July 2017 - Phoenix Real Estate Update


1)  The Greater Phoenix Real Estate - Market Continues to be Hot

2)  STAT Newsletter

3)  Vistancia Peoria Development in Top 20 Best Selling Communities

4)  One Billion Dollar Motorsports Project Could Bring 6,000 Jobs to Casa Grande

5)  Are AIRBNB Owners Allowed to Discriminate?

6)  Tales From the Trenches - Are you inviting termites into your home?


Property Taxes are due!  Second half property taxes are due on October 1 and becomes delinquent after November 1.


1)  The Greater Phoenix Real Estate - Market Continues to be Hot

Pat Hune, Broker, June 2017

It is summer and Phoenix has moved two inches from the sun.  The weather is not the only thing hot in Phoenix. Summer is the prime real estate selling season and this year the market is hotter than ever.  Why? The economy is doing well. Renters who could not buy because of foreclosures and short sales are coming back into the market.  Even the millennials who have been renting or living at home have started buying.  

Supply is terrible.  Why?  As detailed in my April Newsletter job growth, population growth and low number of new homes being built are just a few of the reasons. Another factor is the huge number of investor owned homes.  Twice in the past six months there have been bulk sale offerings of 50 to 70 single family homes across the valley.  These are being snapped up by big investors so they will never be on the market as individual sales. The bottom-line is there are simply not enough homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 and lower price range to fill the demand.  

Is there any relief coming?  Probably not.  The builders are running out of land and can’t build fast enough.  There is a severe shortage of skilled labor.  There are too many investor owned homes.  The only glimmer of hope is some of the owners have decided to sell their rentals.  They are ready to cash in on the appreciation. Canadians are also selling due to the great exchange rate in addition to appreciation. Overall these individual sales will have very little impact in the supply.  


2) STAT Newsletter Link - Commentary by Tom Ruff, Founder of the Information Market and Contributions from the Cromford Report

(Note the numbers are reported one month behind.)  STAT is produced monthly by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.  This is the database realtors use to list homes for sale and the source for historical sales. ©ARMLS 2017

Housing Market Stable and Healthy

Our market is stable and healthy and I expect the second half of 2017 to follow recent annual trends. I anticipate sales volume for the second half of the year to be slightly less than what we saw in the first six months and seasonal pricing patterns will begin to take hold. In my personal opinion, a zero price gain or even a slight decline in prices in the second half would be a good thing. Even with no gain or a slight drop in prices, our annual price growth would be between 5% and 7%. When we report our final numbers for 2017, I suspect we’ll see the fourth best sales volume numbers in our history. We had a very strong close to 2004 and we’ll see the second highest dollar sales volume behind only 2005. All in all, 2017 is shaping up to be an outstanding year for ARMLS subscribers.

Price Trends

Last month STAT projected a median sales price for June of $245,000. The actual median sales price was $245,000, proving algorithms sometimes get it right. Looking ahead to July, the ARMLS Pending Price Index projects a median sales price of $242,500, a slight dip from June. Overall this year, our mathematical projections have been trending slightly lower than the actual results.

MLS sales volume in June 2017 was 9,391, roughly 6.0% higher than last year (8,861). Sales volume for the first six months of 2017 is 9.1% higher than 2016, with 49,181 sales in 2017 compared to 45,091 for the first six months of 2016. Like June, we enter July with fewer residential listings practically under contract this year. We begin July with 6,619 pending contracts, 3,820 UCB listings and 567 CCBS giving us a total of 11,006 residential listings practically under contract. This compares to 11,493 of the same type of listings to the time last year. With the recent change in the relationship between pending contracts and actual sales, I expect sales volume in July to exceed last year’s total, although sales numbers in July will definitely drop from sales numbers in June. A drop in the median sales price and month-over-month sales volume would not be unexpected as seasonal patterns come into play.

June STAT Report


3)  Vistancia Peoria Development in Top 20 Best Selling Communities

Commercial Executive Magazine, July 2017

For the third consecutive year, Vistancia has been awarded a Top 20 ranking among U.S. master planned communities by RCLCO’s midyear report. Vistancia ranked No. 17 nationally and is the second best-selling community in Arizona with 274 sales, up 31% year-over-year, among the master plan’s three actively selling communities – The Village at Vistancia, Blackstone at Vistancia and Trilogy at Vistancia.  Vistancia attributes its sales success to its diverse range of home sizes and community lifestyle options. Vistancia’s new homebuyers are attracted to the master plan’s lifestyle-rich community, giving residents opportunities to connect with the outdoors and their neighbors. Excelling schools, a variety of recreation centers and pools, community events, walking paths and trails, and golf courses have also been a driving factor for new home sales.

“We are pleased again to see such robust sales results for Vistancia at mid-year,” said Mark Hammons, vice president/general manager of Vistancia. “Our growth success reinforces the value of living in the Vistancia master plan, offering a diverse range of home styles, wonderful amenities and great schools in the beautiful Sonoran Desert environment,” Hammons said.

In total, The Village at Vistancia accounted for 62 percent of new home sales, Trilogy at Vistancia at 22 percent, and Blackstone at Vistancia achieved 16 percent of the master plan’s recorded mid-year sales.  Vistancia’s signature outdoor experience is the 3.5-mile Discovery Trail, the heart of Vistancia that connects the entire community linking to the community’s two on-site elementary schools and community parks. Additionally, the community is proud to be home to the premier, private Blackstone Country Club featuring a Jim Engh designed 18-hole golf course and the 30,000-square-foot clubhouse with a fitness center, three resort-style pools and lighted tennis courts. Club membership is separate from real estate purchase in Vistancia.

Vistancia’s premier collection of new home builders include Ashton Woods, Mattamy Homes, Meritage Homes, Shea Homes and William Ryan Homes in The Village at Vistancia; David Weekley Homes and Toll Brothers in Blackstone at Vistancia; and Shea Homes in Trilogy at Vistancia.  Vistancia’s future growth plans will focus on adding four new builder neighborhoods in The Village at Vistancia. David Weekley Homes and William Ryan Homes recently closed on two of the four remaining parcels in The Village at Vistancia.  The award-winning Vistancia community is located in Peoria and set amongst a stunning backdrop of mountain ranges featuring dramatic views of White Peak, Twin Buttes and the Bradshaw Mountains in pristine desert surroundings. Take Loop 303 to the Lone Mountain Parkway (exit 127). The Vistancia Information Center is located at the guard-gated entrance of Blackstone at Vistancia.


4)  One Billion Dollar Motorsports Project Could Bring 6,000 Jobs to Casa Grande

Arizona Biz Media, July 2017

The motorsports destination that’s in the works in the Casa Grande and Pinal County areas is projected to add more than 6,000 jobs to the area, according to a recent report released by the project’s developers. Approximately 61 percent of the future Attesa employees will reside in Pinal County, according to updated projections from an Economic Impact Study prepared by Elliott D. Pollack & Company.  Casa Grande is projected to benefit the most from incremental local economic activity associated with nearly 5,000 Attesa employees. Maricopa, the county’s second largest city, is projected as the home of nearly 1,600 Attesa employees upon buildout.

Attesa, a $1.1 billion project, will initially recruit over 8,000 workers in the construction and building industry as it produces two racing circuits, a 300-room hotel and 20,000-square-foot conference center, driving club, multi-use venue, waste water treatment plant and solar canopied plaza.  Post grand opening, workers will be needed for ongoing home and commercial building, new on-site high tech and motorsports/transportation design companies, retail and hospitality partners, air park businesses, maintenance, security and more.  Tim Kanavel, director of economic development for Pinal County, said, “It will start with construction and then go from there. Jobs are going to be created, ongoing, and most of those people will live in Casa Grande, Maricopa, Eloy and Coolidge. The influx of new visitors and residents will create more jobs at restaurants, retailers and other consumer companies. Attesa is going to bring a lot of jobs and new residents.  We’re glad Attesa chose Pinal County as their home.”

“We’re essentially going to build a mini-city,” said Dan Erickson, member/manager of Danrick Builders, the company developing Attesa.  “We’re going to welcome tech companies who need to research, develop and test, and people who have a passion for performance cars and driving them at speed, and guests who want to be entertained with uncompromised customer service.  To provide the best experience possible, in all those areas, we’re going to need people.  And most of them will be local, within the County.”  In addition to those jobs projected for residents of Casa Grande and Maricopa, the report indicates that Attesa will provide employment opportunities for residents of Coolidge (313 estimated jobs), San Tan Valley (over 200 jobs), Arizona City (200 jobs), Florence (160 jobs) and Apache Junction (almost 100 jobs).  Attesa anticipates over 15,000 direct and indirect jobs upon buildout. From groundbreaking, scheduled for first quarter 2018, through Attesa’s subsequent industrial, retail and tourist attraction partner growth, the world’s first motorsports, technology and entertainment community is going to need a wide variety of workers.

“Our partners who test and build and do business at Attesa are going to need workers, that’s for sure,” said Pat Johnson, president of Danrick Builders.  “But so will Phoenix Mart, Lucid Motors, DreamPort Village and every other new development planned for Pinal County. And as we develop our 2,500-acre community, and as the other new companies start up and grow, Casa Grande, Maricopa and the rest of the cities in Pinal County had better be ready.”  Since Attesa was announced, the Casa Grande area has been getting a lot of calls about prospective economic development projects. Last November, Lucid Motors announced it will build a $700 million electric car manufacturing plant in the area.  Attesa is working with state universities, community colleges and vocational schools toward making sure the employees of tomorrow can receive the training and education they’re going to need today.  “We’re already collaborating with Arizona at Work and Central Arizona College,” added Kanavel.  “We understand what the future holds and we’re darn well going to be prepared.”  Attesa is presently undergoing the entitlement process in Pinal County.


5)  Are AIRBNB Owners Allowed to Discriminate?  If they do it will cost them.

Williams, Zinman & Parham P.C., August 2017

In what has been reported as the first time an AIRBNB host has been found to have violated the laws prohibiting discrimination.  In July, 2017 an owner of a property listed on AIRBNB entered into a settlement with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.  It was alleged that the property owner refused to rent to a guest because of the person's race and national origin.


In this case, there was very little dispute as the guest had the statements in writing from the owner.  For example, the property owner wrote a text message which stated, "I wouldn't rent to u if u were the last person on earth.  One word says it all.  Asian."  This despicable racism clearly violates the Fair Housing Act.  There is no excuse for such comments.  Here is a link to a more in-depth look at the story: CNN Report.


As part of the settlement, the owner agreed to the following: 

apologize to the guest

comply with anti-discrimination laws

attend training

take a college level course in Asian American studies

participate in a community education panel

perform volunteer service at a civil rights organization

report rental data to the department for four years

pay $5,000 in damages

It is also noteworthy that AIRBNB spoke out against such discrimination and immediately refunded all amounts to the guest when they were put on notice of the problem.



6)  Tales From the Trenches - Are you inviting termites into your home?

Pat Hune, Broker, 1st Southwest Realty

Ask any termite inspector about how many houses have termites and you will get the same response.  There are only two kinds of houses.  Those that have termites and those that are going to get them.  This makes it sound inevitable that your house will have termites which is not necessarily true.  One house in the neighborhood can have termites while none of the neighboring houses have them.  In some areas almost every house will have termites.  Even though there is no rhyme or reason to where termites will be found there are things a homeowner can do to prevent them:

1) Don’t build planters against the foundation of the house.  Termites love soft wood.  Water softens the wood creating an all you can eat termite buffet. Though there are many houses with planters that do not have termites it does not make sense to take a chance.

2) Don’t plant trees, bushes or grass within three feet of the foundation.  When houses are built the ground under the foundation and three feet beyond are treated with a termite pesticide.  This three feet area around the house is sometimes referred to as a termite barrier. Putting plants in closer than three feet breaks the barrier giving termites a path to destruction.  

3) Don’t plant climbing vines like cat’s claw.  Though pretty these vines need water and as stated above may result in termites.  Also don’t plant cats claw by your fence especially block fences.  Several of my neighbors have had their block fences pulled over by cat’s claw. 

4) Don’t let water collect around the foundation of the house. Check to make sure rain and sprinkler water is draining away from the foundation.

The next question is what to do when you have termites.  Don’t panic but do call a termite treatment company right away.  Most termites found in Arizona are slow moving subterranean termites and if treated quickly the damage can be minimal.  However the sooner they are treated the better.  Always get a one year warranty and renew it every year. The initial treatment can be expensive starting at around $800 or more.  The cost to extend the warranty is only around $100.    Though rare I have seen drywood termites.  These are harder to treat.  Usually the best solution is to remove the infected wood if possible and have the area treated. If the wood cannot be removed treat the termites and watch to see if they come back.  

In case you want to know more about termites you can check out the article from the University of Arizona.  Some interesting facts are 

1) There are currently approximately 2,761 named termite species in 282 genera worldwide. About 45 species occur in the continental United States with nearly 30 causing damage to wood and wood products. At least seventeen species of termites occur in Arizona, but only three species are considered to be of any significant economical importance.

2) All the termites into 3 broad categories based on their habitat: dampwood, drywood and subterranean. In Arizona, dampwood and drywood termites are not wide spread problems but can be under certain conditions. Subterranean termites on the other hand are considered one of our major urban pests.

U of A Termite Article