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Mon, June 17

Local luxury homes piling up on market

Two years ago, Kathleen Yamauchi was confident that she could sell a competitively-priced home with a seven-figure value in about 12 months.

That's not true these days.

"Now I can't do that. They have to be very aggressively priced," she said.

Yamauchi said people sold 24 homes in the $1 million price range and higher in 2006.

In 2008, people sold seven homes in that price range.

As of Thursday afternoon, 96 homes in that price range are for sale in the tri-city area, equating to 188 months of inventory, according to Multiple Listing Service figures.

The measurement "months of inventory" refers to how many months it would take to sell all of the existing inventory at the previous month's pace of sales.

Ed Pattermann, owner/broker of Windermere Real Estate in Prescott and MLS chairman for Prescott Area Association of Realtors, recently did some research on homes on the market in different price ranges.

The yellow boxes along the bottom of the graph show the number of properties sold in that price range in January.

The turquoise box shows the number of available properties that were available and the green boxes show the 12-month average for how many properties sell per month in the different price ranges.

Pattermann says the tri-city area usually has around six months of inventory on the market.

Inventory began going through the roof in early 2007, according to Pattermann, who said it hit 28 months in January of this year.

"That's kind of the 10,000-foot view that says 'Wow, we're really in a strong buyers' market,'" he said.

"It helps to bring some reality to what we're facing in the marketplace as far as trying to get some of these properties sold, and that is, it's a pretty daunting task for anyone trying to sell property in any of those ranges, but especially, say, over $400,000 - you're looking at greater than two years of inventory sitting out there."

As Pattermann's graph shows, home with lower asking prices are in the biggest demand.

"The lower-priced properties are selling much faster," he said. "There's more of them and there's more people buying them."

One important note from Pattermann is that the information only reflects properties recorded in into the Multiple Listing Service.

A piece of good news from Pattermann is that median home prices are steadily rising over the past two to three months.

Pattermann said median prices for homes in Prescott began rising in November and homes in Prescott Valley and Chino Valley began following that trend as well.


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