Photo by Hubble Ray Smith.
Correction: A photo included in the story misidentified the construction company building a home. Big Red Construction is doing the work.
Realtor Mike Wagner has seen a few changes in the local housing market since moving here from Southern California five years ago, and they’re mostly for the better.
So far, this year has been the most active in terms of housing sales, and Kingman looks to be an excellent location for real estate investment, said the agent with ReMax Prestige Properties.
That’s very much in line with a second-quarter report from USA Today that showed Lake Havasu City-Kingman metropolitan statistical area as the No. 32 most profitable place in the country for home sellers with an average return of 38 percent.
Prescott was No. 19 at 47 percent and California’s Silicon Valley (San Jose, Sunnyvale and Santa Clara) was No. 1 with a whopping 75 percent average home-seller return.
“The inventory remains low and buyers keep coming from all over the country, mostly retirees looking for affordable housing, good weather and recreation opportunities,” Wagner said.
He’s seeing a high demand for rental homes in Kingman, so investing in a rental property or two would be an excellent investment, he said. “As far as living here, as long as you didn’t buy your home at the peak of the bubble (2005-2007), you should be okay as far as equity is concerned,” Wagner said. “There are plenty of buyers, and if your home is not overpriced, you can expect to sell probably within 60 days.”
An entire price category of homes is quickly disappearing in Kingman, due in part to rising prices for new construction, he noted.
It was easy to find a move-in ready home with three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage in the range of $95,000 to $115,000.
Good luck with that. Now you’re looking at $120,000 to $145,000 for that property, Wagner said.
The median price of 101 homes sold in August was $139,000, compared with $125,000 at the beginning of the year, according to a market report from Wardex Real Estate. There were 155 new listings during the month, with 122 pending sales and an average of 61 days on the market. Sales peaked at 166 in June.
A home being offered by Kingman Premier Properties at 3575 N. Wells St. sits in that “sweet spot” at $137,000. Built in 2005, it’s a three-bedroom, two-bath home with 1,320 square feet of living space and a two-car garage.
Dawn Brannies, designated broker of Kingman Premier Properties, said you can’t compare Kingman’s housing market with Lake Havasu, though the two cities comprise the Mohave County metropolitan statistical area.
She saw strong sales from March through June, with the market tampering off after that.
“Kingman is an excellent place to live,” Brannies said. “We have ambient temperatures year-round, our location is second to none with us being central to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. When it comes to housing, there are not many communities more affordable for housing than Kingman.”
With access to I-40, Kingman Airport and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, it’s also tough to beat the location for commercial business, Brannies added.
The second quarter was a wise time to sell, with homeowners gaining an average of $51,000 since purchase, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, the property data company quoted in the USA Today report.
They examined 118 MSAs with at least 1,000 home sales in the second quarter.
Though the numbers are not as high as they were 10 years ago, profits for home sellers have improved over the past few years. The last time profits were this high was second quarter 2007 when average gains were $57,000.
While it’s important to choose the right location for real estate investment, it’s also important to have good credit, said Tom Ender, senior vice president of the mortgage department at Mohave State Bank.
“Having excellent credit is very important because your mortgage interest and insurance rates are tied to your credit score,” Ender said. “The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate. That can make a half-point difference on your interest rate between a 620 and 720 credit score.”