GAINED | LOST
*Y-O-Y March 2014
Tucson-metro employment edged upward 0.2% as 700 new positions were created in the past 12 months ending in March. White-collar employment sectors provided the majority of job growth with a combined addition of more than 2,000 positions among the financial, professional and business services and educational and health services sectors. This growth was partially offset by contraction of 1.7% in the government segment where 1,300 jobs were eliminated.
Moderate job growth is forecast for 2014, with notable additions to the manufacturing and transportation industries. Among the companies expanding is Global Solar with the completion of a hiring campaign of 180 manufacturing employees this year. Ascent Aviation plans to add 130 workers at its aviation maintenance facility in Tucson over the next several months. Liquefied-sugar producer Zucarmex expects to fill 50 manufacturing and shipping jobs at its new production plant and distribution warehouse at the Port of Tucson.
EMPLOYMENT SECTOR TRENDS*
MEDIAN HOME PRICE
The median home price appreciated 7% year over year to $175,500 in the first quarter of 2014. Metrowide values increased 34.4% since the low point in the third quarter of 2011.
In the last 12 months, home sales increased 4.7% to 18,970 annualized transactions in March. Single-family sales velocity ascended 70% since a low of 11,200 sales in the fourth quarter of 2007.
Rent Vs. Own
Asking rents were $667 per month in the first quarter of this year, a 1.5% gain from year-end 2011. During the same period, the average mortgage ramped up 25.5% to $847 per month. From December of 2011 to March of 2014, the monthly advantage in renting increased from $18 to $180.
Vacancy declined 130 basis points to 7.6% last year due to an increase in absorption to 1,130 units. Deliveries receded to 130 units in 2013 after completions reached an eight-year high in 2012. There are several large student housing developments also under way.
Multifamily planning remained healthy during the last 12 months with permits issued for 1,400 annualized units. This activity was a 21.3% increase from the same period last year. Year-to-date issuance was almost two-and-one-half times greater than the long-term average of 580 units per year.
Single-family permitting activity accelerated 1.5% to 2,600 homes in the past four quarters. Over the past three years, issuance increased 86.9%, but was still short of the long-term average of 4,100 permits.
Median HH Income* Population Growth*
Since March of 2013, the median household income in the Tucson metro area increased 3.8% to $46,800 per year in the first quarter of 2014. Incomes increased 9.4% since the trough in the fourth quarter of 2010 and were 1% higher than the prerecession high.
Annual population growth of 2.7% is expected through 2018, surpassing the national average of 1.6%.