By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter
The regional housing market ended 2019 with a bang and continues into 2020 with some strength, according to real estate expert Jim Belfiore.
But there are also some indicators to watch including affordability, supply and mortgage interest rates.
“Things are really healthy,” said Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting. “The market is humming along and things are really great right now.”
New home sales through mid-December were up 41 percent compared to last year.
Sales per subdivision averaged 3.0 sales in December. That is the best performing December since 2006, according to Belfiore.
Belfiore outlined market dynamics at a quarterly update Thursday at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.
Belfiore said the while the regional housing market has been flexing its muscles there are some indicators and trends worth watching.
He said lower mortgage interest rates helped propel the strong home sales in 2019 compared to latter part of 2018 when higher rates softened demand.
“If they go up there are going to be some serious issues you need to pay attention to that,” Belfiore said.
Belfiore said limited supply of new and resale homes coupled with healthy demand will continue to put upward pressures on prices. “Supply is anemic,” Belfiore said.
That can make affordability another issue to watch for both homebuyers and renters. Metro Phoenix saw one of the largest increases in apartment rents in the U.S. in 2019, according to CBRE and other real estate groups.
“It’s going to have an impact on our community,” said Belfiore.
Belfiore encourage real estate industry executives to also continue to track investors who are buying new and existing homes to then rent out to tenants.
He said that trend has been showing itself more and could further push up home prices.
Belfiore said 2019 will end with approximately 25,200 new home permits issued in the Phoenix region.
There were 23,533 new home permits in 2018.