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Tue, Oct. 15

Home sales from the first quarter of 2010 and 2011 stronger

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>Realtor Di Norkus shows her clients, first-time home buyers Brandon and Stacey Roe, a home they hope to buy through a “short sale” in Chino Valley on Tuesday.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier<br>Realtor Di Norkus shows her clients, first-time home buyers Brandon and Stacey Roe, a home they hope to buy through a “short sale” in Chino Valley on Tuesday.

Brandon and Stacey Roe are moving in on their dream home.

After the first-time homebuyers began their search for a home this past summer, they're now closing in on a property in Chino Valley, and they're excited about it.

"It's just a great opportunity - it really is," she said.

The 1,361-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath home was originally listed at $100,000 and, since it's a short sale property, it's giving them an opportunity to become homeowners at a price they can manage.

It also allows them to leave the manufactured home they're renting and buy something they can call their own with a monthly mortgage payment of roughly $650.

"It just doesn't make sense to go out and pay rent," he said.

Realtor Di Ann Norkus with West USA Realty in Prescott said today's market conditions are giving prospective buyers affordable options that rival or are lower than some rents.

Norkus said she's seeing a lot of activity in homes as the number of active listings the Prescott Area Association of Realtors has in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt decrease.

As of Tuesday morning, the area had 1,846 active listings. In early 2010, that number was above 3,500, according to Norkus, which she said is a "positive indicator" for the local housing market.

A review of first-quarter home sales statistics shows market activity is picking up.

Through the first three months of 2010, realtors sold 482 homes in the four communities and 598 homes through the same months this year.

In the first quarter of 2010, Realtors sold 183 Prescott homes, 176 homes in Prescott Valley, 72 in Chino Valley and 51 in Dewey-Humboldt.

Thus far in 2011, Realtors sold 275 Prescott homes, 193 homes in Prescott Valley, 70 in Chino Valley and 60 in Dewey-Humboldt.

The average list prices and sold prices are also lower from quarter to quarter.

The average list price for a Prescott home in the first quarter of 2010 was $302,180 and it's now $271,802. The average sold price fell from $286,578 in 2010 to $255,451.

In Prescott Valley, The average list price in 2010 was $157,637 and the average sold price was $153,626. Now it's $138,812 and $133,024.

The average list price in Chino Valley was $143,193 and the average sold price was $136,113 in 2010.

This year, the average list price in town is $120,014 and the average sold price is $114,974.

For 2010, the average list price for a property in Dewey-Humboldt was $136,602 and the average sold price was $135,314.

The average home list price there this year is $140,402 and the average sold price is $131,556.

Pete Weaver, associate broker at West USA Realty of Prescott and an association board member, attributes the differences in the list and sales prices to the wide range of homes with varying price tags.

Weaver said the high-dollar homes are part of the figures, while homes with smaller price tags are getting a lot of attention.

Comparing both quarters, Weaver said it shows a downward trend in the market, but the past six months are showing prices stabilizing.

"My guess would be that we're not going to see sales prices decline too much this year - not this year like we saw last year," he said. "I'm still expecting it to be kind of flat, which is a good sign that that downward trend has hopefully stopped.

"But foretelling the future's a tough thing to do."

Weaver said people are coming back into the market for retirement homes or investments.

"I think the buying public thinks we're at that bottom or so close to it that it's time to jump in so they don't miss the bottom," he said.

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