Friday, June 30, 2006

Update On Land Split Matrix

I've heard from multiple people now that the 'Matrix' is being taken off the agenda for the next meeting on the 10th.

I want to thank the hundreds of people that I have heard from on this issue. Many of them have contacted the Supervisors to voice their opinion and I think they've been heard. We have to keep our eye on the ball though to make sure this matrix isn't quietly brought before them and passed.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

In The News Again

For the same thing basically as I linked to yesterday with the Supervisor answering back.

This time it's in the newspaper here.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Press Release From County Supervisor

I'm linking this here for all of you to take a look at.

Like I've said before, I don't want to be Mr. Popular or anything, but I think it was time to shed some light on what the county was considering for approval for minor land divisions.

Here is a link to the matrix.

A couple of things. First of all, this is not the realtors fight. This issue will affect property owners throughout the county. I've been taking phone calls from landowners that live in other states since the article in the local paper came out. Most folks want more information on the proposal that the Supervisors are considering... and they are calling ME for that information. To me that is the disconnect with this issue. Landowners from out of state and local landowners simply were not noticed and have very little knowledge of the plan.

Second, in the farther out area's in the county there is plenty of private land. The land is assesed and taxes are collected. This benefits the county, doesn't it? Yes there are people who live in remote area's, but those people chose to live out there and many were the first people who became residents. These people knew in advance that there may not have been electricity to their property line, their property may not have been in a fire district, and may not have had the most accessible roads. It wasn't like there were hundreds or thousands of people living around them who suddenly left the area leaving a ghost town.

Mr. Byers is hoping for an alternative plan that us realtors will come up with. The only real alternative is to adopt the Growing Smarter legislation that was passed at the state level like other counties in Arizona have. This is the legal way for the county to go about addressing the issues they face.

Otherwise, the county might expect landowners to challenge the county in court, which is no benefit to me a property tax paying resident of Mohave County.

There will be more on this issue I'm sure. If you are a local landowner please come to the next Supervisors meeting on July 10th at 9:30am to at least hear more about how this issue may affect you. Oh and feel free to support other landowners in their quest to defeat the proposed minor land division matrix.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Interesting Local Builder Quote

Linn said he is weathering a downturn by cutting overhead and not building inventory.

“This thing got so crazy this last year, that people were selling houses making a $100,000, on average trying to make $60,000, they’re going to have to come off that. And the builder that doesn’t discount, if it makes it look like I’m going bust because I would discount, that’s wrong too. It just needs to get back to a normal deal,” he said.

The article comes from the local paper and you can read the story here.

The blurb here is interesting because I think he is smart to avoid building more inventory at a time when there is so much to choose from currently on the market. My previous reports have shown that 40% of the homes on the current market are brand new never lived in homes, i.e. new construction.

Yep the building biz has been very good to many builders in recent years. Interesting to note that this builder is willing to discount the price to sell off his inventory, this is the same strategy that I've been offering prospective sellers in this market. If Ron Linn is still doing well by selling at a lower price, I bet owner occupied sellers can do well also.

Seems as we are heading for a normal market again.

Monday, June 26, 2006

In The News...

Now I've done it for sure. Last week was a busy week for me, the Association called out to the media and had a press conference on the subject of the proposed land split matrix that the county is considering approval.

You can read more about that here.

Also, in another story you'll see some more quotes from yours truly about the current market in Kingman. You can also read that here.

And if you are listening to local radio today you'll get to hear my voice, a couple of radio news outlets are also running this story about the land split matrix. I'm probably using up all of my fifteen minutes of fame, at least it is for something positive instead of negative.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mohave County P&Z Land Split Matrix Proposal...

Do you own a 5 acre parcel of land in Mohave County? Maybe you are thinking about it? Well you should know that the Planning and Zoning Commission has put together a new matrix for land splits that they would like to see approved by the County Supervisors.

If you did have that 5 acre parcel and thought of splitting it into 2 or more, you should know that your property would have to have; not only a private maintained road but a public mantained roadway passable by 2 wheel drive vehicle, access to electric service or an agreement with a utility company to extend service at YOUR cost, and the property would have to be within a Fire District.

Basically you'd have to come up with plenty of costs to qualify your property to split the property and sell it. Any wonder what that might do to land prices? Well if the property isn't already close to such amenities it would render the property unmarketable. This matrix, if approved, would only benefit larger land developers. Land developers who would be able to aquire large amounts of land for little cost from the land owner, maybe that land owner is you.

Make your voice heard on this, tell your county supervisor that you would not support such a matrix. Let them know that the county has no legal authority under the Growing Smarter or any other state legislation to implement such restrictions.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Local advice for sellers

Just to give any potential seller an update on this local market, please consider what I have to say.

Sales in this market are still good, the pace picked up again last month but it still lags compared to last year at this time. Plus there are many more listings for single family homes on the current market than before.

Last year, and parts of the year before, this market was besieged with investor buyers who were putting alot of pressure on the market. Residential buyers were having a hard time finding a residence to purchase because there were hardly any listings to choose from. As a result, prices began to rise and have continued to do so. But now buying at current prices doesn't make sense for the investor, so the pressure that they put on the market is gone. It's good news for those residential buyers who plan to upgrade to a bigger home or for the buyer who is relocating to the Kingman area.

Residential buyers are still active in the market today, but have many choices now and are taking their time in making a final decision to purchase. One way to lure those buyers is to place your home on the market for less than the average listing price. Face it, folks still like to make a deal and now have negotiating power that they didn't have last year.

I know your home is better than the home your neighbor sold 6 months ago and feel that you should get more in price than they did, but if you choose this path you will see your home sit on the market for alot longer than you might imagine. Ask your REALTOR for the average price of sold homes that compare to yours from at least six months ago. You may be surprised to see that it's not much less than the average prices today, but it is low enough to make sure your home gets many more looks from buyers in the market right now.

Bottom line is that you probably will have to make some concessions in the current market, and price is the easiest and least painful one to make. If you bought your home in 2004 or before you likely have had the value of your home increase 50% at todays average selling price. Don't be affraid to cut into that percentage a little to sell your home.

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm posting these GIS maps to help you better understand my local market and from where I do my data research that I share with you.

First, below is a Mohave County and as you can see the purple area is basically the reach of the Association I belong to. Apparently it also includes Colorado City with I think doesn't show on the map. It is even further to the north.

My fellow REALTORS in my local Association have quite a diverse landscape for doing business. Of course most of this area is undeveloped land. But there are many folks who will call a REALTOR to either help them find or sell a home or property in these far reaching places. Some REALTORS even specialize in the far off communities.

Now on this map below I've circled the area's from which my data searches come from. As you can see I pull the information from a much smaller land area than what my local Association covers. Are there SFR's outside of these circled area's? Yes for sure there are. However there are many different factors that make including these places difficult when it comes to comparisons. For example some that live in fine SFR's outside my search area are on multiple acres with or without fencing, with or without other improvements like barns and corrals for animals or multi car garage's or workshops. Still others live off the grid and generate their own power, while some drill for wells while others have water delivered to them. Just too many variables for me to include.

The map below show the city boundaries of Kingman in yellow. I include the area in purple because it is so close to Kingman and there are plenty of SFR's. An area that locals call Butler falls in this purple area. Butler is probably 80% mobile homes on about 5,000 square foot lots. In that area there are SFR's and this area probably has the least expensive homes found on my searches. Well this area and old downtown area that is the southwestern most area in the yellow area.

However, also in the purple area is a very successful subdivision known as Chaparal Mesa. The average price of homes in that area is around $220,000 and many listings and sales happen in that subdivision on a monthly basis.

Finally on the map below is a closer look at Valle Vista. Another subdivision I include on my data searches. It's all SFR out there. That subdivision has water, power, and phone service but not gas or cable. Still it is another popular area with many transactions each month that reflect what I consider good data to include.

I hope these maps have helped you get a bit more familiar with the area I live and work in.

More charts...

I have so much fun with these things now that I finally figured out how to use the chart feature on Excel. Just click on these to see a larger view.

You'll easily see that prices continue to go up, but after looking at the chart below I think you will understand which direction prices will go next.

I'll just say that if you are thinking of selling today you may want to consider placing your home on the market for less that what everyone else is. As noted before on this blog, property value has skyrocketed in this market the past couple of years at least. If you are thinking of adding to the blue line above and want to end up on the orange line, price point will have to be your biggest decision.

My hope is that any downturn we see in price in this market is a slight correction and not a crash. However it may end up being a crash if sellers continue to ask for more and more as each month passes.

Preliminary numbers for May 2004

Really more of the same continues from the past few months.

All numbers are for single family residences (SFR's) taken from new and existing home listings and sales within the city limits of Kingman and includes data from county area's such as north Kingman and the Valle Vista subdivision that sit outside the city limits.

There are now 617 listings for SFR's on the market.

153 new SFR listings hit the market in May 2004.
59 units are brand new homes.

Average price for new listings in May is $255,703.
Median price for new listings in May is $226,950.

68 SFR's were sold in the area studied in May 2004
30 of those were brand new homes.

Average price for sold homes in May 2004 was $215,201
Median price for sold homes in May 2004 was $189,900

There is a total of 175 SFR's under contract currently.
68 SFR's went under contract in May 2004.

I'll never be confused with a math guru but by my calculations there is at least a 9 month supply of inventory of the area's that I took the data from. Prices hold up to a 6 month inventory, or so I've read, but prices should fall when there is a larger than 6 month inventory. I haven't seen the average price or the median price fall accordingly as of yet. I'll post some updated charts on prices and unit sales in a bit.

Someone tell me what they think of this market and what we should expect in the coming months. It's perfectly fine to leave your comments.