Hope for homebuyers as Tucson’s real estate market normalizes

Hope for homebuyers as Tucson’s real estate market normalizes
Published: Apr. 13, 2023 at 3:55 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 13, 2023 at 3:56 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - As the spring homebuying season begins, some promising trends are developing in Tucson, especially for first time homebuyers.

After two years of stiff competition and record high home prices, affordability and inventory in Southern Arizona are improving.

When home prices rose 40% in a two-year span, many buyers found themselves priced out. Add in rising interest rates and many first time homebuyers just gave up. But starting now, local experts say it’s worth revisiting.

Kevin Kaplan is the chief operating officer at Long Realty. When asked if it’s a buyers or sellers market, he says it’s neither.

“I would say it’s more of a normal market. Meaning what we saw the past couple of years was not normal with the amount of buyers we had, and no listings,” said Kaplan.

Right now, there are 2,500 hundred homes for sale in the Tucson area. One year ago, there were only a thousand. In a normal market, Kaplan says there’s closer to 4,000.

“Statistically speaking we’re still in a seller’s market and the reason is, even though there’s a little less buyers. There’s less listings right now,” said Kaplan.

But instead of new home listings going under contract immediately, it’s now taking about 50 days, which is what you’d expect in a normal market.

Also, homes are now selling at 95% of the original list price.

While all-cash-buyers made up 31% of recent closings in the Tucson area, Kaplan says those buyers are focused on higher price points.

“So, if somebody was looking in the last year or two and couldn’t find anything, they may have a better chance of finding something now,” said Kaplan.

“We tried to buy in 2020, but starter homes were like $400,000 dollars so that wasn’t going to work,” said first time homebuyer Kat Jacobs Crotta.

Tired of paying rent, Kat and Kyle Jacobs Crotta decided to try home buying again. They recently closed on a four bedroom two bath property near Grant and Alvernon. The price was dropped the day they viewed it, so they offered full price.

“This felt like the first time in three years that we actually had a chance to take the plunge and buy a house,” said Kyle Jacobs Crotta. “So, we did it.”

“We’ve had a little bit of a correction in price. But for the last four or five months prices actually have been pretty stable here,” said Kaplan. “So that’s something that if you’re thinking of selling too, you should know.”

Kaplan says some markets are correcting a little harder, meaning home prices are dropping at a faster rate. New data shows Phoenix, the once sizzling city, has dropped to number 41 among the hottest housing markets in the nation. Tucson is ranked 37th.