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Life Coach Ahwatukee, AZ
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Latest News in Ahwatukee, AZ

Volunteer opportunities abound in the East Valley

Arthur Ashe once said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Volunteers do just that.Here is a list of great volunteer opportunities. Want to see your organization here? Email pmaryniak@timeslocalmedia.comY OPASThe Ahwatukee Family YMCA Outreach for Ahwatukee Seniors, called Y OPAS, is always looking for volunteers who have a little spare time to help transport senior clients to doctor visi...

Arthur Ashe once said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Volunteers do just that.

Here is a list of great volunteer opportunities. Want to see your organization here? Email pmaryniak@timeslocalmedia.com

Y OPAS

The Ahwatukee Family YMCA Outreach for Ahwatukee Seniors, called Y OPAS, is always looking for volunteers who have a little spare time to help transport senior clients to doctor visits, grocery stores, or other Y OPAS social events, etc.

Volunteers also may choose to do friendly visits or phone calls to seniors who may be lonely.

Volunteers say they have found their time with Y OPAS to be a rewarding way to help others and have developed many friendships over their years of service to our community.

For more information on becoming a client or a Y OPAS volunteer:

valleyymca.org/opas or call 602-212-6088 #1.

Hope for the Homeless

Once a month volunteers gather at Mountain Park Church, 16461 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee, to prepare meals that are distributed the next day to André House in downtown Phoenix. Tim and Scott Berry, owners of Precision Auto Body, welcome volunteers.

Hope for the Homelessaz.com

Project Humanities

Ahwatukee resident and Arizona State University professor Dr. Neal Lester is founding director of Project Humanities, which every other Saturday distributes clothing and hygiene items at the city Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

Volunteers are always welcome to help sort out donations at the ASU Community Services Building in Tempe every Friday and for the biweekly Service Saturdays. For full details:

projecthumanities.asu.edu/homeless-outreach-instructions-and-schedule

Arizona Animal Welfare League

The Arizona Animal Welfare League is the oldest and largest no-kill shelter in Arizona. Founded in 1971, AAWL rehomes and rehabilitates more than 4,000 rescue animals across the state that have been abandoned or surrendered.

Residents can volunteer at the shelter and become foster pet parents.

aawl.org

Arizona Humane Society

At the Arizona Humane Society, volunteers are truly the cornerstone of helping 20,000 sick, injured and abused pets each year. To become a volunteer, visit azhumane.org/volunteer and take the online orientation; make a one-time $25 donation to cover the costs of gear and onboarding; and search for opportunities.

Those unable to make a weekly commitment can sign up for a one-time volunteer opportunity. All volunteers must be at least 16 years of age or older.

azhumane.org/volunteer

Arizona Helping Hands

Founded in 1998, the mission of Arizona Helping Hands is to support the foster care community by providing essentials to benefit children in foster care.

As Arizona’s largest provider of essential resources, it offers foster care families beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, and personal care items.

azhelpinghands.org

Arizona Jewish Historical Society

The Arizona Jewish Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. AZJHS is seeking community resources and donations for its capital campaign with a goal to further educate the public about Jewish history.

azjhs.org

Arizona Small Dog Rescue

Arizona Small Dog Rescue is recruiting volunteers of all kinds. The shelter has volunteer training and orientations on Wednesdays and Sundays. Shelter volunteers must be at least 10, and off-site adoption event volunteers must be 14.

Some chose to get involved with physical work (repairs, cleaning out storage areas, building new play areas, etc.) while others treat the shelter dogs to nice off-site walks and lots of TLC.

azsmalldog.org

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona’s mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.

The organization matches youth in the community with caring adult mentors, “Bigs,” who offer encouragement and support so that each “Little” can reach their full potential.

Bigs are asked to meet with their Littles two to four times per month for a minimum of one year in one of these programs:

• Community based: Meet with Littles to do activities you both enjoy. Go hiking, bowling, to the library or park. Volunteers choose the days and times they meet.

• Site based: Visit a local elementary school to meet with a Little for one hour per week during lunch. Spend time at recess, playing board games, or doing crafts.

• Couple/family: Invite your significant other and/or children to mentor a child together.

bbbsaz.org/volunteer

Catholic Charities Community Services

Catholic Charities has been serving Arizonans since 1933 and provides more than 20 programs to strengthen children and families, serve and shelter neighbors, welcome refugees and immigrants, and collaborate with the community.

Volunteer needs are varied and include administrative work, cleaning and maintenance, mentoring, tutoring, food pantry, meal distribution and event set-up and support.

Corporate groups and individuals are encouraged to apply for one-time or ongoing programs. Aside from one-time special events, volunteers must be 18 or older and are required to get a background check and fingerprint clearance due to working with vulnerable populations.

catholiccharitiesaz.org/volunteer

Dress for Success Phoenix

Dress for Success Phoenix is a nonprofit that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help them thrive in work and in life.

The organization provides a variety of life-changing services and programs, including job search preparedness, interview coaching, interview suiting, and career coaching and mentorship.

Volunteer needs include career center support, resume writing and interview skills, personal shopper, makeup application, mentoring, special event support and professional speaking. Dress for Success Phoenix has regularly scheduled volunteer orientations, and the need for volunteers is ongoing.

dfsphoenix.org/get-involved/

Future for Kids

Future for Kids is a local nonprofit that provides at-risk youth with the support they need to navigate school and life’s challenges.

It has developed structured programs for it mentors to engage with the kids through academic, athletic and ethics activities to build strong bonds while having fun.

Mentors in the Discover Your Future program will work in a small group of youth with a provided curriculum in a supportive and structured environment.

Mentors must be older than age 16; commit to 2.5 hours, once a week for a semester or the full school year. Includes a 15-minute meeting prior to program, two hours with youth, and 15-minute meeting after.

futureforkids.org

Hunkapi Programs

Volunteers are vital to the operation of Hunkapi Programs, which offers therapeutic programs to participants with a wide variety of diagnoses including PTSD, autism spectrum disorder and emotional disorder.

Volunteers can choose from a wide variety of opportunities, all of which are designed to support the growth and expansion of the program. No previous experience with horses or disabilities is necessary. Volunteers will be taught everything they need to know.

hunkapi.org

Phoenix Children’s Hospital

At Phoenix Children’s, patients and staff count on their volunteers. Volunteers can provide hope, healing and care for patients and their families by engaging with patients at the bedside, assisting in the in-hospital school, or helping families find their way around the hospital campus.

phoenixchildrens.org/volunteering

Phoenix Rescue Mission

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger, homelessness, addiction and trauma.

Volunteer opportunities include hosting a food drive; working at the Hope for Hunger Food Bank; packing bags of food and supplies for mobile pantries and community outreach events; mentoring, tutoring and serving to clients in recovery programs; traveling on the hot streets of Phoenix providing water, encouragement and other resources to our homeless neighbors, and more.

phoenixrescuemission.org

The Singletons

The Singletons is a homegrown 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to meeting the needs of single-parent families battling cancer by providing strength, hope, resources and community.

The organization experienced a 50% increase in families requesting support and services in the last year, creating a critical need for monetary donations, corporate sponsorships and community volunteers to help onboard the families who need help.

thesingletonsaz.org

United Food Bank

United Food Bank in Mesa has provided hunger relief to people in the East Valley since 1983. The local food bank collects, acquires, stores and distributes food to 150 partner agencies and programs throughout five counties.

To help provide food for Arizona families facing hunger, United Food Bank relies on volunteers to assist with boxing and storing food. Volunteers as young as 5 years old can help build food bags, sort and box food donations, and serve families at its food distributions.

unitedfoodbank.org

Western Spirit Scottsdale’s Museum of the West

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is recruiting volunteers who wish to help the museum fulfill its role as a storyteller of the American West.

The museum’s docents lead tours of the exhibitions and tell the rich stories of the American West, including those of the life of many American West peoples and cultures, the life and culture of the everyday cowboy, and the expansion of the west.

Those with previous museum volunteer experience, or a background in education or western studies, are especially encouraged to volunteer, although this is not a requirement.

Those who are interested should contact Wade Weber, director of education, at wweber@westernspirit.org or 480-530-3461 to schedule a brief tour. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is at 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale.

Email: wweber@westernspirit.org

I-10 project bearing fruit – with more to come

By this time in 2025, thousands of Ahwatukee and other motorists will be driving a very different I-10 between the Loop 202 SanTan/South Mountain Freeway and the I-10/I-17 split than they are today.That’s because the crews for the three contractors working jointly on the Broadway Curve Improvement Project are now into the third of the four phases of the massive $776.6 million upgrade aimed at making the 11-mile stretch safer and more efficient.Started in July 2021 after seven years of studies, planning and countless meeti...

By this time in 2025, thousands of Ahwatukee and other motorists will be driving a very different I-10 between the Loop 202 SanTan/South Mountain Freeway and the I-10/I-17 split than they are today.

That’s because the crews for the three contractors working jointly on the Broadway Curve Improvement Project are now into the third of the four phases of the massive $776.6 million upgrade aimed at making the 11-mile stretch safer and more efficient.

Started in July 2021 after seven years of studies, planning and countless meetings with stakeholders ranging from motorists to nearby residents and businesses, the project already has born visible – and rideable – changes.

But even more achievements are expected this year, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation, and motorists will be experiencing the difference not only along that portion of the interstate but also along a mile of US 60 leading to and from I-10.

ADOT proudly touted the achievements so far:

• Beginning of construction of the two new Collector Distributor roads along both sides of the interstate between Baseline Road and 40th Street;

• Replacing the 48th Street and Broadway Road bridges;

• Reconstructing the 40th Street ramps;

• Constructing the US 60-to-I-10 bridge

• Building the Alameda Drive and Western Canal pedestrian bridges across the I-10 for pedestrians and bicyclists;

• Adding sound and retaining walls along portions of that part of the highway;

• Coordinating utility relocations.

This year, ADOT expects to complete by fall even more parts of the immense project, including:

• Completing the CD roads and the new SR 143 and I-10 direct connections, easing the ride to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and eliminating the need for US 60 motorists to change lanes when they hit westbound I-10;

• Completing bridge work and the reconstruction of the 32nd Street ramps;

• Improving and widening the roadway and bridges;

• Upgrading drainage and signage that will include a wrong-way driver detection system with thermal cameras, flashing signs and other specialized equipment that ties into ADOT’s intelligent transportation system.

• Extending the Highline Lateral Canal Multi-Use Path east of I-10 across the freeway and eventually into Mountain Vista Park in Ahwatukee.

Once HOV lanes are added, I-10 will have six lanes in each direction between the Santan Freeway and Baseline Road and eight lanes in each direction between Baseline and the I-17 split.

While the work that has already taken place has been immense from an engineering and construction perspective, ADOT officials also are pleased with their success in what might be considered the project’s biggest everyday impact: maintaining a reasonable decent flow of traffic.

“The project’s traffic control has gone much smoother than anticipated,” said Julie Gadsby, ADOT’s construction manager said.

“This is the first project where we mandated freeways as detour routes and it’s worked out well. Also, allowing the contractor to modify the start times for freeway closures based on traffic data has helped with traffic control.”

Weekend motorists might not have agreed with Gadsby as they were shunted onto Tempe streets or longer alternative routes on other highways like the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway.

But the fact of the matter is that the attention ADOT gave to traffic control averted massive routine gridlock on a highway that serves 300,000 motorists daily.

That highlighted another behind-the-scenes success ADOT achieved, according to agency spokeswoman Marceline McMacken.

“Overall, the task of keeping the stakeholders and public informed on the status of the project has gone well,” McMacken said, noting the project also affected “thousands of businesses located along the project area as well.

“Continuously updating and sharing project-related restrictions and closure information with these businesses was imperative and has gone extremely well,” she said. “We thank the surrounding businesses for their continued support as the project progresses.”

Noting a week before the project began three years ago that the project would be impactful on the daily motoring public, ADOT left nothing to chance in warning drivers what lay ahead.

The agency used every communications platform available, from social media to print ads and television to billboards, to alert motorists to disruptions on a regular basis.

The publicity was so broad and effective that ADOT this year won an award for the “Ready to Rubble” campaign it launched last April as it approached the simultaneous removal of three bridges.

The project was identified in the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Regional Transportation Plan, funded by a half-cent sales tax approved by Maricopa County voters in 2004 through Proposition 400. A measure extending that tax will be on the November ballot.

MAG identified the need for this project to reduce travel times on I-10 during peak hours; improve airport access; support ridesharing and transit; and prepare the region for future growth projections.

The Curve covers roughly a third of the 31-mile I-10/I-17 corridor that highway planners call “The Spine” and that serves 40% of the Valley’s daily traffic.

ADOT and MAG said traffic jams on I-10 and I-17 were creating too much of an adverse impact on the Spine’s 37 access points, 40 bridges, 26 pump stations and 25 arterial streets.

If nothing was done, one ADOT study warned, by 2040, “congestion will spread to other times of the day, and in some portions of the corridor will extend to more than 12 hours.”

The 2018 study estimated it would cost at least $2.5 billion to cover all the improvements needed along the entire 31 miles of the Spine Corridor.

It also said the area covered by the Curve Project needed immediate attention or it “would suffer degraded traffic conditions, travel delays, and challenging mobility for moving goods, services, and people.”

Another significant accomplishment by the project is that it involved what the study said was “no change or disruption to the character of neighborhoods” near I-10.

In all, ADOT acquired 17.4 acres that included 13 partial property acquisitions, four full property acquisitions and several temporary or permanent easements.

Fire destroys Ahwatukee home

A massive fire moved quickly through a home in the Summerhill neighborhood in Ahwatukee Foothills late Thursday night.The family was on vacation at the time of the fire.Chief Chris Ketterer with the Phoenix Fire Department said they received a call about the fire around 11:30 p.m. on March 14. Some teens in a nearby subdivision, Lance Pavlina, Dominic Williams and Landon Sabori, all 17, were in a back yard when they heard a loud bang and saw bright light coming from the garage of the home on 1st St.“They ran to the...

A massive fire moved quickly through a home in the Summerhill neighborhood in Ahwatukee Foothills late Thursday night.

The family was on vacation at the time of the fire.

Chief Chris Ketterer with the Phoenix Fire Department said they received a call about the fire around 11:30 p.m. on March 14. Some teens in a nearby subdivision, Lance Pavlina, Dominic Williams and Landon Sabori, all 17, were in a back yard when they heard a loud bang and saw bright light coming from the garage of the home on 1st St.

“They ran to the street and knocked on the doors on either side of the involved home to wake those people up,” Ketterer said. “They told them the home was on fire, just in case it extends to their home. It did not, but it was a smart thing for those individuals to do.”

Ketterer said crews arrived in seven minutes and could see flames inside the garage of the home. The fire captain went into the main front door and there was no fire or smoke on the inside of the home when crews arrived, but flames spread quickly through the garage into the attic. The roof of the home eventually collapsed.

At least 30 firefighters fought the fire. None were injured.

Within 11 minutes of arriving fire crews went on the defensive. The home was destroyed by the flames, including two cars parked in the garage.

“The investigators are just now getting into the structure,” Ketterer said. “We do not know an estimated dollar value lost yet, but we will have more as they continue their investigation.”

Ketterer said there are reports of an animal living at the home, but historically when the family leaves they take their pet with them or kennel the animal. There was no evidence that the pet may have been in the home at the time of the fire.

Neighbors said they didn’t hear any explosion until they were outside their home. They were grateful for the teens that woke them up and shocked by the damage that can be seen from the street this morning.

“My teenager came home from a friend’s and said, ‘I hear an alarm and I think I see smoke,’” said Stephanie Rewis, who lives around the corner from the home. “I went outside in my pajamas figuring it was a false alarm, but then in the dark I thought I saw a little bit of something. As I walked up I could see there was definitely smoke.”

Neighbors living closest to the home involved were evacuated until around 3 a.m. The fire did not spread to any other homes in the neighborhood.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

Christmas Eve ritual captivates Ahwatukee neighborhood

Every Christmas Eve for close to 35 years, a quiet grace has been descending on a small Ahwatukee neighborhood as residents line their curbs with luminaria.Candles in white bags weighted with sand burn all night, well after neighbors gather in small driveway parties or stroll a skein of streets in the tiny neighborhood near E. Half Moon Drive and Warner Road.And nearly every year, another homeowner has joined the tradition, slowly moving to include more blocks.Sue Ann and Valerie Schulte never expected that so many of th...

Every Christmas Eve for close to 35 years, a quiet grace has been descending on a small Ahwatukee neighborhood as residents line their curbs with luminaria.

Candles in white bags weighted with sand burn all night, well after neighbors gather in small driveway parties or stroll a skein of streets in the tiny neighborhood near E. Half Moon Drive and Warner Road.

And nearly every year, another homeowner has joined the tradition, slowly moving to include more blocks.

Sue Ann and Valerie Schulte never expected that so many of their neighbors would join their special Christmas Eve celebration when they started it around 1990. They started first at their home and then ran it along E. Tunder Drive.

“We used to have a Christmas party every year early in December,” Valerie explained, “and we just started putting in some in front of our house. Then, as the years went by it was like, ‘well, let’s do some down in front of the neighbors.' So we just kept expanding it and it just kept growing.”

Then, a block away, Michael Schifano joined in.

“He decided that he was going to start doing it also," Valerie said. "So that made it grow and expand more. And then last year, it expanded to more streets. And then I guess this year, somebody else is getting involved, and it’s going to be even bigger.”

Schifano said the younger of his two sons, Ben, came home for Christmas from Los Angeles nine years ago and told him about seeing the luminaria along several blocks south of his neighborhood.

“We walked over there and enjoyed them and the following year met the two ladies who organized it,” Schifano recalled. “We asked if we could extend it over to our block and, of course, they said yes.

“So since then for about seven years, we have done our block extending over to meet up with theirs and for the last few years we have done the one block north of us. This year people north of that said they want to have the luminaria reach their house and are now organizing their neighbors to make that happen.”

“Much like the originators we have many neighbors help prep the over 350 bags, put them out and light them,” Schifano continued.

Schifano is a big fan of the Schultes and their Christmas Eve tradition.

“We lived in Flagstaff for a couple years when we were first married and I learned how very quiet and peaceful it was when it was snowing,” he explained. “That first year when my wife and I walked the neighborhood enjoying the luminaries."

The Schultes' ritual, he added, offers "the closest to that feeling of calmness and beauty I have had since ... Making it extra special is knowing less than 12 hours away, families would be waking up to the love, joy and excitement of Christmas Day."

As for the Schultes, Schifano said, “So often in life, people like them do something amazing that changes people’s lives in such a meaningful way that go unnoticed. If you have met them and talked to them, you know they have not done this for the praise, but do it because they are wonderful, beautiful people who just want to give back to the community.

“Since I have done this," he continued, "I have met people who love that this happens every Christmas Eve. During the pandemic, I met a nurse who had come home late from her shift and drove through the neighborhood for the first time and it made her cry.

“The many families, adults and children, who work to set this up, clean up and enjoy it … will never forget their part in this holiday magic.”

The magic has captured neighbor Holly Cannon and her two children, Delaney, 9, and Blake, 8.

They and their neighbors joined the luminaria display four years ago and are looking forward to their fifth this Sunday.

As they prepare for the Christmas Eve ritual, Cannon and her neighbors make a kind of an extended party.

“We all get together the day before or a couple of days before and put the sand in the bags and the candles, and then Christmas Eve we get together,” she said. “Somewhere between noon and 1 we all come together and we get them set out.”

“Then that evening, we get together again and everybody brings their lighter and we walk the streets and light them all.

“One of our neighbors has Christmas music and he plays it from his car,” Cannon said. “He has the windows down and the back end up and drives around. So, it’s just a really cool thing.”

As for her two children, she said, “They love going outside and seeing all the neighbors gathering to put the bags together. We kind of set up stations and everybody hangs out, listens to Christmas music.”

“Now that my kids are getting older, they love helping with the luminaries, that’s one of their favorite parts,” Cannon added. “And then we all take a walk after whatever we do for dinner on Christmas Eve and walk around the neighborhood and just enjoy the sights. The kids think it’s pretty cool that other people come to see it.”

“We don’t drive around all the neighborhoods, but they love knowing that it’s something that’s special to our little neighborhood.”

Special.

That’s exactly the word the Schultes like to hear. They know their little holiday ritual that became a big tradition has accomplished a mission when they set out their luminaria for the first time so long ago.

Asked why they started it in the first place, Valerie explained:

“We just want wanted to share something with the community and our neighborhood.”

Valley home market sluggish – for now

Despite declining mortgage rates, the year isn’t winding down with much reason to celebrate in the Valley housing market, one of its leading analysts suggested.While final numbers for 2023 won’t be in until early next month, the Cromford Report said that the home sale data for November set a sobering tone for December, when homes sales traditionally are low.Comparing where the market was on Dec. 1, 2023, with where it was exactly a year earlier, the numbers were not encouraging, the Cromford Report said.But t...

Despite declining mortgage rates, the year isn’t winding down with much reason to celebrate in the Valley housing market, one of its leading analysts suggested.

While final numbers for 2023 won’t be in until early next month, the Cromford Report said that the home sale data for November set a sobering tone for December, when homes sales traditionally are low.

Comparing where the market was on Dec. 1, 2023, with where it was exactly a year earlier, the numbers were not encouraging, the Cromford Report said.

But the Cromford Report suggested that picture could change dramatically late next month.

“After rising during October, and peaking at an average just over 8% mid-month, mortgage rates declined thereafter and tumbled throughout November,” the Cromford Report said.

“In theory this should have injected some life into housing demand, but there is precious little evidence of this in the numbers above. We have fewer homes under contract than last month and far fewer than a year ago, when we were all depressed about the low demand. Sales counts are also down from last year and last month reaching the unusually low level of 4,616 in November.”

Mortgage rates fell under 7% for the first time since mid-August this week. It is the seventh straight week that rates have dropped, as inflation improves and the Federal Reserve paused its rate increases.

With the Fed signaling in its most recent meeting that rate cuts may be coming in 2024, mortgage rates are expected to continue falling.

Homes in Centreville, Maryland, US, on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. The Mortgage Bankers Association is scheduled to release mortgage applications figures on April 5.

This is the least affordable housing market since 1984. It’s getting worse

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to an average of 6.95% in the week ending Dec. 14 – down from 7.03% a week before, according to data from Freddie Mac released Thursday. A year ago, the average 30-year fixed-rate was 6.31%.

The average mortgage rate is based on mortgage applications that Freddie Mac receives from thousands of lenders across the country.

But the survey includes only borrowers who put 20% down and have excellent credit. A current buyer’s rate may be different, it advised.

Data showed that across Maricopa and Pinal counties combined, all active listings were down 15% from a year earlier on Dec. 1. from 18,050 in 2022 to 18,050. However, they were up 4% over October.

Monthly sales in November were down 6.3% – from 4,928 to 4,616 – from a year earlier and down 11% from October of this year.

The median home price rose between November 2022 and last month from $420,000 to $429,000 – a 4.6% increase – while the average sales price per square foot also went up in that time period from $272.29 to $288.97.

And that last set of data may explain the gloomy home sales picture, the Cromford Report said.

“One reason for the severe lack of demand may be that home prices are noticeably higher than a year ago, something few people were predicting 12 months ago,” it said. “Over the last months there were mixed signals. The median sales price grew almost 1% but the average price per square foot dropped by over 2%.

“This followed a sharp increase the month before. When this happens, it is usually caused by the luxury market. … The luxury market has negligible effect on the median sales price. The median sales price tends to be strongly influenced by unit volumes at the low end.”

The Valley’s median home price far exceeds the latest national median home price of $364,535 reported by Redfin.

That prompted real estate expert Barbara Corcoran, a star on the TV show “Shark Tank,” to tell Business Insider that people who are hoping for loser housing prices next year need to think again.

“If you have any way of getting cash together and getting into the market and buying a house and getting out of a rental, which is tempting to keep because it’s a little cheaper, don’t do it,” she said. “Buy yourself a house.”

“The minute actual interest rates come down just one more point, everybody’s going to jump into the market, and you’re going to be paying a lot more for your house,” Corcoran said.

The Cromford also noted that supply, which had been tilting upward over the last few months, hit the wall and “is still below normal – which is preventing prices from tumbling.”

“Few people list their homes in December and several take their homes off the market for the holiday season,” it added. “We anticipate more supply appearing in January.”

The Cromford Report also noted, “The new home market continues to outperform the re-sale market,” largely because “mortgage rate buy-downs have kept new home demand at a healthy level.”

But the National Association of Home Builders last week issued a report that cast doubt on how long that trend might continue, saying, “Over the first 10 months of 2023, the total number of single-family permits issued year-to-date nationwide reached 773,526. On a year-over-year basis, this is 10.7% below the October 2022 level of 865,815.”

The association also said that decline ranged between 8.6% in the Northeast to 16.1% in the West, with Arizona seeing a 16.6% drop in new-home permits compared to only a half percent drop in multifamily building permits in the same period.

Drilling down even deeper, the home builders group said single family permits is in the Phoenix Metro area dropped by 16% between the first 10 months of 2022 and the first 10 months of this year while permits for multifamily construction rose by 2%.

And those new homes that are selling in the Valley are getting smaller, the Cromford Report said.

“The annual average size of a new home peaked in March 2015 and has been dropping almost every month since then,” it reported. “In October 2023 the annual average was 2,216 square feet, which is down 367 square feet (14%) from the peak.

“When looking at the median or average price of a new home, please take into account that new homes bought recently will on average be significantly smaller than those bought earlier,” it added.

Looking at housing market in 17 major communities in the Valley, the Cormford Report said its analysis of data showed little improvement in conditions for sellers, though it added that

“Chandler has also shown an improvement over the last month” and leads the Valley in the strongest housing market.

But besides Goodyear, it added, “the remaining 15 cities have all moved down, with Paradise Valley collapsing by 26% and now below 100. Cave Creek, Glendale and Maricopa are also heavily down and the all-important Phoenix is down 15%.”

The Cromford Report’s analysis of Valley cities puts communities in the seller’s market category if they score above 100 and in the buyer’s market if their score is below that.

It said nine of the 17 cities are still seller’s markets, including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Gilbert.

“Cave Creek, Surprise, Buckeye, Queen Creek and Maricopa are all buyer’s markets,” it added.

Looking to early next year, the Cromford Report said the second half of January “will tell us whether buyers see a big difference between mortgage rates around 7% compared with 8%.”

“The last 12 months have been full of surprises, so caution and watching the statistics carefully is still the order of the day.”

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