In the past, describing the Maricopa real estate market in a few words was easy.
This past year was different, though, because the market made a huge shift in the middle of the year from “many buyers, minimal homes” to “minimal buyers, many homes.”
The average selling price for a home in Maricopa in January 2022 was $375,000. Eleven months later, by mid-December, the average selling price was $372,352, marking the first year-over-year decline in many years.
Welcome 2023! Thought it would never get here.
Although the starting numbers and finishing numbers don’t show it, Maricopa sales prices rocketed from January to July ($431,078) and then skidded, creating the rare drop.
The Maricopa housing market, mirroring that in the Phoenix metro area, was categorized as a “strong seller’s market” for much of 2022 before it was downgraded to a “very slight seller’s market” by mid-December. We are close to a neutral market, much different from where we were just a year ago.
In 2021, there was no inventory, and when the buyer found a good-fitting house, they would buy it immediately, sometimes paying a premium.
In 2022, inventory started low. Throughout the year, it increased at an alarming rate. In mid-December, there were approximately 700 homes for sale, roughly double the average Maricopa market normal of 300 to 350 homes.
For sellers, buyers are out there but they have a huge number of homes from which to choose. The seller’s home should show like a model. The home must be listed at market price. There is no more listing a home high and then still getting multiple offers. For buyers, depending on the number of days a home has been listed, asking for concessions may be a good move.
As we step through a new door into 2023, what are we leaving behind in Maricopa real estate?
2022 had months with the highest inventory of homes for sale since in 2006.
A slowdown of brand-new homes being built did not prevent a huge number to choose from. Many are completed or nearly completed, and may have been started for a different buyer, who never finished the transaction.
Of the mid-December homes for sale in Maricopa, 265 were brand-new, in process or recently completed.
After 2021’s supply and labor shortages, the supply chain re-opened in 2022 and builders not only completed homes but resumed construction of new ones.
Mortgage interest rates increased multiple times during the year, causing people to wait out rate increases that made payments too high, in turn causing some buyers to no longer qualify for their dream home.
The highest home-sold prices ever in Maricopa occurred mid-year, when a whopping 38 homes sold for more than $600,000. For perspective, in 2021 there were six that topped $600,000 and in the years 2003-2020, there were no homes that sold for more than $600,000.
The forecast for 2023 calls for increased negotiating power for buyers. If the seller is being firm with negotiations, the buyer can focus on another home with 700 homes from which to choose. Among the fastest-selling homes are the larger ones (4-plus bedrooms). Since COVID, the number of people working from home has increased drastically. Many 2- or 3-bedroom homes don’t leave enough space for a family and an office, or two.
Prices will continue to drop until interest rates drop drastically or the inventory does. Maricopa will continue to grow as more businesses, big and small, come to town.
There are 24,932 homes in Maricopa, but developers have land and plans set for another 45,716 homes. That would mean that we are only 36% built out.