Every publication has ratings for “bests”: best places to
retire, best doctors, best restaurants, etc.We recently reviewed a well-researched
ranking of “Best Places to Live in Every State“ by MONEY magazine. Among the
criteria were populations between 10,000 and 100,000. The greatest weight was on economic health,
cost-of-living factors, and public-school performance.
While Paradise Valley, with
only 13,971 people, is ranked the best place to live in Arizona, it was not
because of household income. Realtor.com contributed housing data. Reporters
even checked out neighborhoods and interviewed residents.
See the rankings
by Median Household Income here
and/or Projected Job Growth here.
Since 2001, we’ve been tracking the yearly
appreciation/depreciation of all single-family houses built between 1990 and
1999 which sold between $100,000 and $1,000,000. As below, the 2017 median sale
price for this 17,621-data set increased 5.56% to $285,000.
As compared with 2004 through 2013, median price increases
have been fairly steady since 2015 suggesting that this segment of the market
has stabilized. If the recent pattern continues, median prices should return to
the 2006 high of $302,000 in 2018.
recently released population growth, 2016-2017, by County. As shown on this month’s Map of the Month,
Maricopa County added more population than any other County in the U.S. (mostly
due to net domestic migration).
are the 5 Counties that lost the most population.
Industrial construction and
absorption have been in the news lately. This month we calculated the change in
Industrial Inventory for Metro Phoenix from 1st Quarter 2017 to 1st
Quarter 2018. As shown, the most active CoStar sub-markets were “Central
Phoenix” and “Southwest North of Buckeye Road”.
Under Construction activity
as of 1st Quarter 2018 increasedby almost 2,000,000 square
feet from 1st Quarter 2017 with Goodyear (1,701,700 SF total including
1Q/17) and Tolleson (2,024016 SF including 1Q/17) leading the way.
True Trade Areas vs. Traditional 1, 3, & 5-Mile Trade Areas
Traditional trade areas are often misleading, inaccurate,
and too easy to misuse. We have long championed “True Trade Areas” based on
demographics. The below map shows a
3-mile ring based on geography touching 22 census tracts with a combined total households x median income of
The map below represents a True Trade Area based on
demographics vs. geography. As shown, the combined total households x median income of the True Trade Area is $155
Which one would you trust most? It may take a little more
time to identify a True Trade Are, but once the information is mapped the True
Trade Area becomes obvious.
As a Flagstaff second homeowner, I like to track the local
market. This month’s map shows the median price change for single family houses
selling between $100,000 and $1 million from May 2016/April 2017 to May 2017/April
2018. As shown, the West Rural sub-market
had the highest median price increase (19.05%); but as shown on the attached
chart, also had the highest percentage decrease in sales (93 to 63). The North West Rural sub-market had the
steepest drop in median price (-22.13%) but also had the highest percentage increase
in number of sales (21 to 47).
The sharp changes in median prices in both North West Rural and West Rural were likely a function of the
number and mix of sales rather than a structural change in median prices. (One
would need to go back several years more to confirm a baseline.)
Overall, median prices increased 6.56% ($351,905 to
$375,000), and, sales increased by 7.51% (1,078 to 1,159).
The Phoenix Business Journal recently published a list of
Metro Phoenix’s 25 most expensive apartments. This month’s Map of the Month
shows where the top 25 are located, ranked by color.
As shown, there are 4 hotspots. Not surprisingly: Kierland; Tempe/ASU;
Downtown Scottsdale; and Downtown Phoenix. Kierland leads the way with #s 1 and
2. Tempe/ASU is next with #s 3 and 4. The 2 “downtown” hot spots follow with Downtown
Scottsdale over Downtown Phoenix.
We think that ASU explains both the downtown Phoenix and
Tempe submarkets while, in addition to employment, high-end retail and dining
explain Downtown Scottsdale and Kierland.
Maps & Facts has been mapping school test results for over 20 years. During that time the State has used different testing protocols to evaluate school performance i.e. what percentage of the students in each school successfully pass the tests. Our legend (scale) has been the same for many years now.
Today’s map depicts the percentage of students passing the most recent AzMERIT Elementary School test. Of the 524 Public Elementary Schools in Maricopa County 313 or about 60% had fewer than 50% of their students passed*.
As with all previous tests, there is much more to a school’s performance than its results on a statewide test. However, it is noteworthy that 21 schools had over 80% passing.
It is hard to decipher why some schools have 80% or more passing and many have fewer than 50%? (Some as low as 10%)
Obviously, there are many other factors influencing school performance. The results and pattern of the last AzMERIT exam are disappointing but also informative.
*Arizona Department of Education defines “passing” or “percent passing” as “The percentage of students passing AzMERIT and MSAA. Computed as the percentage of students with valid scores who earned a “Level 3” or “Level 4””. Maps & Facts then averaged the “percent passing” for Math and English Language Arts values for each Elementary School.
This month we were curious as to the influence of freeway
proximity on commercial/industrial land values. We researched the highest land
prices since January 2018 and plotted them on the following map. As shown,
there were six high dollar land sales since January 1 and all were on or
influenced by freeway proximity.
Maps & Facts has noticed an increasing number of transactions involving iBuyer companies. The term iBuyer is a growing “internet” application for selling and buying houses on-line. iBuyer companies will offer to buy your house, sometimes sight unseen, at fair value (less a transactions fee and necessary repairs); sometimes in hours. No listings, no showings, fast closing, certainty. Then they list your (former) house on their website / app for buyers to view, inspect, buy. They carry all the costs between the sale dates.
According to their websites, these are well funded national companies using enhanced AVM (Automated Valuation Model) valuation techniques. iBuyer companies include OpenDoor, OfferPad, Zillow, Knock, and Realogy (Coldwell Banker).
Using our robust transaction database, we found that in 2017 the two largest iBuyers by volume in Maricopa County were OpenDoor and OfferPad. To analyze the median spread between the prices these iBuyer’s paid and the prices at which they sold, out of 1,700+ sales we identified 450 “paired sales”, (Re-sales of the same house) with the following results:
Maps & Facts often uses our robust data bases to identify hot spots, clusters, and True Trade Areas. For this month’s map we updated residential hotspots by combining census tract households by median household income and dividing by the number of square miles to account for density; using 2016 data.
As shown Ahwatukee/Mountain Park Ranch; S. Scottsdale near Fashion Sq.; the Islands area in Gilbert; North Phoenix south of 101 and Tatum; and North-Central Phoenix are the 5 hottest hot spots!
An additional takeaway is that while this information may be a proxy for other indicators, census data only tells us where we live, not where he we might work. Thus, there is a big difference between daytime and nighttime populations in all census tracts.
Elementary School Letter Grades – Change 2018 from 2017
The Arizona Department of Education recently released this year’s elementary school Letter Grades. Of the 400+ schools in Metropolitan Phoenix, this month’s map shows those schools which improved (117 in red), and those which didn’t (83 in blue). About half had no change.
However, as shown change was Valley wide.
Some districts had little or no change i.e.: Scottsdale, Liberty, Kyrene, Fountain Hills.
Some districts had noticeable change i.e.: Chandler, Higley, Queen Creek
To see last year’s Letter Grades map, please click here.
We also attached a map showing how many Letters each school increased or decreased.