Each month about this time we look back at the previous month, analyze how pricing has behaved and report on how well our forecasting techniques performed. We also give a forecast for how pricing will move over the next 30 days.
For the monthly period ending October 15, we are currently recording a sales $/SF of $125.69 averaged for all areas and types across the ARMLS database. This is 0.7% below the $126.63 we now measure for September 15. Our forecast range was $123.11 to $128.13 with a mid-point of $125.62. Last month’s forecast therefore proved to be among the most accurate we have ever experienced, being only 7c higher than the mid point.
On October 15, REO sales across Greater Phoenix (all types) averaged $88.44 per sq. ft. (down 0.6%). Pre-foreclosures and short sales averaged $94.10 (down 6.6%) while normal sales averaged $128.62 (down 0.7%). The market share of normal sales was unchanged over the last 30 days at 89.5% of sales. REOs gained market share from 6.3% to 6.5%. Short sales and pre-foreclosures lost market share from 4.2% to 4.0%.
On October 15 the pending listings for all areas & types showed an average list $/SF of $131.10, 3.1% above the reading for September 15. Among those pending listings we have 81.0% normal, 7.6% in REOs and 11.4% in short sales and pre-foreclosures. The average pricing for pending listings within Greater Phoenix on September 15 in each category was: $139.00 for normal, $91.35 for short sales & pre-foreclosures and $90.74 for REOs. All of these are higher than last month, especially the figure for normal sales.
Our mid-point forecast for the average monthly sales $/SF on November 15 is $129.59, which is 3.1% higher than the October 15 reading. We have a 90% confidence that it will fall within ± 2% of this mid point, i.e. in the range $127.00 to $132.18. Our forecast this month is for a fairly large increase in sales pricing over the next month. This goes against the prevailing trend but is based on the strong move upward in the pending $/SF over the last month. Month to month forecasting has been hazardous this year with considerable volatility from one month to the next. This optimistic forecast is due primarily to a favorable change in the mix of properties in escrow, rather than an underlying strength in pricing. The underlying longer term price trend is still slightly negative.
With demand remaining weak, we still expect the natural price range to remain stuck between $123 and $133 in the next few months.
In the current conditions we believe the strongest pricing of the year has already occurred between March and June. Pricing is likely to show at least some degree of weakness during the last 3 months of the year due to the usual seasonal increase in supply and lower sales volumes. We would need to see a sudden strong recovery in demand to change this expectation.