Scottsdale Market Snapshot: Cash and Crash Indicators

The New York Times once described downtown Scottsdale as “a desert version of Miami’s South Beach” with “plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene.”

Luxury marketer and builder Luetta Newnam of Casa Buena Realty LLC, is a second-generation Realtor who has watched the real estate market swing to dizzying heights and record equity losses during the housing crisis.

“When will the collapsed lung work again? If you keep waiting to buy, you won’t know until everyone else does because analysts won’t report on good news until the market is on it’s way back up,” she said. “And then interest rates will rise and you will be talking in the past tense about market opportunity.

“The conversations with my clients today always starts with, ‘My house was worth’ and they will be shifting to,  ’I can remember when you could buy that for’,” Newnam added.

Newnam offers a micro prism of the market on her blog, “The Contractor’s Wife.” She updated recent statistics for Real Estate Economy Watch.

The screenshot at right displays a small portion of Scottsdale via Imapp tax search. Green flags represent Active properties, blue flags are Sold homes, black Xs are Expired Listings, red flags are Cancelled Listings, yellow flags indicate Pending Sales, and small black gavels point to properties in the Foreclosure cycle.

Tax records indicate a large volume of shadow inventory in Scottsdale and thousands of properties comprising shadow inventory in Maricopa County. Shadow inventory is a term used to describe bank owned real estate that is unlisted. The graph below represents a partial snapshot of shadow inventory. It does not include government owned homes, nor does it contain all bank properties.

Cash buyers dominate the luxury market in Scottsdale. Seventy-four percent of homes originally listed over $3 million were purchased with cash, according to recent data from Arizona Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS):

Scottsdale listings priced over $3 million, according to ARMLS:

  • 32 properties have CLOSED
  • 24 of those were bought with CASH
  • Total asking price when listed, $ 105,701,044
  • Total paid in cash for the 24 SOLD $ 88,291,000
  • Scottsdale currently has 112 properties on the market with one pending sale.

Paradise Valley listings priced over $ 3 million, according to ARMLS:

  • 29 properties have CLOSED
  • 21 of those were bought with CASH
  • Total asking price when listed, $ 90,878,435
  • Total dollars paid in CASH, $ 79 million
  • Paradise Valley currently has 85 active properties priced over $ 3 million dollars and two pending sales.
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