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The Best Week to List a House

23 Apr 2024 0

The best week to list a home for sale is…well, right now. In honor of the report that proclaims the best time of the year to sell a property as mid to end of April, let’s explore if that holds up in Arizona in 2024 in the latest Market Update.

Spring has historically been known in Arizona real estate as the “best” time to sell a home. For years, we have seen a repeatable and predictable pattern of the market throughout the seasons of the year.

The set up for the busy spring market starts with the holiday season of the previous year. People are busy with events, family functions, holidays, and everyone hits the snooze button on their moving plans until the calendar flips to a new year. This slows the housing market quite a bit, and is when the market is at it’s “weakest” point. Starting in January/February, we start to revert the course, and a full swing into the busy season in March and April. From here, we typically see a fairly steady elevated market through mid summer, when school goes back in session, and the market very slowly settles back down and eventually dips into the holiday low.

Don’t get me wrong, Phoenix is still a year round market, we don’t “shut down” like many areas which are snow covered and purely seasonal. We have a strong influx of winter & seasonal buyers that are making moves during our winter season, and you can buy and sell homes any time of year successfully in Phoenix.

But is the end of April still the BEST time to list a home in Phoenix in particular? Well, it depends. In regard to “success rate” meaning, the success of a listing actually selling, is the highest in the spring and summer months. We also see the average TIME (days on market) it takes to sell a home typically decrease during the months following April – homes sell about 15% faster on average than the rest of the year. So by all metrics for time it takes, and actually getting a home sold, April is a great time to make it happen.

Seasons can be a good baseline to go off, and there’s certainly some built in advantages to listing during these peak activity times, but the bigger question is will it hold true this year?

The short answer is, we don’t know for sure… So far this year, days on market are slowly improving as we expect to see, but listing success rate actually dropped the last two months, in contrast of most years at this time. This has allowed supply to ever so slightly outpace demand.

The result is the strength of the market is showing a fairly flat line to the down side, rather than the upwards ramp we typically experience this time of year.

Remember, this chart is strength of the market, not home prices. Anything above 110 is a sellers market, so we have, and still are, in a mild sellers market, and home prices are still appreciating albeit at leisurely rate.

While the chart above may look like a dramatic difference from just last year, it’s also perspective – the market was so hot during covid we were routinely in the 300 & 400’s on the reading, and the difference between a 111 reading now and 137 at this time last year is not vastly different – it does however highlight an anomaly in the anticipated seasonal pattern where we expect the market to be getting hotter at this time of year.

The cause is of course the persistently high interest rates.

Is it possible we get interest rate drops in the second half of the year, causing the fall of 2024 to be the best time to sell a home THIS year? Absolutely. With interest rates not budging until later in the year, consider that a 1% percent drop in interest rates will likely push tens of thousands of Arizona home buyers into the market. That may happen in the second half of the year, and not in the spring/summer as originally anticipated.

Additionally, it’s not uncommon for some buyers/sellers to not make any large purchases or life decisions leading up to an election, like this year. I’ve witnessed this anomaly now a few times in my real estate career, and it goes something like this: “I’m going to hold off of Buying/Selling a home until after the election, If (fill in the blank) wins, we’re in big trouble” Then, when the election passes, and the sky doesn’t fall we can all move on. In fact looking back at the data from the last 5 election years, the AZ real estate market heated up from November to December every single one of those years, post presidential election.

For any home buyers struggling with rates and want to buy now, there are MANY ways to get lower interest rates – seller concessions, interested party credits, lender credits, builder incentives, buy-down programs. In fact right now we are seeing nearly 50% of sales providing concessions to buyers to help pay for closing costs and rate buy downs.

It’s a GREAT time as a buyer to find the perfect home, and not end up stuck and settling because 10 other buyers outbid you. Once the interest rates drop significantly, all bets are off and competition is sure to heat up. Savvy buyers that can swing a temporarily higher rate are locking in their home now, and refinancing when rates drop.

As always, my advice is not to try and time the market too much, buy and sell property when it’s the right time for YOU and your families needs and situation.

Whether you are wanting to buy, sell, or both, I’d love to hear from you to discuss what options are available to you to help navigate the current market.

Jon Knutson

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