Here in Arizona, only 12% of homeowners are still “under water” on their homes in terms of equity. Most people are either able to sell for a profit or have started to build even more equity than they had before the market crash. There were only about 360 homes that were foreclosed last month. It might sound like a lot, but compared to where we were at 10 years ago, it’s nothing.
We are predicting a strong seller’s market for 2017 with modest appreciation. Realtor.com expects sales to increase by about 1.7% from last year. A steady rise in sales and appreciation are both signs of a healthy market.
Where we go from here is debatable. We are more than 10 years into the current housing cycle, which takes about 10 years to complete from peak to valley. We’re playing with house money right now, so to speak. Keep in mind that the market will look a lot different in the next year or two.
Affordability in Phoenix right now is high. The salary needed to afford a median-priced home in Phoenix right now is $44,000. For first-time buyers who qualify for specific criteria, homes are even more affordable.
For example, a program in Maricopa County for first-time homebuyers gifts them with up to 3.5% for a down payment. This is a grant and doesn’t need to be repaid. If you also negotiate with the seller to pay for closing costs, you could get into a home for $0 out of pocket. How amazing is that? Keep in mind that there are a few criteria you need to meet, including a 620 credit score and a yearly income under $88,000.
If you have any questions for me about the market or if you’re looking to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.