Single-family homes are making more money than Tucsonans, on average

Skyrocketing cost of housing in Tucson
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 10:31 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Houses are making more money than people in the Tucson metro. The Tucson Association of Realtors (TAR) reports the median price increase of a single-family home is now outpacing the average salary.

This hot housing market has sellers receiving cash offers, with bids well above the asking price. It’s putting a lot of stress on buyers who are ready to upgrade, downsize or purchase their first home.

“The speed of the market is what makes it so difficult,” said Lisa Nutt, who chairs the TAR Housing Opportunities committee. “It’s all rooted in the fact that we lack inventory.”

Nutt, who is also a realtor, says more than 10,000 homes were on the market during peak inventory back in 2011.

“This week, 1,400 homes are available for sale,” she said.

According to TAR, the median price of a single-family home in Tucson has increased by about 23% year-over-year, with the median single-family home valued at just under $330,000. That’s an increase of about $76,000.

Nutt says the average annual salary in Tucson is roughly $55,000.

“[The housing market] is outpacing [wages],” she said. “Some of it has to do with investors coming in and buying up a percentage of the properties. Typically, they come in with cash, they can also wave the contingencies, and they can close in less than two weeks. When you have a certain percentage of those types of transactions occurring in your market, the median is going to tick up.”

Nutt says it’s unusual for the year-over-year median increase to reach double digits.

“Year-to-year, an appreciation of about 5% to 10% would be more typical,” she said.

While baby boomers are downsizing so they can remain in their homes longer, Nutt says millennials still make up the largest group of buyers.

“Just by sheer numbers, there are more of them and they are entering their prime home purchasing years,” said Nutt. “What that means is when anything becomes available, there are often multiple offers; depending on the price point.”

This can make closing on a house incredibly frustrating.

“Persistence is key!” said Nutt. “Keep on keeping on. I just got a client under contract last week after searching and searching and offering and offering for months.”

Those looking for help with mortgage applications, down payment assistance, foreclosure and eviction prevention, rent relief, and information on how to break into today’s housing market can speak with experts this Saturday at the Tucson Convention Center (TCC).

“We are here to clarify their goals and identify the steps to help get them there,” Nutt said.

The TAR Housing Conference will be held on Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the east side of the of the TCC (behind the main ticket office). It is free! Government agencies, nonprofits, lenders, property managers, and realtors will be available to answer questions. The first 150 guests will also receive free tickets to the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) Home & Garden Show, which is also back this weekend at the TCC.

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