Housing Bubble 2020??

Prices are HIGH! Housing Bubble 2020?

Maybe not. Let’s take a look at some charts and see why it’s important to read past the headlines.

Average Home Price

Home prices in the Phoenix Valley are now roughly 13% higher than the last peak in prices in 2006. When you take a look at how we got there, this seems a little concerning. A key thing to note: take a look at the appreciation curve from 2003-2005, and how much steeper it is than the recent appreciation we’ve experienced. With the Federal Reserve pledging to keep interest rates “lower for longer”, we may yet see parabolic price growth again, but we are not there yet.

Average Home Size

If we take a look at the size of homes sold, which includes more and more larger and newer homes as time goes on, we can see that the average home size has also risen notably since 2005-2006 during the last peak in prices. To put things in perspective, the average home size has risen roughly 14% since that peak.

Average Sales Price per Foot ($/ft)

If we take a look at the average sales price per foot, arguably the most important metric for market comparisons, we are roughly abreast with the former peak in late 2005. This might be what you would expect if you have home prices and home sizes increase by the same amount and for evidence you are right, you’d look to their prices per foot, which are back at the same level they were in 2005-2006.

Home Prices Adjusted for Inflation

When comparing home prices over longer periods of time, it’s important to remember to adjust for inflation during calculations. We do this to create an apples to apples to comparison. What we see is that on an inflation-adjusted basis, Phoenix home prices still have approximately 10% more to go before prices reach 2005-2006 levels relative to inflation, which means we still have quite a bit of catching up to do, especially with inflation running hot per the Federal Reserves new arrangement. 

Why Is This Time Different?
The Phoenix area has come a long way since the early 2000’s, with a much more diverse workforce and increasing corporate interest for both production and headquarters campuses. The Phoenix Valley now has more tech employees than Los Angeles and Chicago, and companies such as Amazon, Intel, and Google have set their sights on growth here. These are major fundamental drivers for population and economic growth here in Phoenix, and should not be underestimated.

Below are a few charts outlining the diversity of the Phoenix area workforce for the last 20 years. What the charts show is a regional economy that is much more focused on the Financial Services, Education and Healthcare, and Professional Business Services sectors. What they also show is an economy that is far less reliant on the Construction sector, and less so on Manufacturing as well. Phoenix’s economy has developed into a more self-sustaining creature, exporting less and converting more labor output towards localized growth.

Financial Activities
Education and Health Services
Professional and Business Services
I try not to bore you with the details, but these are the things that fundamentally drive an economy, and thusly wages, and lastly home prices. To sum things up, below is a chart of the Phoenix areas Gross Domestic Product over the last two decades. As you can see, we have only recently broken through our prior peak in ~2015. One could argue that global corporate interest in Phoenix is beginning is going through a revival period, with pro-business local governments and a potent labor force ready to take up the charge.

About the Author
I've learned through experience that informed buyers and sellers make the best real estate decisions. My top priority is keeping you updated and educated throughout the buying and selling process to ensure you won't be left wondering if you made the best decision.

My fiduciary responsibility to you is to not only be informed on the latest real estate trends in Arizona, but to be available from Day 1 for any questions or concerns you may have whether you're just starting your search or you closed escrow last year. My 100% commitment is a custom-tailored solution for your next purchase or sale, from consultation to close.

I've been helping families move in the Greater Phoenix Area since 2016, but have called "The Valley" home since 2011 and hope I never have to leave. I'm originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but now live in Optimist Park, Tempe with my dog Katie. When I'm not assisting my clients with their homes, I love to golf, making it to last-minute Diamondbacks games, and breaking away from the city during our many months of great weather.

If you or someone you know is getting ready to buy or sell a home in the Greater Phoenix Area, it would be an honor and privilege to help them. Should you have any questions about the buying or selling process, please don't hesitate to call me at (480) 712-8722.