Sedona Area Real Estate Update February 2006

Posted by — March 5, 2006

By Ray Jegge, Coldwell Banker First Affiliate   In January, pending sales, i.e. sales going into escrow, climbed to $59 million from the December low of $38 million. Last year's January sales were at approximately $86 million, so we are definitely seeing a slow down.

As far as closed sales are concerned, there were 36 homes that closed escrow in January. That’s a typical number for January, since these are sales that took place in November and December. As far as lot sales are concerned, there were only 11 closings in January, compared with 23 in 2005. Looking at the bulk of sales, we see 24 home sales in the $250-800,000 categories. Last year, 31 homes sold in the $250-800,000 category. However, in the $600–800,000 bracket, there were 4 sales last year, compared with 8 this year. That’s what we call “bracket creep."

As far as lots are concerned, it appears that many buyers have been shut out of the Sedona market, particularly in the under $250,000 price range, and are now purchasing, or looking to purchase, in other areas of the Verde Valley. It is estimated that in the Cottonwood/Clarkdale area alone about 3,500 homes or lots will be coming on the market during the next few years.

Overall, I believe we are off to a good start, and look forward to the start of our regular spring season.

Luxury Home Sales Update

Of the 36 homes that closed escrow in January, 6, or almost 17%, sold at over $1 million, and 2 of these sold over $2 million. One of the latter was the old “Ford” estate in Cup of Gold, with approximately 6.5 acres.

Currently, there are 13 more properties in the $1 million plus category in Escrow, including a 20 acre ranch. This just might prove another record-breaking year in the luxury category. When looking back over 16 years of real estate sales, I remember when the first million-dollar property sold. Then it took a while to get through that $1.5 million ceiling and conquer that area. After that, it took a long time before the first $2 million plus home sold, and with all the properties on the market, it appears that we have broken that price ceiling.

We had our highest priced property, the Breeding Estate, selected for “Ultimate Homes," a publication by Unique Homes. Ultimate Homes lists the 1,000 most expensive homes in the country, starting with Donald Trumps $125 million estate, and ending up with lowly $8 million estates.

The Breeding Estate is listed at $8.5 million, and is situated in the Distant Drums section of Sedona.

An Increase in Inventory

What's for sale this month? Plenty!

With sales inventory up a whopping 67%, there is lots of inventory for buyers to look at. The largest increase is in the under $500,000 category, with 93 homes this year vs. 37 homes last year. Next bracket, $500-750,000, shows 87 homes available this year vs. 49 homes in 2005. In the $750-1 million category, we went from 32 homes last February to 44 homes in February 2006. In the $1 million and over bracket, we have gone from 63 homes in 2005 to 78 homes this year.

Buyers are aware of this situation, and combined with what they read in the national media, are structuring offers accordingly. Yet, with all this I am still optimistic for 2006 sales.   For more information on any of our listings, contact me at Ray@Jegge.com, call 928-340-5055 or visit www.jegge.com.

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