So far in 2015 for home sales – more of the same

More of the same

More of the sameBy Philip Haldiman, Editor-in-Chief | Dealmaker

So far this year – more of the same, at least for now.

The number of sales per housing development is minimally down, from this time last year and prices are flat over the last few months, according to a monthly report put out by Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.

Every developer and homebuilder in town hopes 2015 will bring better sales and more stability than last year, but unfortunately, little “better” is showing up in the data so far, said real estate analyst Jim Belfiore.

The year feels better with traffic clearly higher in select submarkets and more total new home sales occurring in the Valley than last year, but the successful selling season everyone is hoping for does not appear to have arrived just yet, he said.

“I don’t think expectations were set too high for this year,” Belfiore said. “During the last 60 days, homebuilders have written 166 more new home sales contracts than during the same period last year. Already, sales are up 12 percent year-over-year.”

There is hope for better sales in the coming months, he said.

East Valley homebuilders reported weekly traffic levels in January that equate to an increase in interest of 12 percent from late last year and 40 percent year-over-year,  the report said.

More potential buyers visited East Valley sales offices in January than during any January since 2007, Belfiore said.

However, sales have not been as good for subdivisions.

Builders have only sold 1.6 homes per subdivision, up 0.1 from January and down 0.1 from February 2014, the report said.

“How can this be? How is the number of sales down per subdivision when total sales are up 12 percent? The number of active subdivisions is 20 percent higher than it was one year ago. Demand has increased for new homes but it is spread amongst more communities,” Belfiore said.

A total of 488 new home subdivisions are open, compared with 405 subdivisions this time last year.

Builders wanting to succeed in selling more homes need to better evaluate what is being built where, he said.

“Builders should focus on areas with fewer active homebuilders, focus on lot size and product segmentation, and on unique amenities and sites,” Belfiore said. “This is the way to better sales volume.”

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