It's all here! News on the Tucson real estate market, tips and information for your Tucson real estate needs, and my occasional "likes" about Tucson and all the things we love about it. Read on!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Prospective Seller Asks: Who is Buying in Tucson Right Now?

I am seeing three interesting groups of buyers in the Tucson market:
  1. Investors, who seem to be buying for rental investment rather than to "fix and flip."  
  2. First-time buyers, who recognize that with low home prices and low interest rates their mortgage payment may be lower than the rent they have been paying.  
  3. Retirees and those I term "near-retirees." Near-retirees are buyers who may be 2 to 5 years away from retirement, usually still live and work in their home city but recognize that it is a good time to lock in that future Tucson retirement home now while rates and prices are low.  
They are all looking for homes right-priced to the current market and in good condition.  The first timers and retirees especially are looking for homes with up-to-date features rather than fixer uppers.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fun Things in Tucson: The Pima Air & Space Museum

Did you know that right here in Tucson we have the third largest air and spacecraft museum in the country with over 300 aircraft?  Eclipsed only by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and the US Air Force museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Pima Air and Space Museum was founded in 1976 and is the Tucson home of some classic military aircraft coming from the DM "boneyard." 
KC 135 Tanker
We paid a visit to the Pima Air and Space Museum over the weekend and I was impressed at the growth in size of the collections, quality of the displays and the new buildings housing special collections and aircraft.

B-17G Bomber
You can also take a tram tour of the museum site which takes just over an hour.  Our tram guide was an Air Force veteran who told great stories about each of the planes we passed.  Of special interest to us was the restored B-17 bomber like the ones my father worked on as a Army Air Corps corporal in England during World War II. 

The Pima Air and Space Museum is located at 6000 E Valencia Rd (between I-10 and Kolb).  Information on hours and tours can be found on their website: Pima Air & Space Museum

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tip for Tax Time

If you bought or refinanced your Tucson home in 2011, don't forget to mention that to your accountant or tax preparer.  In addition to the mortgage interest deduction, you may qualify for deductions on "points" paid on your home loan.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

January Tucson MLS Sales Stats: Mixed Messages

   The January sales statistics in the Tucson MLS show that the average sale price was down 2.7% from the previous month, but the median sale price was up 4.17% from December. Let the statisticians argue which is the most accurate reflection of the market, but we won't have a definite trend until both sets of figures are moving in the same general direction for a number of months. 
   The number of homes sold in January (915) was down 4.79% from the previous month but up 17.3% from the same month in 2011. 
Three statistics and trends that do stand out:
  • Two thirds of homes sold in January sold for less than $160,000.  That price range is where the active market is right now.  Homes in that range that are correctly priced for the market and in good condition are often selling in a matter of days.
  • Cash is king!  37% of January home sales in the Tucson MLS were cash transactions. 
  • The number of homes actively on the market has dropped for 13 of the last 14 months and is at the lowest point since September 2005.  There are now 4840 homes on the market. 
To see the full January Tucson homes report, click on this link to the Tucson MLS January Report

Friday, February 24, 2012

Interest Rates Trend Up from Historic Lows: Market and Economy Inprovements Cited

30-year fixed rate mortgages were up this week from their at-or-near record lows of the past three weeks to an average of 3.95%.  That is according to the weekly survey of the primary mortgage market by Freddie Mac.  The increase was attributed to improvements in the economy and in the housing market.  The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales were the strongest since May 2010 and the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that the percentage of loans that were seriously delinquent dropped to their lowest quarterly level since the start of 2009.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!

Tucson and the Santa Catalina Mountains from Gates Pass
Having grown up in Kentucky, which joined the union in 1792, I find it hard to imagine that Arizona is just now celebrating its 100th anniversary of statehood.  I see the changes that have occurred since my first visit to Tucson in the late 1960's (I was a mere child of course) but I will let the late Barry Goldwater speak for what he saw as the future of an article he wrote in 1962 on the occasion of Arizona's 50th anniversary of statehood.  It is very interesting reading and he has proven to be quite prescient.  

Barry Goldwater's Crystal Ball - Arizona Daily Star

Monday, February 6, 2012

Statistic of the Day...

I won't even comment on this one...

30% of Americans, given the choice between their dream home and a perfect spouse, would choose the dream home, according to a recent survey.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Lows...Again

After a few fluctuating weeks, mortgage interest rates took another dip into record territory this week. Freddie Mac's weekly survey of primary mortgage rates showed rates on 30-year fixed rate mortgages were down to an average 3.87 percent for the week ending February 2. That is down from 3.98 percent last week and is the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking such data. Rates on 15-year fixed rate mortgages this week were down to an amazing 3.14 percent from 3.24 percent last week. Slower than expected growth in the economy was cited as the reason for the decline in rates. 

Qualified buyers are taking advantage of these continued low rates and I am seeing noticeably more activity, particularly on Tucson homes priced under $150,000.  There are a lot of first time buyers and prospective retirees out there looking right now.