Two weeks ago I attended a local event hosted by Fidelity National Title Agency called the Crystal Ball Conference. The information and purpose of the half-day seminar was to give us a glimpse into the future, or in other words, the “crystal ball” for the 2012 real estate market. I thought you might enjoy reading what I learned and the projections for the next year in the Phoenix Market.

Let’s start with realistic numbers – as of today – the inventory for Maricopa County:

  • Active homes for sale: 16,347
  • Pending (or under contract) homes: 16,709

When the crash of the market began in 2008-2009 we saw listing inventory soar into the 60,000’ish range of homes for sale. Today, we have less than a 30 day supply. Here are some additional numbers which help paint the inventory picture:

  • HUD listings are down by 83%
  • REO listings (Fannie, Freddie Mac, etc) are down by 68%
  • Short sale listings are down by 72%
  • Normal (equity sellers) listings are down by 33%

So what does all this mean for 2012? According to what I learned a few weeks ago, the improvement to the REO supply of inventory means a shift in the focus of real estate sales next year – it is speculated that 2012 will be the year of the short sale listings.

Just at Bank of America alone, they have geared up to handle the short sale approval process by putting over 3,000 employees to work in their short sale division. Arizona home loan delinquencies are down by 32.1% which puts Arizona in the top spot compared to all other states. The drive in the market next year will be a continued effort to improve the housing economy by reducing the number of bad or underwater loans by way of a short sale. Here are additional facts and information that was shared at the Crystal Ball Conference:

  • Bank Panelists concurred that they want to increase their short sale approvals for 2012 and are currently hiring more people on their teams.
  • Banks would rather approve a short sale than foreclose.
  • In Arizona, short sales tend to sell for a higher list price, so more short sale approvals could possibly trend our values up.
  • Only 2 years ago, banks handled delinquent mortgage almost exclusively by foreclosure – today that rate is down to 32.1% from 2009 – the biggest drop than other state in the nation.
  • With the lowest inventory we have seen since 2005, there is no longer a glut of future foreclosures looming over our Arizona housing market.

As my team inventory has shifted dramatically, I will also be focusing more of my attention to reaching out to our past clients, friends and family of those clients to offer them short sale assistance. The 2012 real estate market looks very favorable for homeowners who are struggling with an underwater mortgage. Now is the time to shift your attention as well – from the negative stigma of foreclosure and the bad housing market - and consider a fresh start in the New Year. My team and I have an experienced short sale department and we want to help you. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the short sale options available, including relocation assistance, please call 602-942-7000 or email today. I look forward to helping you achieve your New Year’s goals!