Phoenix solar home sales drop significantly in October 2015

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Phoenix solar realtor specializing in solar homes

Phoenix area solar home sales dropped 38.5 percent month over month according to recent data from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) from October 1, 2015 to October 31, 2015.

There were a total of 65 verified solar home sales in Maricopa County for the month of October, down from the 90 confirmed sales in September.  Homes with a solar leases (whether monthly lease payments or prepaid monthly solar leases) accounted for 39 of the 65 sales (61.1%, same as last month’s percentage) while homes with solar owned electric systems accounted for the balance of 26 solar home sales in October 2015.

The median price for a solar home fell back to $257,000 (more in line with August’s numbers than the $274,000 we saw in September).  Leased solar homes had a median price of $250,000 (down from the median of $260,000 in September) while the median price for a solar owned home increased 4.4 percent to $304,950. The median price for a single family residence under $500,000 in Maricopa County in October was $225,000, the same as September 2015.

The median days on the market for a resale home in Maricopa County was 40 days in October 2015.  Solar in general stayed within reach of the average market with an median time to sell at 45 days.  Phoenix homes with a solar owned system took less time with an average of 43 days while Phoenix area homes with solar leases took 57 days in October. The average days on the market for a solar home in Maricopa County was 71 days versus a market average of 59 days (solar leases had a median market time of 66 days while solar owned was 79 days).

Two-thirds of the total solar home sales in Maricopa County were in APS territory (66.2%) while the remaining 33.8 percent of the solar homes were within SRP territory.  This has been a consistent trend over the last several months.  SRP solar homes sold in 43 days versus solar homes selling in 47 days in APS territory.  The median price for a solar home in APS territory was up again in October to $257,000 while the median price in SRP areas was up considerably higher in October to $267,500.

Mortgages helped finance 86.2 percent of all solar sales in the Phoenix area in October, down slightly from the previous month.  Conventional financing (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages) accounted for 58.5 percent of the total solar home sales in the Phoenix area while FHA and VA financing total 20 percent and 7.7 percent respectively. Cash home buyers purchased 13.8 percent of the total Phoenix solar homes for sale in October.  Sellers contributed towards buyer’s closing costs in one-quarter of all sales (23.1 percent).

The typical solar home sold in the Phoenix area in October was a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with 2,050 square feet on a 8,024 square foot lot.  The solar home was built in 2004 and had a 5 kW solar array on the roof.

Phoenix area solar home sales are just as much affected by the slowing market as other niches in Maricopa County.  Real estate inventory is on the rise while sales are slowing or stagnant.  Anecdotal evidence from area Realtors report a slow down in showing activities though this cannot be confirmed from the lockbox reports that have been discontinued by ARMLS.  Heading into the holiday season, expectations are for a slowing November and December. Inventory should slowly increase until the first of the year when market activity heats up.  Real estate agents overall are still across the board with their marketing of solar homes, pushing for estimated savings and the key component to selling.  Some of the agents continue to struggle with lease transfers, not usually as a result of the leasing company or buyer’s inability to qualify for the lease, but due to the lack of foresight to include the lease transfer in the contract and oversight of the transfer process.

You can read more about the general real estate market in Phoenix and the monthly sales at

Considering selling a home with solar? Want to know how much additional value solar adds to your home? Give Rob, the Solar Home Broker, a call at 480-888-1234!

NOTE:  Only resale single family residences that sold during the month of October 2015 in Maricopa County with a sales price of $500,000 or less were used in the analysis (non-luxury market).  Properties priced over $500,000 fall into the luxury category and were not used in this analysis. All sales were verified to have a solar electric (solar PV) system that was owned outright by the home owner or had a solar lease.  While all attempts were made to ensure quality and accurate data, I am limited by the data reported (for example, only 18.5 percent of listing Realtors actually inputted the size of the solar system).  Homes with only solar water heaters or solar thermal pool systems that did not have a solar electric system on the roof were not included due to the extreme differences in these types of systems.

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