The big question, When is the best time to sell a house in Phoenix? We will be looking to answer this question with actual data! This is not just a quick article based on my opinion, but on some factual evidence.
When I say a look at the mls, I mean our local multiple listing service, mls for short. The mls was something designed for realtors to help promote properties or listings. It is a website that houses all current homes for sale, as well as all homes currently under contract, as well as all homes that have been sold since the beginning the use of the mls. The mls houses a lot of information which can be of much use to buyers looking for homes for sale as well as home owners that are considering "when is the best time to sell a house in Phoenix?
So the above chart is a great place to start. As it indicates, that shows the market activity in terms of sales for the last 5 years, and includes all sold listings and property types within the mls. What can we learn from the chart and the information that it provides? Well first, Phoenix is a pretty huge market, and can see easily over 80,000 property sales in a year. As an example, the year 2016 saw a total of 89,956 property sales.
We do notice over the course of the five year chart, that there are some peaks and valleys. One thing you will notice, is that the peaks are generally in the spring going into the summer time, with the valleys generally starting after the summer and going into the winter/holiday months. The takeaway is then that in the armls or Phoenix area real estate market, you will generally see more sales happen during the months leading into the summertime and ending toward the end of summer, as stated.
So how about a quick conclusion based on looking at sales activity? Based on the above information, and what I have experienced over the last 12 plus years, I can attest to the fact that we DO indeed see more transactions and sales in the spring months and leading into summer. Yet, it has been my experience that homes sell ALL the time in the Phoenix area, not only in the spring and summer. So illustrate further:
Sales for the month of June 2016 were 8861
Sales for the month July 2016 where 7630
Sales for the month of December 2016 were 7036
So I further conclude that yes, indeed the spring and summer months see more activity, but the winter and holiday months don't really slack off much. My recommendation thus far, is to sell..................when you need to sell.
Is there a particular time of the year, that will help you sell for more money? In other words, what is the best time to sell a house in Phoenix in order to net the best sales price? Since five years ago, starting in February 2012 (per the chart above) one can see that home values median sales price has been steadily on the rise. Over all the last five years did see a good jump in price, the most impressive jump in values occurred from December 2012 through June 2015. To me, this makes a lot of sense, that we would see double digit increases of values in a relatively short time, because the real estate market and home values had to correct themselves. With the market crash of 2008, we saw values plummet to historic lows for our area. Once the U.S and of course Arizona started to see an improvement in the economy, home prices started to rise. With home values having dropped so sharply they would need to correct themselves, and they did pretty quickly. The biggest increase during the time period happened in the first part of 2013.
Yet, if you really look close at the numbers in the above chart, you can see a little bit of a trend. It really is so small, it may not even truly be able to be called a trend, but most home value increase tend to happen in the first part of the year and level off toward the end of the year. One thing that I would like to say, is to make sure and keep in mind that the charts represent home sales and all property type sales in our mls for 5 years. This will help show some of the market trends for the area, but if your really thinking of selling make sure and look at information pertinent to your home. You will want to know and use information that is for comparable homes to your own home.
My conclusion after the review of median sales prices is that which you can already see, home values have gone up over the past 5 years. I would like to say, that while the little trends presented above where values increase leading into spring in summer go up it good, not sure it is 100% accurate. Again, with my 12 plus years experience, I have pretty much seen values in Phoenix are what they are and nothing more. We are not a seasonal location, which may see values going up as the melt thaws, and back down as the snow storms hit. We don't have seasons, except hot and not so hot, and it is pretty much the same with real estate. While the trend of price increase can be seen in the spring/summer it happened as a result of a recovery. Look closely at the chart above, specifically from about April 2016 to after September 2016. While there is some variation, one could say the values have been pretty stable since April of 2016.
So, will homes sell for over listed price, at certain times of the year? Is there a better chance at getting above asking price depending on when you place on the market? Again, it comes down to the question - when is the best time to sell a house in Phoenix, so I can make the most money?
The chart above is again, from information gathered from our MLS system going back about 5 years. It is a look at the average sale price to list price, and it is basically a ratio. To explain the chart, should a home sell for 100% of asking price, the home would have sold for the ask price. Should a home have sold over 100%, then they would have sold for over their asking/list price. Looking at the chart above, one can see the the MLS has averaged anywhere from about 2% to about 6% under their list price. There is really no evidence above which shows a better time to sell, as one can see through the chart of the last 5 years.
When it comes down to it, the above numbers do show an increase in the NUMBER of home sales during the spring and summer months. There is a very solid reason for that, and it has to do with families. Many folks that end up relocating try to do so in the time which will have the least impact to their daily routines, especially the daily routines that have their kids in school.
Many schools will generally let out by about end of may. Take into consideration that most buyers will use financing to buy a home, and you know have a general idea that you can see an increase in home buyers beginning in April and leading into August. So in short, you will see a increase in sales during the spring and summer months, and it will have mostly to do with the fact that families find it easier to make a move in the summer months when the kids are out of school.
The other thing that one will cause folks to consider selling their home is work. They may have to relocate for a promotion, many times within the city, state or to other places within the US. This though, work, is not something that we can specifically say will affect the number of sales at any specific time of the year. Truth is, there is no likely way to measure this.
After having reviewed the information of home sales in the Phoenix area, we have an answer. There really is no specific time of the year which will be better to sell your Phoenix home, than any other time of the year. Phoenix and suburbs are not really part of what can be described as a seasonal market, it really is a real estate market for all seasons. Phoenix can see several thousand home sales even during the holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
Spring and summer are the months of the highest "activity" compared to the rest of the real estate year. Yet, even though the spring and summer see's more activity, that does not translate into a higher sales price or higher than asking price for a home in the Phoenix area.