If you’re confused by the real estate market, don’t worry. It’s changing as fast as the GOP presidential race changes its front runner.
Let’s try and unscramble the very complex real estate market in Downtown Phoenix and quickly contrast that with the national picture you hear about every day.
Phoenix, like any of our great cities, intensifies everything you see in the suburbs into much smaller micro markets that have dramatically different pricing and sales from block to block.
When you turn on the news, the stories won’t reflect your very local market. They are usually national, taken from what’s called “lagging stats,” and often reported quarterly. An average listing can take 60 to 90 days to sell, three months to close, then add another month or two to report the quarter. The news you are hearing is really really old.
Leading stats are rarely reported in anything but a hot market. Active listing prices and pending sales are leading stats, a reasonable, but not guaranteed, measure. Let’s look at some on a valley-wide level.
Michael Orr of ASU reported in The Cromford Report how pending sale prices are rocketing skyward this month in the valley (see right). A leap from an average $82/sf to just over $88/sf is a scary reflection of the heady days of 2005. But this is still macro. How is this affecting Downtown Phoenix?
Let’s take a quick look at condos. A great example of micro market and perception. Portland Place, One Lexington and Summit at Copper Square are three “new” builds, all walkable, with great amenities, and built to excellent standards.
- Summit: six recent sales avg $110/sf, two pending avg $121/sf, two active avg $137/sf.
- Portland Place: four recent sales avg $174/sf, two pending avg $179/sf, two active avg $219/sf.
- One Lexington: six recent sales avg $231/sf, one pending $189/sf, three active $250/sf. (note the pending sample is just one lower level unit)
As you can see, the trend is clearly upward, per Mike Orr’s stats. But the pricing is simply down to perception. One Lexington hasn’t gone through the foreclosures and chaos of the last few years. Portland Place and Summit have.
To sum up, that’s exactly why some areas are still lagging and some are leading, they just went through a harder time than the rest. Think how confident the market is in your subdivision. When your micro market recovers, your home will do the same. Don’t listen to the national news. Listen to the micro market you are buying or selling in and talk to a local realtor to learn more.
About the author
David represents Russ Lyon Sotheby’s international Realty and runs a real estate team, Habitat Urban, that specializes in the major downtown areas of Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix. As a Londoner and someone who had never lived in a home younger than 70 years old before moving here, David has a soft spot for Downtown Phoenix and the central corridor. He finds himself in a love affair with both the historic districts and the energy and ambition of the new buildings in this young and vibrant city. Recent Phoenix developments David has represented include Portland Place Condominiums and One Lexington. As a recognized expert in condominium sales, he has appeared on NPR’s “Here and Now,” Fox News Network and as an expert resource for local Phoenix media. He is also partner in DPJ’s Live Here Real Estate section, launched in 2011.
Home to favorite haunts such as Barrio Café and America’s Taco Shop, the Coronado Historic District attracts many visitors from around the Valley. But along with its widely popular establishments, the district also retains a thriving residential community.
Bordered by hundreds of small businesses, approximately 5,000 homes make up the district. They range in style from Bungalow to Spanish Revival to Ranch, and some date back as early as the 1920s.
Many of the homeowners have renovated their residences, some maintaining the original architectural style and others giving the homes an entirely new twist, says Coronado resident Rebecca Brittain.
“In essence, the fundamental purpose in the home tour is to recognize the work the owners have done to preserve and care for their homes, raise funds for the association, and … share our history with other people,” says neighborhood historian Donna Reiner.
Brittain, who is also the home tour chair, says all of the proceeds from the event stay within the community, funding block watch, cleanup efforts and neighborhood events such as movie showings in the park.
Brittain moved to Coronado in 2009, after attending one of the self-guided tours.
She describes the district as eclectic and artistic, and enjoys the restaurants and hangouts in the area. She also appreciates the sense of community the neighborhood provides.
“People sit on their porches and actually talk to their neighbors,” she says.
This year’s event features 11 historic homes not shown on previous tours and also includes various food and merchant vendors, an antique car show, dog training, yoga and music.
If you go
Where: On Sheridan Street, between Eighth and Mitchell streets (map)
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2012
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: Available online for $12.50 or at the tour for $15.
Bike Chic is a new DPJ series by Fashion interns, Cortney Kaminski and Thuy An Bui. Each week they will be scouting locals who not only ride their bikes but look dapper doing it.
Occupation: Journalism Student
Her Neighborhood: Downtown Phoenix
Where Spotted: Biking to church on Taylor Street
What do you enjoy about downtown? I like that it is close to my campus and that anywhere that I want to go to I can go by bike.
Where do you like to explore? I typically head north to try the unique restaurants. I like going to the Phoenix Public Library and the park over there; a lot of times I will ride on the bike path around there.
What is your typical biking ensemble? Most of the time I wear shorts or pants and a cute top and some flats, but days where I have to wear wedges or heel I just bring them to change into.
What she’s wearing:
• Target dress
• Lauren Conrad wedges
• Express purse
Her biking essentials:
• Over the shoulder bag to keep her hands free
• Gunmetal gray Mongoose (borrowed from her brother)
Terri Camberlango signed with the Robert Black Agency as a 14-year-old girl and was later signed by Agency Arizona before becoming the owner.
“I had always been interested on the business side of things, so it was a good transition for me to be on this end,” Camberlango said. “I think having the perspective of the talent and now on this side has definitely given me an advantage.”
Though she hasn’t modeled since the transition, she has no desire back modeling.
“There are times when I miss it,” Camberlango said. “When I am backstage queuing out models; you get such a great feeling of being on stage and being on a runway or at a shoot.”
Camberlango claimed that although modeling is a secondary market here in Arizona it is still very strong.
“We have really been able to build a brand in this market where were known to have the top talent,” Camberlango said. “We have been able to get some top faces out there.”
One successful model that Camberlango referred to was Arizona native Kelly Mittendorf, who walked in Phoenix Fashion Week and was signed to be the face of the Prada Fall/Winter 2011 campaign.
“We have seen her work so hard to get to this point, so that is very gratifying on our end,” Camberlango said.
The agency is also undergoing multiple changes as they continue to grow. One has been the addition of social media and a blog.
“It is nice to be able to have an outlet where we can say ‘Look what so and so is doing’ and ‘Look at this amazing campaign’,” Camberlango said.
Throughout the changes the agency is always striving to continue to be focused.
“We try to keep the calm because there are so many moving parts,” Camberlango said. “There are times I wake up at 4 a.m. . . . I am working until midnight. But at the end of the day, it is so worth it.”
Last night, Gomez performed at the Crescent Ballroom with opening act Hey Rosetta. This year marks the 15th year Gomez have been together, and they have fittingly dubbed this tour their Quinceañera Party.
As a part of the celebrations, the band has been inviting its fans to vote for their top ten favorite songs on their Facebook page before each show to make up the second half of their setlist. Each city has a different top ten as chosen by their fans, and therefore, a different concert. (See Phoenix’s choices below!)
Those 15 years of experience really showed, both in their stage presence and in their performance. The entire set was flawless and fun, with Ian, Tom, and Ben looking plaid-tastic, collectively bopping to the beat and trading off lead vocals throughout the night.
Tom Gray was the most energetic, his antics constantly encouraging the audience to join in on their party. “Feel free to move, clap, do shit. It’s traditional at rock shows!” he told the crowd before launching in to “Hamoa Beach.”
Hey Rosetta did a great job of easing the crowd into a night of great music before Gomez took the stage. Their sound was delicate and punching in all the right places, some songs a more melodic punch between the keyboard and the electric violin, while others were filled with sharp percussion. At one point, their violinist picked up an old-school toy xylophone, and at another, the entire ensemble went into a surprise hip-hop beat breakdown.
The variety of sounds in Hey Rosetta’s set were a perfect segue into Gomez’s set, during which they blended genres as best as they knew how all night long — from folk and bluegrass, to indie rock, to hip-hop, to psychedelic echo-y 70s rock (like in Blue Moon Rising) to ska.
The crowd was just as varied of a mix as the genres Gomez crossed, with 20-something hipsters, 30 something bros (I even saw a few fist pumpers in the front row), to 50 year old couples.
At one point in the show, one of the aforementioned older-bros shouted at the end of a song, “That was very good!”
To which Tom and Ben jokingly responded in exaggerated British accents, “Yes, that was very acceptable — we were quite pleased with that!”
Ian chimed in with the fun at one point, too, pointing out a fan and saying it was “nice to see a Slayer t-shirt in the front row,” right before playing my personal favorite song of theirs, “Options.”
All in all, between the amazing and interactive setlist, the quips and quirks and joking throughout the night, and the extremely varied crowd, the atmosphere at the Crescent really did feel like an extra-special birthday party last night. Feliz Quinceañera, Gomez!
Phoenix’s Top Ten Gomez Songs
Voted by fans on Facebook
10. Bring It On
9. Revolutionary Kind
8. Airstream Driver
7. In Our Gun
6. Rhythm And Blues Alibi
5. Whippin’ Picadilly
4. See The World
3. Get Miles
2. How We Operate
1. Get Myself Arrested