Sluggish December Closes out Lackluster 2014
 
Sales of residential single-family homes in Flagstaff in December were down 6.6% from the same month last year, closing out a lackluster 2014 compared to 2013.  Sales for all of 2014 were up a meager 2.1% over 2013.  There was only one distressed sale (Bank Owned, Short Sale, HUD) in the month of December, capping a year where distressed sales continued to drop and ended at their lowest levels since the start of the Great Recession, 4.4% for Q4-14. Results for Q4-14 and 2014 are year to date through 12/31/14.  Source:  Flexmls.com   
 
For the year, 2014, a total of 830 single-family sales were recorded.  This is the highest annual sales volume in eight years, yet still below a healthy sales volume of 950 – 1050 for a city of our size and our past history. 
 
Sale price per square foot held relatively steady this quarter at $177 per square foot. That’s up 32% from the low in Q1-12 and up 8.6% from the same quarter last year.   Looking back on 2014, the number of sales flattened out, yet the price per square foot continued to rise.  Some of this rise was driven by the continued reduction in distressed property sales, but the bulk driven by appreciation of nondistressed properties. 
 
Average sale price (ASP) and Days on the Market (DOM) continue to show signs of improvement over the depths of the market a few years ago and stabilization, respectively.  For the last twelve months, the ASP is $383,000, up 9.9% from $348,000 last year.  DOM for regular sales has stabilized at 130 days. When looking at ASP and DOM data for Bank Owned and Short Sales the past few quarters, keep the low number of sales in mind, as this can lead to some volatility in the data.    
 
The line on 2014 will likely read “sales flat, values up.”  What comes in 2015 will be affected by:
• Getting the word out to buyers to strike while the iron is hot
• Interest rates are still low, but this will not last forever
• Oil prices are down, leading to more money in the pockets of consumers, lower prices on many goods, and greater consumer confidence
• A strong job market and growing economy
• PMI reduction for FHA buyers
• Strong local rental market  There is much to be thankful for as this new year begins, and interesting days ahead.
Bring on 2015!!