Development & Real Estate Analyst, Grand Canyon Title Agency


May 2019 Sales of Single Family Resales 

For the second month in a row the year-over-year slow-down for sales of single-family resales has ended. Sales of single-family resales in Maricopa County (Greater Phoenix) in May 2019 were 7,525. This was 327 more or 4.5% higher than May 2018. Sales were also higher in April 2019 over April 2018. Previous to April 2019, sales were down year-over-year for eight consecutive months starting in August 2018. See table one. Another highlight for May 2019 is that 7,525 sales were the highest number of sales for a month since June 2011 when there were 7,790 sales. But in June 2011 the median purchase price for a single family resale was $126,500 compared to $307,500 in May 2019.

New Monthly Listings 

New monthly listings of single family resales were up year-over-year in both May and April. They were down year-over-year in February and March.


May 2019 Sales by Price Range Compared to May 2018 

When comparing sales of single-family resales in May 2019 to May 2018 we see a substantial decrease in sales under $200,000. See table three. There were 349 fewer sales in May 2019. A reason for this decrease is that since purchase prices keep going up there are just fewer homes for sale in this price range compared to last year at the same time. In almost every sale price range at $250,000 or above we see the reverse in May 2019. There were 679 more sales at $250,000 or above this May over last May. Sales in the $200,000 to $249,999 price range were breakeven this May compared to last May.


For the First-Time Median Sale Price Over $300,000 

The median sale price for a single family resale ended at $308,000 in May 2019. See chart one. This is now the new record high month for the median sale price. The month with the previous highest median sale price was March 2019 when it was $297,000. Before this time, the record month was June 2018 at $295,000 and before that time we have to go back to the pre-real estate recession month of June 2006 when it was $287,500.

Job Growth Update 

Table four compares the number of people employed in Maricopa County in April 2018 to April 2019 by job category. There were 67,400 more people employed this April over last April. This year-over-year increase in the number of people with a job will add to the demand for housing.


Chart one shows the monthly median sale price for the last sixty-five months for a single family resale. For every month in Chart one the median sale price is always higher for the same month in the next year. Also take a look at the median sale price for each of the above years in January and compare it to December of the same year. What do you see? Prices most likely will continue to climb because of job and population growth. Table four shows 67,400 more people employed this April over last April. In the May 2019 edition of this Journal I pointed out that according to the U.S Census Bureau, Maricopa County was the number one county for the population increase in 2018. Companies are moving to Maricopa County to seek employees because of population growth. People are moving to Maricopa County because they see companies moving here. It is a momentum playing off each other, and I see this continuing. Both people and jobs will continue to fuel the demand to own a home.