With a population of fewer than 55,000, the Lake Havasu, Ariz., real estate market is still declining. With our beautiful Lake and hot summers, we are considered a vacation and second home community.
In May 2008, there were 272 new listings, down 1.5 percent from May 2007. There were 134 sold listings in May 2008, down 15.52 percent from May 2007.
I am seeing a rise in foreclosures and short sales far higher than May of 2007. My last seven sales have all been bank-owned homes, with over 171 contacts from my RealtyTrac source. Of those, 32 buyers are watching the market pretty closely and looking for that bargain of the year.
The other folks are waiting for the market to decline further. Unfortunately, what folks hear in the news, for the most part, does not apply to Lake Havasu; with it being a second home community, people from out of state are not jumping on the buying wagon since their present homes, which are up for sale, are still not selling.
What I have found is the builders are hurting. Since January, I have seen builders giving away their product just to get out from under the declining market and stop the payments on their construction loans. For example, one sale I did 30 days ago, was a brand new 1,700 square foot home, with 3 bedrooms with a motor home garage 55 feet deep. The property was worth $550,000 in 2005, but today sold for $308,000.
Also, I have noticed fewer visitors in Lake Havasu since gas has gone up to $4.00 and higher. Normally, on a holiday weekend, we have so many visitors all of us locals stay away from the Lake with lines a mile long to get on the Lake. This last holiday weekend, however, there was no waiting time at all to get on the Lake.
Right now I am telling my buyers to come on over and pick out a home before everyone realizes the bargains and lines forms on offers forcing prices back up. After 24 year in real estate, I have seen many cycles in our market and I am positive this cycle is good for all. Many of the selling home owners realizing the decline and are electing to rent their homes out until the market goes up. This has created a huge inventory on rentals, pushing down rents. All in all, Lake Havasu is a beautiful place to live with our clear air, beautiful Lake and gorgeous mountains. We all love the small town feeling of friendly neighbors saying hello.
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