Housing market steadying in terms of price, inventory
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, The demolition of Robson's former sales office in SaddleBrooke began last week, making room for 10 new housing lots, six of which have already been sold. The developer, Robson Communities, consolidated its sales people into the new SaddleBrooke Ranch office at 59680 E. Robson Circle near Oracle. The Robson office building, parking lots and two undeveloped lots were offered for sale to SaddleBrooke HOA #2, which opted not to purchase.

What's happening in the Tucson housing market at mid-year?

It's difficult to "generalize about the market," according to a June 5 release from Kimberly Clifton, president of the Tucson Association of Realtors' multiple listing service.

Rosey Koberlein, chief executive officer of the real estate company Long Realty, agrees. "Market conditions can vary significantly by area," Koberlein writes.

However, Clifton reports, "we aren't seeing the dramatic drops of last year," when prices fell sharply.

Clifton calls the attention of real estate agencies to a chart that measures inventory against new sales. "The two numbers have been drawing closer together since January," Clifton writes. "There are economists who would say six months equals a trend. This is something we need to watch in June."

In its June 2009 housing report, Long Realty Company points out a 27 percent decline in active inventory in May compared with a year ago. "Tucson is experiencing a significant increase in buyer activity, with new properties under contract up 34 percent from May 2008," Koberlein writes.

The TAR reports:

• Listing inventories are down from April, and down from a year ago. New listings have declined as well.

• Closings are up.

• The median sales price is up by 3.72 percent.

Statistics:

Year over year:

The value of homes sold in greater Tucson during May was $201.47 million, down 25.35 percent from May 2008. April's home sales value was $177.51 million, down 30.59 percent from April 2008.

Average sales price:

May 2009 — $204,125, up 6.14 percent from the April price of $192,315.

May 2008 — $252,216, 19.07 percent higher than this year's average.

In the Northwest, the average sale price for a single-family home in May was $247,269. It is greater Tucson's third-highest average sale price, behind only the North region ($413,802) and the Northeast ($339,604).

Annual home sales in the Northwest:

2005 – 4,642

2006 – 3,528

2007 – 3,226

2008 – 2,710

2009, through May – 1,027

Active listings in the Northwest – 1,682

Average days on market in the Northwest – 89

New listings in the Northwest, May – 433; Total new listings in the Tucson market, May – 1,704

Listings and sales by zip code, May 2009

85737 – 282 active listings; 41 sales

85739 – 214 active listings; 32 sales

85741 – 104 active listings; 23 sales

85653 – 141 active listings, 12 sales

85755 – 262 active listings, 31 sales

85742 – 214 active listings, 27 sales

85743 – 254 active listings, 37 sales

85704 – 211 active listings, 23 sales

85718 – 448 active listings, 36 sales

Median sale prices in the Tucson market:

April 2009 — $163,900

May 2009 — $170,000

November 2006 — $226,465

September 2004 -- $169,950

Source: Tucson Association of Realtors

Single-family home building permits through April 2009:

Southern Pinal County, 33; year-to-date 2007, 127; 2008, 84.

Oro Valley, 16; year-to-date, 2007, 95; 2008, 92.

Marana, 10; year-to-date 2007, 212; 2008, 45.

Tucson, 91; year-to-date 2007, 606; 2008, 260.

Pima County, 182; year-to-date 680; 2008, 373.

Sources: SAHBA, John Strobeck of Bright Future Business Consultants.

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