According to recent re-sale sales statistics released by the Tucson Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service, the first six months of 2010 have shown a 35 percent improvement in sales activity over the first six months of 2009 in the subdivisions of SaddleBrooke and the Preserve at SaddleBrooke.

This bucks the trend of national media coverage, which generally lumps Southern Arizona in with the rest of Arizona.

Total homes for sale in SaddleBrooke Jan. 1-June 30 showed 148 homes for sale, and 86 homes sold or in escrow. Of the 148 homes for sale, 18 were two-story homes, which tend to stay on the market significantly longer due to the typical age of the buyer profile in SaddleBrooke. Another 12 were town homes.

Prices for sold homes ranged from a low of $165,000 for a 1,601-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath town home, to $1.04 million for a 3,526-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home in the Preserve at SaddleBrooke.

Average sales price was $377,000, the average sold price per square foot was $162, and the average time it took to sell a home in SaddleBrooke equaled 143 days on the market. The average price differential between what a seller asked and the sale price was 94.5 percent. This number is still fairly low compared to years past in SaddleBrooke.

The residential rental market consisted of approximately 64 homes or town homes for rent, down from a high of over 120 in 2005. This still represents less than 3 percent of all homes in SaddleBrooke being available for rent at any given time. Winter rentals continue to hover around $3,000 monthly for a furnished home, and $1,500 monthly for a long-term unfurnished home.

The statistics show a drop in average price per square foot from 2009, but also shorter days on market to sell homes in 2010. In my opinion this is a reflection of a stabilizing of prices in SaddleBrooke since the fourth quarter of 2009, with sellers coming to the realization this will be the market for a few more years, but that typically the home they are buying to replace the home they are selling has dropped in price pretty much across the nation.

The lowest mortgage rates in close to 27 years have helped, and the disappearance of the "investor speculator" has helped our micro-economy as well. SaddleBrooke Development, the building entity for Robson Communities, still has approximately 350 home sites to sell in SaddleBrooke, most of these being in the Preserve at SaddleBrooke. With smaller homes being brought on by the new home developer, and an aggressive incentive campaign to finish out the remaining home sites, the real competition for re-sale real estate is still the buyers choice between building new, or buying a pre-owned home.

The second half of 2010 should show a continued tightening up of homes for sale in SaddleBrooke, and a slow gradual return to the days of a 3-4 percent yearly appreciation of home values over the long term.

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