Belfiore: Unprecedented jump in home sales

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

The regional housing has seen an unprecedented jump in home sales spurred by historically low mortgage interest rates even as Arizona navigates COVID-19 and its impacts.

Belfiore Real Estate Consulting reports new home sales jumped 28 percent between mid-June and mid-July compared to a year ago. Home sales typically falls 2 percent during the summer period.

But 2020 is certainly no typical year.

“I think it’s amazing. The jump in demand over the last 30 days – I think It’s astounding,” said Jim Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting in Phoenix.

Belfiore said record low interest rates (2.8 percent) are driving the jump sales. He said his research firm has ever seen a 28 percent monthly year-over-year jump in home sales.

“I think as long as mortgage interest rates remain below 3 percent we are going to see significant jumps in the numbers,” Belfiore said.

The jump in home sales comes as Arizona navigates the COVID-19 pandemic and a rise in cases.

Arizona’s previous COVID closure did not take as much out of home sales as first projected. Regional home sales dropped 30 percent during the COVID shutdown that ran from mid-March to mid-May. That was not as dramatic early projections of an 80 percent drop in home sales.

But since much of the Arizona economy reopened home sales have jumped. Belfiore said sales have jumped across price points and submarkets.

“It is really pervading across markets,” Belfiore said pointing to strong home sales in north and south Buckeye, Gilbert and the Queen Creek / Hunt Highway areas.

“It’s really bringing out demand at all price points,” Belfiore said of the low mortgage interest rates and buyers who might have put off purchases previously now out in the market.

While demand is up, supply is low and that will continue to challenge the Phoenix real estate market.

Belfiore said only one new home community in the popular Queen Creek / Hunt Highway submarket is open with the others sold out. He said 125 new home developments across the region do not have inventory for sale.

“Supply is extremely constrained and it’s becoming more constrained in the next 30 days,” he said. 

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