PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Valley’s housing market is still red-hot! According to new data from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, home prices jumped $100,000 dollars in just one year in Maricopa County. MLS data shows the median price for a single-family detached home rose to $450,000 in July, compared to $350,000 a year ago.
“No one I know predicted that would happen, that a year ago, it would go up like that, it's crazy,” agent John Wake said.
Wake is also a real estate analyst who’s been crunching Phoenix housing numbers for years.
“If you were thinking of selling last year and you decided not to, you're very happy right now,” Wake said.
Experts say the market is still heavily favored to sellers so how does a first-time buyer break in?
“My advice is really prepare, you don't have to do a ton of homework, the deeper you get into the rabbit hole of the internet, the more conflicting information you're gonna get, trust your professionals, trust a real estate agent, vet them, find someone that you really like,” real estate agent Trevor Halpern said.
Halpern helped 24-year-old Jennifer Burke buy her first house. She'll officially become a homeowner just before her 25th birthday!
“I felt like every month I’m paying my rent, I’m just throwing money out the window,” Burke said. She is now under contract on a condo in Scottsdale. Even at 24, she put down 10%.
“I started kinda saving in college knowing that I wanted to be a younger homebuyer,” Burke said.
Halpern says putting 10% down is a sweet spot especially for millennial buyers.
“10% gives you a good amount in case there's an appraisal issue,” Halpern said. Rising home prices can scare first-time buyers, but Halpern doesn't think those steep price hikes are sustainable.
“I think we'll level; I think we will flatten a little bit, I think we'll continue to see increases that are more in line with what we see on an average basis,” Halpern said.
Wake also thinks prices will stabilize a bit.
“In the early part of this year, prices were going up so fast that they were going up $10,000 to $15,000 a month, but from June to July, they only went up $5,000,” Wake said.
According to new MLS data, more homes are coming on the market, but supply is still low. “The number of homes for sale is still crazy low, we would have to have double the number of homes for sale to get into a normal market as far as the supply of homes for sale,” Wake said.
Burke knows it's stressful jumping into the current market as a first-time buyer, but she feels confident she found the right place for now.
“I know it’s not my forever home by any means but knowing I’m not going to be dishing money away and building equity, I think it’s totally worth it,” Burke said.
If you’re looking to buy, Halpern says it's important to find the agent before you find the home. “Often times, what we see is people playing from behind, they find the house, and then they panic and go and find the agent, find the loan, do the stuff, and by that time, you're already behind the curve,” Halpern said.
He says it’s important to be fully prepared before you even hit the market!
“If you find that place that you really like, you have to have the paper behind, you have to have the loan, you have to have the team, you have to have the agent, you have to have everything in place so you can spring your trap really quickly in this marketplace,” Halpern said.