Monday, July 2, 2012

Scottsdale home is a market barometer

A longtime Scottsdale real-estate broker who has been tracking a Sweetwater Ranch home for the past three years as a barometer of the local market has seen the first increase in its value.

The home's value estimated by Zillow, an online real-estate database, is up just a few percentage points. But Gary Shapiro of Coldwell Banker is encouraged by the uptick.

"It's a typical northeast quadrant house," Shapiro said. "Over the last few years it's had its downs and now its ups."

Zillow estimates the value at $336,900, up $15,200 over the past 30 days.

The 2,229-square-foot home built in 1984 by UDC is similar to dozens of homes in Sweetwater Ranch northwest of 100th Street and Sweetwater Avenue. It has four bedrooms, two baths, a fireplace and a pool.

Shapiro, a Scottsdale Realtor for 41 years, said Zillow's estimates are not always accurate but are worth evaluating. He is encouraged that Zillow is showing an increase for his barometer property.

"It's giving people some relief," Shapiro said, noting that some homeowners are looking to "restore their equity position just long enough to sell their home and get out."

The home Shapiro is tracking is still about 18 percent below its value in July 2009 when it sold for $410,796.

"Everybody's got the people who are still underwater," he said, adding that he got a recent call from a client wanting to sell a home that he bought nearly a decade ago.

"He and I camped out to get in a lottery for the privilege of buying it," Shapiro said.

Now, it's more house than he needs and it's not worth what it was in the heyday of the market, he said.

Times have changed.

ASU report shows increases

Scottsdale's median home price for April was $383,500, up 11 percent from a year ago, according to the monthly report from the Arizona State University Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice.

A total of 558 homes were sold in Scottsdale in April, up less than 1 percent from a year ago. But bank-owned sales accounted for only 8 percent of those deals, down from 16 percent last year.

Foreclosures accounted for 23 sales in April, down from 49 a year ago.

Scottsdale's median price for condominiums and townhouses was $177,500, up 26 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett - Jun. 15, 2012 11:41 AM The Republic |

Scottsdale home is a market barometer

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