Sunday, Oct. 27th, 2013, could be looked back upon as a very significant date for Phoenix's real estate market.
According to Michael Orr, the director of real estate at Arizona State University, Oct. 27 is when Phoenix officially became a balanced market. Phoenix hasn't seen a balanced market in two and a half years, and a return to normalcy is exactly what some homebuyers have been waiting for.
"For most of the last 10 years (Phoenix has been) a market that had too many buyers or too many sellers," Orr explained on his weekly appearance on That Real Estate Show, Saturdays at 3 p.m. on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR. "(In a balanced market) there's no real strong advantage for either the buyer or the seller in transactions when they're negotiating, because they're pretty equally matched."
Equality is a very new concept for the Phoenix real estate market, which had seen sharp home price appreciation and low housing inventory, a tough combination for anyone who is looking to buy a home.
According to Orr, that dynamic has shifted:
"It's probably going to be a lot easier (for homebuyers) because there aren't so many buyers out there, and the ones that are out there are will be treated with more respect and have less competition, so it will be a lot more fun."
Orr cites a drop in buyer demand as the main reason for the shift from a sellers' market to a balanced one, and this momentum should continue and could even move Phoenix into a buyers' market by year's end.
"The question is does the demand continue to go down? If it does, then we could come out of a balanced market and move into a buyers' market by Christmas, and probably stay (in a buyer's market) into the first two months of the year," Orr said.
Orr also cautioned that these market conditions could shift back as quickly to a seller advantage as they have to a buyer one. But, at least for the time being, buying a home in Phoenix has become significantly easier.