How is the Arizona Real Estate Market REALLY Doing?

By: Lynette Carrington

The Arizona real estate market has been nothing short of depressing in the past seven years. Particularly, Phoenix and the surrounding areas did not do well when the nationwide downturn in the economy hit some years back and we suffered one of the worst declines in home values of any market area in the nation. The road back has been long, but home values are rebounding.

REALTOR® Charlie Walters of Walters Realty Group is an Arizona native and second generation real estate agent who has a natural and in-depth understanding of the valley’s real estate market and the conditions that affect both buyers and sellers. As a buyer’s agent, he assists homebuyers in finding the property that most perfectly suits their needs, an investment property, or if a dream house is in order, Walters has homes in every area of the valley from which to choose. As a seller’s agent, he assists in marketing a house using several marketing methods, including the most effect method available, The Internet. More specifically, Walters is an east valley real estate specialist assisting buyers and sellers in achieving the best possible real estate transaction experience.

After 2004, Arizona home values, especially those in the valley took the most severe nosedive seen in recent history. The good news is that those values are beginning to rebound.

“In 2012, the median home price went up close to 35 percent and that’s valley-wide,” explained Walters. Some areas were up by as much as 55 percent and some only showing modest gains at 20 percent, but as a general rule, strides were taken towards home value recovery.

To illustrate what has happened Walters said, “We say a rebound of 35 percent; that still leaves us short of where we were by quite a bit. If you have a $200,000 house and you lose 50 percent of the value, you have a $100,000 house. If you gain 50 percent in value you have a $150,000 house. From the numbers I’m hearing, there’s still about a third of people in Maricopa County that are upside down in some degree in equity, but the foreclosure market and short sale market have dramatically decreased over two years ago.” That is partially driven by the increase in value.

People are now finding a way to stay put in their homes until they can get back to where they can sell their house if they need to move. They are not necessarily forcibly risking their credit by having to dump their house unexpectedly. This situation is also contributing to the reduced home inventory in the greater Phoenix area.

“There is a lot of institutional money and hedge funds that have come to town and investors are buying homes,” Walters noted. “If you’re financing, especially as a first-time buyer, it’s really hard to compete with cash buyers who are saying ‘I’ll take it as is, where it is’. If you have persistence, you will win, but it’s not easy.”

“The 30 year fixed loan is hovering around 4¾ percent; that’s a point higher than in June. We’ve had a 1 percent increase. Basically the federal government made the announcement that they are going to stop buying mortgage-backed securities and they’ve been buying all of them for the past several years. That’s why the rates got down so low,” said Walters. He foresees the nearby future of interest rate stabilizing in the 5-7 percent range. The demand is currently high and the supply is low.

“The atmosphere still indicates we’re going to see the prices go up.”

Walters Realty Group assists home buyers and sellers every step of the way. “A couple years ago, I started to realize that technology is changing the face of our business a lot, people can get all their information on the Internet. When was the last time you picked up the Yellow Pages?” mused Walters. “I realized then that if I was going to compete, I had to be on page one of Google. Getting home listings on page one of Google is of the utmost importance because potential buyers will look at those homes first. Would you start your home buying search on page 10 or 15 of Google? Probably not.

The National Association of REALTORS® says that 98 percent of people start their home search online.” Walters has successfully invested time and energy and battled his way to the first page of Google. “Depending on what people are looking for, they will find me on page one and I can compete with the big national companies because what do is implement video into my business,” said Walters. Videos are compelling and Walters makes high-definition home tour videos of all his listings. “I blog about them and get them on page one of Google,” Walters noted.

The team at Walters Realty Group is completely dedicated to the success of their home sellers and buyers. With the Internet being immensely competitive when it comes to real estate listings, it brings a certain peace of mind to know that Charlie Walters has taken the time to put his clients in the best position possible in the place that nearly everyone looks for homes first.

“What sets me apart? I’m among the less than 2 percent of REALTORS® that implement video into the marketing of their homes,” Walters explained. “Of the 2 percent than do it, frankly most of it is unwatchable. I also use social networking a lot, which is why I have Scott Kelly of Black Dog Promotions. It puts me miles ahead of my competition.”

With an eye for quality and a finger firmly on the pulse of technology, Walters Realty Group is here to serve clients in the most productive and effective ways possible.

Contact Charlie Walters at 602-577-1111 or via email at Charlie@walteresrealtygroup.com.

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