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‘Subdued’ holiday shopping season for Phoenix home buyers

As the holiday season quickly approaches, retailers brace for their most important quarter of the calendar year.

In real estate, this is certainly not the case, as many home sellers are reluctant to make their homes available to prospective buyers during the holidays, with many pushing the selling process back until the beginning of the New Year.

Phoenix is certainly no exception to this rule and coupled with sluggish buyer demand, this holiday season promises to be a slow one in real estate.

“It’s pretty quiet,” said Arizona State University Director of Real Estate Michael Orr on his weekly appearance on That Real Estate Show. “‘Subdued’ is the word I’d probably use for the current market.”

“Subdued” is not what many current home sellers want to hear, especially after witnessing a sudden shift in market conditions during the summer.

“Phoenix [real estate] is very volatile, and this just proves it again,” said Orr. “I’d say as late as (this past) June we were still in a very strong sellers’ market.”

Orr says the shift from a sellers’ market to Phoenix real estate’s current “balanced” state occurred in mid-July and throughout August. Orr also said the recent slowdown of home sales has not had a crippling effect on the market due to the continued rise of home prices in Phoenix.

“The actual total amount of money being spent on real estate (in Phoenix) is about the same as last year,” he said.

As for the New Year, Orr isn’t ready for any bold predictions for 2014.

“I don’t think anything exciting is going to happen before Christmas, and usually January is pretty quiet,” Orr explained. “So, I think the next time we’ll have some good idea about where (the market) is headed will be towards the end of January.”

By that time, most analysts agree that the Phoenix real estate market is expected to be in a state that favors buyers. In some municipalities, such as Tempe and Surprise, this is already the case.

So, if you’re the type that enjoys finding great holiday deals, the lines to get in a beautiful Phoenix home won’t be nearly as long as those at, say, Best Buy.

And here’s the best part: You won’t even have to sleep outside!

Listen for more Phoenix real estate news with Realtors Diane Brennan and Rod Lakin on That Real Estate Show Saturdays at 3 p.m. on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR.