There are fewer homes for sale in Green Valley and Sahuarita, and they're selling for more than they were a year ago.
In its October housing report, Long Realty Company, using statistics obtained from the Multiple Listing Service of Southern Arizona, said the amount of inventory of existing and new homes on offer has fallen as the busy fall season approaches.
During September, the Green Valley area had 233 homes for sale, a 24 percent drop from the same time last year. There were 149 closed sales last month, a 12 percent slump from September 2018.
In Sahuarita, active inventory numbered 89 residences in September, 32 percent fewer than last year, according to the data. However, closings numbered 65, a 35 percent rise from September 2018.
Inventory in many neighborhoods has been especially low, said Judi Monday, broker/owner of Re/Max Valley Properties. It has been common this year for properties to stay on the market for just a couple of days, she said.
“We definitely have more buyers than homes to place them in,” she said.
Any new listings are golden now, she said of the classic seller's market underway.
While pickings are slim, Kevin Kaplan, Long’s vice president of marketing and technology, doesn’t foresee a leveling off of interest for the rest of the year, thanks to out-of-town visitors who spur home buying activity.
In recent years, “Many snowbirds have driven real estate activity” during the fall and winter months in the Tucson metro area, Kaplan said. In submarkets like Green Valley, Sahuarita and Quail Creek — which is in Sahuarita — many transactions are “cash deals rather than finance deals,” he said. He didn’t immediately have a breakdown on the percentage of cash transactions versus loans.
“Realtors can see serious buyers right through the holidays,” Kaplan said.
Mortgage rates are up but continue to be favorable. Mortgage rates rose again in the week ending Oct. 31, with 30-year fixed rates rising to 3.78 percent. In November 2018, they hit 4.94 percent.
The homes that did change hands in September fetched higher prices. In Green Valley, the median price of sold homes was $200,000, up 3 percent from September 2018, according to the report. In Sahuarita, the median price of sold homes was $207,900 in the same period, up 7 percent from the previous year.
In terms of price bands, the majority of homes selling in Green Valley were in the $200,000 to $399,000 range, according to the data. The highest concentration of sales recorded in Sahuarita was in the $200,000 to $349,000 range.
Quail Creek saw a 38 percent dip in active inventory in September, according to the report. There were seven closed sales in September in the 55-plus community, half the number from the previous year. The median price of sold homes was $247,00 for the month, down 11 percent from the same time last year. Looking at the price bands of recent sales, the majority of the closed transactions ranged from $275,000 to $499,000.
For those who do seek financing, rates continue to be favorable and prompt many buyers to lock them in.
“Properties for sale throughout the region continue to have fast market times,” Kaplan said.
In a normal or balanced market, an inventory would cover five or six months, which is not the case locally, making it a classic seller's market, Kaplan said. According to the report, Green Valley has only 1.6 months of inventory available; in Sahuarita, that number is 1.4 months.
“We expect to remain in a seller’s market for the remainder of the year,” Kaplan said.