Construction cranes all over the Valley of the Sun are proof of the amount of commercial construction ongoing in the Phoenix metro area. State wide Arizona has added a whopping 23,800 jobs in nonresidential construction in January, 2020. Figures from the U.S. Labor Department show Arizona has gained 97,700 jobs in the sector over the past 12 months – a year-over-year increase of 2.1%. The largest increase was in the specialty trade segment, which added 17,200 jobs in January. This lowered the construction unemployment rate in Arizona to 5.4% for the month. So if you want to work in construction, now is the time to move to Arizona.
Compared to previous years, homeowners are opting to spend more time holding onto their homes, with the median tenure increasing by 3 years since 2008. As of 2018, the median duration of home ownership in the U.S. is 13 years. As should be expected, the fastest-growing metro areas had the lowest median tenures. As a result, the Phoenix metro area holding time is 8 years. I don’t want to appear to be picking on New Jersey again (see Which State is the Biggest Loser?), but in Newark, a place where fewer people are moving to, the typical homeowner stayed for 15 years.
In December 1967 U.S. soldiers were attacking a North Vietnamese base camp in Vietnam. As it began to get dark, they dug in anticipating a night counterattack. Lieutenant Morris settled into his foxhole when King, their German Shepard war dog, jumped into the hole on top of him. Just then Morris needed to relieve himself. But he couldn’t move King – he was heavy, wouldn’t budge, and the hole was too small to move him to the side. As a result the Lieutenant had a “very distasteful accident” with the dog lying on top of him. Immediately after that, King decided to leave for another hole that was less stinky. Apparently the risk of moving out of shelter was a better than staying with the smell.
According to a REALTOR.com study, housing inventories dropped 12% nationally from 2018 to 2019, the largest year over year decline in nearly 3 years. As a result, the U.S. market has a large housing inventory under supply. This is occurring just as 4.8 million millennials are reaching 30 years of age, an age where previous generations have bought homes. Arizona is not immune to the shortage, as according to the study the fifth biggest decline in active listings (-29%) occurred in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metro area.
Last blog I wrote about Arizona being a leader in population gain due to our job growth, housing market, and weather. So that raises the question – which state had the most outbound moves in 2019? For the second consecutive year New Jersey lost the most people. Apparently the Garden State isn’t where a lot people want to live right now despite all the good things that state has to offer. Maybe the Chamber of Commerce’s new slogan should be “There’s Plenty of Room in New Jersey”.
The numbers show that Arizona continues to be popular with people from elsewhere, taking in 2.2 million new residents from other states since 2010 to 2018. Job growth, Arizona’s steady economy and lifestyle are the major reasons that people say they are attracted to our state. The highest traffic was between neighboring California, with Texas in second place (137,320 people). Illinois sent 102,897, which is which makes sense considering the number of Chicagoans here. A surprise to me was the 127,772 people Washington sent south to our state since 2010. All these numbers put Arizona in the top five of states with the most inbound moves.
2019 ended as the year with the 4th highest number of homes sold in metro Phoenix history. When disregarding the other 3, which were all considered abnormal markets, it was the best ever. Both the median as well as the average sales prices hit historic highs, both with significant price gains. So it’s a great time to sell a home in the Valley of the Sun.
You’ve probably heard of cadaver dogs, which search for recently deceased victims of disasters. But what about deaths that happened 1000’s of years ago? Enter Fabel, the archeology dog. Fabel is a German Shepard that is used to detect buried bones. Makes sense, as dogs and buried bones go together. But for this type of work special training was required, and Fabel received his archeology dog certificate in 2015. Since then has assisted finding skeletons in dig sites in Europe. Recently he located human remains at a 5th century Viking fort in Sweden.
In the mid to late 19th century, the front room or parlor of most homes was strictly formal. Funerals and wakes took place at home then, and because deceased family members were laid out to receive their final respects in the parlor, it became known as the “death room”. But by the beginning of the 20th century, funeral professionals became widely available. So more and more people began turning to funeral homes to take care of their deceased loved ones. By the end or World War I, nearly all funerals and wakes were held at funeral parlors. As a result, the Ladies Home Journal sought to take back the “death room” as a place to be used by the family. In 1910 they officially renamed it the “living room”. Although living rooms are often blended with family rooms to create “great rooms” in new construction today, the living room remains as an important feature of many homes.
Metro Phoenix ranks number 2 in VA home loan originations in the U.S. That means lots of veterans are moving to or buying homes in the Valley of the Sun. This demonstrates the continuing popularity of Arizona to the U.S. armed forces community (and their dogs).