Wednesday, November 25, 2020 3:23 am

Belfiore: Expect a winter slowdown and robust spring for home sales

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Regional real estate expert Jim Belfiore expects to see home sales slow down a bit with the holidays approaching and the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Arizona and nationally.

Belfiore, who is president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting in Phoenix, said the housing market usually starts to slow down as Thanksgiving approaches but sales have remained robust.

It’s unusually strong this late into the season,” said Belfiore of the strength of new homes sales thanks to historically low mortgage interest rates.

Belfiore said usually seasonal slowdown coupled with the COVID rise will likely slow down home sales for a bit.

“It’s probably likely that we are going to see a more significant slowdown at least for the next couple of months,” he said.

But Belfiore is still optimistic about Arizona’s housing outlook for 2021.

“We still anticipated a healthy rise in the spring versus last spring. The market is extremely strong,” Belfiore said.

Low mortgage interest rates and population growth — including from higher cost states that have seen COVID shutdowns and social unrest — are also expected to propel housing markets in Phoenix, Tucson and northern Arizona.

Belfiore said a holiday and winter slowdown could help builders some with their low inventories but the challenge of low supplies will persist.

“We should see a few more inventories of homes but I don’t think it’s enough to really move the needle a lot,” he said.

Belfiore said many builders are already limited monthly sales at new subdivisions and rising prices could price some buyers out of some purchases.

Still, he said the housing market has vigor in Phoenix as well as Tucson and northern Arizona markets such as Prescott.

“I saw more construction up there than I have seen ever since I have been covering the market,” Belfiore said of the Prescott area.

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