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Thu, Oct. 17

Prescott homes selling faster, and for more money

Running year-to-date numbers put Pete Weaver, president of Prescott As-sociation of Realtors, in a good mood.

Homes around Prescott are selling at higher prices, spending less time on the market and bringing sellers very close to what they are asking.

"It's a reasonable, sustainable, healthy recovery," said Weaver.

Weaver's research revealed that sales of Prescott area single-family homes averaged $225,000 from Jan. 1 to June 23, up 10 percent over the same period of 2013.

And the first six months-plus of 2013 average of $204,000 was up 18 percent over the $172,000 average for the same time period in 2012 and 2011.

"That was the absolute pits," Weaver said, of 2011-12.

The $172,000 in 2011 and 2012 was 43 percent lower than the 2007 year to date peak of $302,000.

While the 2014 figure of $225,000 is 31 percent higher than the 2011-12 low, this year's average is still 25 percent lower than the peak seven years ago.

"We still have a long ways to go," said Weaver, who is also owner/broker of West USA of Prescott.

The upward-moving average sales price is not the only sign of a strong rebound. "Buyers are getting 96 percent of their asking price," Weaver noted.

He added that the inventory of homes for sale is in the 1,600-1,700 range - "that's a healthy number."

And, according to Weaver, the days on market figure is 100 days, down 12 percent from last year. It's another good trend, Weaver said. Six or seven years ago, homes were taking nearly a year to sell, "back in the dark days where there was a lot of inventory, prices were very depressed, time on the market was forever."

Not so, halfway into 2014.

"We're seeing a healthy market," Weaver concluded.

Weaver was not troubled that figures from June 10 to June 23 showed only 74 homes sold in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt - compared to 178 sold over the previous two weeks.

"When you look at a snapshot that small it doesn't tell you anything," Weaver said.

Sandy Shaffer, associate broker of Arizona Commercial, agreed with Weaver that two weeks is far too short a time to look at trends.

And, Shaffer added, "Right after school is out there's always a lull in the market. People are having graduations, they're having family vacations."

Shaffer echoes Weaver's view that the local real-estate market continues to be healthy. "I haven't heard any indication the market is slowing down," she said. "It's been steady."

Follow Tom Scanlon on Twitter @tomscanlonpress

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