TAR: Tucson Housing market stable, 2015 set for continued improvement

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TARIconThe regional Tucson housing market appears to have reached stability during 2014, based on year-end data from the Tucson Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (TAR/MLS). Although 2013 was slightly better based on straight statistics, 2015 is shaping up as a year of continued improvement.

“During 2014, most of the housing and economic metrics relevant to Tucson moved solidly in the right direction.  Although price growth flattened out, most of the local housing and economic factors are fundamentally better.  That leads us to believe that 2015 will be a year of stability, enabling our housing market to continue to progress,” said TAR President Nicole Brule-Fisher.

“The big monthly swings in selling prices, the impact of buy-and flip cash investors distorting our market, and the era of skyrocketing foreclosures are likely over.  This shows evidence and signs of a more sustainable, healthy market that is in recovery mode,” she added.

Year-over-year, the Average and Median Selling Prices were moderately higher.  Unit sales only dipped by 759 homes, keeping the total sales volume basically flat at $2.7 billion.

The most notable gain was in listings as 2014 ended with 8.3% more homes in inventory (5,577 units, an increase of 427 homes).

Before The Great Recession, the Average Selling Price at year-end peaked in 2005 at $267,044.  It hit bottom in 2011 at $161,471.  It stands at $205,015 currently; 23.2% below the peak.

The Median Selling Price at year-end also peaked in 2005, at $221,900.  The bottom was in 2011 at $120,000.  The current level of $165,000 is 25.6% below the peak, according to TAR/MLS.

As the housing market recovered, the Median Selling Price spiked 22.9% from 2011 to 2012.  That preceded an additional price appreciation of 7.1% from 2012 to 2013; followed by another 4.5% price gain during 2014.

“As these price increases gradually flatten out, this shows signs of a healthy market in recovery.  There are tremendous opportunities for first-time buyers in our current market with near record-low interest rates.  This translates to more home for the first-time buyer and with each payment made, that builds equity in what is likely their single-largest investment,” Brule-Fisher said.

“Overall, our current home market is very good for Tucson and our strengthening economy.  These traditional buyers want a home to live in and thereafter, have an increased commitment to and investment in, the community,” she added.  “In 2015, that will help to drive the real estate market back toward normality.

2014 Year-over-year Housing Highlights

  • Sales: 13,184 home sales in 2014 were 5.4% less than 2013 (13,943 homes)
  • Total Sales Volume:  $2.685 billion in 2014 was basically flat with 2013 ($2.681 billion)
  • Medium Sales Price:  $165,000 in 2014 was 4.5% higher than 2013 ($157,900)
  • Average Sales Price: $205,015 in 2014 was 1.3% higher than 2013 ($202,342)
  • Active Listings:  5,577 homes in 2014 were 8.3% more 2013 (5,150 homes)

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