Arizona Home Group

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

April 28, 2023

Phoenix’s dreamiest neighborhoods — ranked

Source: Phoenix Agent Magazine | Emily Marek

Which Phoenix neighborhoods do Zillow users dream about most? A recent report from HouseFresh breaks down which listings rack up the most page views per day to determine where users spend the most time fantasizing about living.

With 30,366 daily views, the Camelback East neighborhood is the most sought-after Phoenix suburb in the country and the No. 3 most viewed area overall. The neighborhood is followed by North Mountain (No. 6 overall with 22,527 daily views) and Deer Valley (No. 10 overall with 19,624 daily views.

These popular areas are followed by Maryvale (16,089 views per day), Alhambra (15,592 views per day), South Mountain (13,700 views per day), Ahwatukee Foothills (13,044 views per day), Desert View (10,055 views per day), Laveen (9,733 views per day) and Encanto (8,507 views per day).

On the flip side, the Phoenix-area neighborhood with the least views per day is Rio Vista. It’s viewed only 468 times per day.

Posted in Market Updates
April 28, 2023

Nearly one-third of Arizona homes are part of an HOA, among the highest percentages in the nation

Source: Phoenix Agent Magazine | Patrick Regan

Nearly one-third of Arizona homes are part of a homeowner association, one of the highest percentages among all U.S states.

Today’s Homeowner analyzed data from the Foundation for Community Association Research to determine which states have the highest and lowest percentage of homes in HOAs.

Nationally, about 22% of homes are part of an HOA. In Arizona, 875,000 of the state’s 2.8 million homes, 31.1%, are in a homeowner association. That ranks fifth among U.S. states. The average monthly HOA fee in Arizona is $448, second-highest in the nation.

The study noted that residents often have a love-hate relationship with HOAs. Homes in an HOA are, on average, worth about 4% more. But the monthly fees, which generally can increase at any time, may cause potential buyers to pause before making a purchase. And some HOAs have a reputation for crossing the line between what’s good for the community and homeowner autonomy.

HOAs have grown in number by about 13% over the last decade, the study found. The states with the highest percentage of HOA homes are: Florida (45%), Colorado (38.6%), California (36.8%), Washington (31.2%) and Arizona (31.1%). 


Missouri has the highest average HOA monthly fee, at $469, followed by Arizona’s $448. The national average is $390.

Posted in Market Updates
April 28, 2023

California homebuilder buys last lots at USAA's Union Park master-planned community

Source: Phoenix Business Journal | Angela Gonzales

The real estate arm of the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) has sold 110 lots at Union Park at Norterra master-planned community near the financial service giant's 575-acre campus in north Phoenix.

USAA Real Estate Co. sold 110 lots to TerraWest Communities LLC on April 25 for $12.51 million, according to Vizzda LLC real estate database.

Michael Jesberger, principal of TerraWest, said TerraWest bought the lots and is land banking them for Irvine, California-based homebuilder The New Home Co. Inc. (NYSE: NWHM).

"This is the third deal that we have land banked in Union Park," Jesberger said, adding that Ashton Woods took down a total of 189 lots in August 2020 and October 2021.

"This is our first deal with New Home, and we're excited to have them as a land banking customer," he said.

New Home's acquisition represents the last single-family parcel at Union Park, Jesberger said.

Union Park at Norterra is a 350-acre master-planned community being jointly developed by USAA Real Estate Co. and Sunbelt Holdings Inc.

Originally, USAA had purchased all the land with plans to expand its Phoenix offices, but about eight years ago decided they wouldn't need all the land after all, and rezoned what it wasn't using for residential use, said Nate Nathan, president and designated broker of Scottsdale-based Nathan & Associates Inc.

Nathan, along with David Mullard and Casey Christensen represented USAA in the sale of that land. His team has been representing USAA since the San Antonio-based company decided to develop Union Park, which is near the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s plant.

"Union Park is at the center of all the employment and retail in the Interstate 17 corridor and is greatly benefiting from the TSMC chip plant," Nathan said.

Christopher Cady, president of the Arizona division for New Home Co., said three new floor plans were designed uniquely for Union Park. Homes will range between 2,016 and 2,518 square feet.

He expects to begin development immediately. Sales would begin in spring 2024, with prices starting in the mid $500,000s, he said.

"TSMC is an obvious catalyst to not only north Phoenix and the 303 corridor, but the entire Phoenix region," Cady said. "We will continue to maintain our focus on providing housing options near where people work and play."

New Home also is addressing the need for more housing near TSMC, with another 667 homes under development in Surprise.

That new project has been named Frontera, he said. Land is being developed to pave the way for the construction of model homes in October to be open for sales in early 2024.

So far this year, home sales have been improving every month, with net pricing flat to slightly higher, Cady said.

"We are still recovering from the supply chain and labor disruption coming out of Covid, which is still keeping our cycle times above where they historically have been," he said.

'Excited about the region'

Cady said he's identified several other parcels for future development in the Loop 303 corridor as well as in the southeast Valley.

"We're still moving forward and are excited about the region and how the market's recovering," Cady said.

Jesberger said he also has several land bank deals in the pipeline, indicating a renewed interest by builders to continue to expand their business, which speaks to the underlying demand in the residential market today.

As single-family lots are now sold out at Union Park, one multifamily site is under contract, with two more multifamily sites still available, said John Graham, chairman and CEO of Sunbelt Holdings.

Also at Union Park, a hotel is in escrow, while LIV Communities has begun construction on an active adult community and BB Living is building a build-to-rent community.

Union Park also has retail and office space available, Graham said.

There is no question TSMC has helped spur the development of Union Park, he said.

"We're excited about it," Graham said. "It's turned out really well."

Posted in Market Updates
April 20, 2023

Tempe to consider projects that would add more than 1,000 apartment units

Source: Phoenix Business Journal | Ron Davis

Tempe City Council will vote on three projects this week that would each bring hundreds of apartment units if approved.

Those projects, which are set to be heard on April 20, include 16 East University, Rio 2100 Residences and IDM Fountainhead. All the projects are in various stages of progress through the city channels they must clear before they can start construction.

By getting approval from commissioners at the April 11 meeting, developers CA Ventures and Wexford Developments and their land-use attorney Sender Associates will now present 16 East University to the city council for the first public hearing on Thursday. 

A second and final public hearing is set for May 4. 

The 453 apartments at 16 East University would include 100 studios, 99 one-bedroom and 254 two-bedroom units. The apartments will rent at market rate. Should the project move forward, the 16 East University project would be located on the northeast corner of Mill Avenue and University Drive in Tempe.

Rio 2100 Residences

About three and a half miles to the northeast of 16 East University is the proposed site of the Rio 2100 Residences by San Diego-based Fairfield Residential. The developer looks to build 390 units across studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. Amenities would include a fitness center, a community clubhouse, a resort-style pool and a co-working space.

Coworking spaces are on the rise because of their affordability and the fact that companies are looking for less commitment when it comes to lease length and square footage.

Fairfield also intends to build a 239,914-square-foot, two-level parking garage for the Rio 2100 Residences, which would be located near Loop 101 and Rio Salado Parkway.

The land where Fairfield would build the apartments is owned by Salt Lake City developer The Boyer Co., which developed the 60-acre Rio 2100 project. The development is home to office buildings, two multifamily developments, two hotels and several retail spaces. Earlier this year, major employer Achieve put about half of its Valley office footprint on the market for sublease.

Berry Riddell LLC is the land-use attorney for the Rio 2100 Residences project.

Fairfield lists one Valley community on its website, which is the nearby Norte Town Lake Apartments. Thursday's Council meeting also marks the first public hearing for the Rio 2100 Residences. A second hearing is also planned for May 4.

IDM Fountainhead 

Fountainhead, from IDM Cos., is the only project of the three that could receive final approval Thursday.

Vancouver, Washington-based IDM is proposing to build 566 units on the southwest corner of Priest and Alameda drives. The units would be built across two five-story buildings with a parking structure, a leasing center and an open-space courtyard. Amenities would include a fitness center, a community clubhouse and resort-style pool and more. IDM would offer studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units that would carry monthly rent between $1,575 to $2,200.

Council held the first public hearing for IDM Fountainhead in March and Thursday is set to be the second and final public hearing.

Berry Riddell is also the land-use attorney for IDM Fountainhead. IDM has multifamily projects scattered throughout the Valley, including five that are "coming soon," according to its website. 

Tempe, especially near Tempe Town Lake, is home to some of the most sought-after office spaces in all of the Valley

As companies continue to navigate hybrid and work-from-home models, real estate experts said they expect Tempe to continue to attract high-end users and perform well compared to other top-office submarkets in the Valley.

Posted in Market Updates
April 20, 2023

Silver Sky development approved by Paradise Valley Town Council

Source: Phoenix Agent Magazine | Emily Marek

Scottsdale luxury home developer Silver Sky will move forward with the development of their eponymous luxury home community. The 17-acre proposal was unanimously approved by Paradise Valley Town Council this week, having previously passed through the Paradise Valley Planning Commission in January.

“We are honored and delighted to receive the approval of the Paradise Valley Town Council,” Silver Sky Founding Partner Gordon Berry said in a press release. “We can’t wait to show the world the unparalleled and exclusive community we are presenting.”

Silver Sky has also announced the architects for the estates in their community: Stratton Andrews of Stratton Architects and Mark Candelaria of Candelaria Design Associates.

“We have selected the absolute best-in-class team to bring our Silver Sky Vision to life,” Berry said. “Mark and Stratton are both at the top of their field, and their work and commitment to excellence speaks volumes.”

Four showcase homes are currently planned for construction at Silver Sky, ranging in size from 7,500 square feet to 15,000 square feet. Pricing will likely start at $11,250,000.

Posted in Market Updates
April 20, 2023

My View: Understanding the impact of interest rates on Phoenix metro homebuyer activity

Source: Phoenix Business Journal | Butch Leiber

In January and early February, homebuyer activity in Arizona increased mostly due to the previously rising interest rates holding steady at around 6%. In fact, on Feb. 2, the interest rate hit 5.99% resulting in more than 2,000 new escrows that week alone. However, since then, interest rates have been fluctuating upward, leading to a drop in buyer activity. This trend brings to life the reality of interest rates shaping buyer behavior.

The high interest rates have also impacted the number of new listings. From Jan. 1 through mid-March, there have been just over 18,000 new properties listed on the MLS. This is 19% lower than last year and the lowest number of new listings for that time period of any year in the past 23 years. A comparison of this year's data with previous years makes it clear that we are experiencing a very slow year for new listings.

Despite the low demand and lower inventory, the market has remained somewhat balanced, leaning towards a light seller's market. Overall, prices have stabilized according to recent market data, which indicates that the housing market may have already hit its lowest point, barring any significant external socio-economic impacts.

Creating buyer opportunities with incentives

While it’s common knowledge that high-interest rates greatly impact affordability, more than ever before, buyers are searching out creative ways to boost the amount of houses their dollars can buy. 

One such strategy is using the 2-1 rate buydown more frequently. This is where the borrower can temporarily reduce their interest rate on a mortgage during the first two years of the loan – the interest rate is lowered by 2 percentage points in the first year, and by 1 percentage point in the second year, before returning to the original interest rate in the third year and for the remaining term of the loan.

An attractive strategy for homebuyers who expect their income to increase, or interest rates to drop, 2-1 buydowns provide lower monthly mortgage payments in the initial years of the loan. The buydown cost, which can be expressed as a percentage of the loan amount, is typically paid upfront by the seller or the builder. 

This strategy benefits both parties. Paying for a 2-1 buydown instead of lowing the sales price offers savings to the seller and provides the buyer with significant monthly savings. Additionally, sellers have been contributing to buyers' closing costs in almost 50% of transactions, at a median value of nearly $9,000, further incentivizing buyers.

Additionally, the current market presents opportunities for buyers despite high-interest rates. With prices potentially at the bottom of the market, and lenders offering free refinancing when (and if) interest rates drop, now may be a good time for many homebuyers to buy low and lock in a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

Though houses are selling faster than at the beginning of the year, half of all listings are going under contract in 30 days compared to 56 days just a few months ago, the pace is more in line with "normal" years for the Phoenix-metro residential real estate market.

But with that in mind, navigating the current market requires patience, as interest rates and associated costs can cause both buyers and sellers to hesitate. Yet, trusting that the market will adjust and seizing opportunities when they arise can lead to successful transactions for both sides of the equation. With a shortage of homes in the Valley and continued population growth, now might be the right time to make a move for those considering buying or selling a property.

Posted in Market Updates
April 20, 2023

Affordable senior housing coming to Phoenix

Source: Phoenix Agent Magazine | Emily Marek

Blackstone and Dominium have partnered to develop Casa Azure, a 196-unit affordable housing complex in Phoenix. The development will be an age-restricted property, limited to senior citizens who make 60% or less of the area median income.

Through its affordable housing portfolio, April Housing, Blackstone will provide $31 million to support the development of the community. This brings Blackstone and April Housing’s affordable housing investments in Maricopa County to $79 million with a total of 658 affordable units.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Blackstone and April Housing,” said Mark Moorhouse, managing partner and executive vice president of development at Dominion. “Their investment in Casa Azure, coupled with their previous investment in Aviara Flats, demonstrates a significant commitment to affordable housing for both seniors and families in the Phoenix area.”

“April’s commitment to preserve and create affordable housing is at the center of everything we do,” said April Housing Chief Executive Officer Alice Carr. “We are thrilled to continue expanding the supply of affordable housing in an area where it is much needed, especially serving seniors, many of whom have fixed incomes.”

Posted in Market Updates
April 13, 2023

Renovations that can boost your bottom line

Source: Phoenix Agent Magazine | Emily Marek

One of the best ways sellers can make their home stand out in today’s market is by upgrading their space with luxury renovations and amenities. The latest Zillow report has the scoop on which renovations can generate the highest profits.

Kitchen upgrades such as steam ovens and pizza ovens yield the highest returns. They can boost home sale prices by up to 5.3% — for the typical home, that’s over $17,000.

So-called “she-sheds,” meaning dedicated “retreat” spaces for the woman of the house (usually in the form of a renovated backyard shed) can boost sales by 2.5%, although homes with the “woman-cave” upgrade did stick on the market for an average of two days longer. In short, it may take longer to sell a home with certain niche upgrades, but when the right buyer comes along, they’ll be willing to pay a higher price.

“Not every buyer will appreciate a chef’s kitchen or a putting green in their backyard, but those who do are willing to pay more for these personalized amenities,” said Zillow Home Trends Expert Amanda Pendleton. “Post-pandemic homebuyers who had plenty of time for self-reflection now have a greater sense of what they want and need in a home.”

In addition to skill and hobby-based upgrades, buyers are also gravitating towards (and willing to pay more for) unique features such as soapstone countertops or terrazzo floors.

On the flip side, there are several features that can actually hurt home values: Outdated features like laminate flooring and tile countertops may signal to buyers that the home hasn’t been updated in a long time, consequently lowering the perceived value. Walk-in closets also lower the typical home value by 0.7%, suggesting that today’s buyers would rather utilize that space in a different way.

According to Zillow, the top features that can increase a home’s asking price are, in order: a steam oven (+5.3%), a pizza oven (3.7%), professional appliances (+3.6%), terrazzo floors (+2.6%), a she-shed (+2.5%), soapstone (+2.5%), quartz (+2.4%), modern farmhouse features (+2.4%), hurricane shutters/storm shutters (+2.3%) and mid-century features (+2.3%).

The top features that can help homes sell faster are, in order: a doorbell camera (5.1 days faster), soapstone (3.8 days faster), open shelving (3.5 days faster), a heat pump (3 days faster), a fenced (back)yard (2.9 days faster), mid-century features (2.8 days faster), hardwood (2.4 days faster), walkability (2.4 days faster), shiplap (2.3 days faster) and a gas furnace (2.3 days faster).

Posted in Market Updates
April 13, 2023

Nation's largest homebuilder to build 5,000 homes in East Valley

Source: Phoenix Business Journal | Angela Gonzales

D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) launched a soft opening of its Radiance at Superstition Vistas master-planned community that eventually will boast 5,000 homes in the far East Valley.

Two models are open at Radiance, which is at the base of Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction, about 36 miles from downtown Phoenix.

"It took a lot of people and a huge amount of cooperation and hard work from the city of Apache Junction to build and open a subdivision like Radiance," said Brent Davis, president of D.R. Horton's Phoenix East Division. "Both the city and D.R. Horton thought it would be great to have an opportunity for all those involved to visit the project and see the result of all the time and effort that has been put into the project."

D.R. Horton currently is offering seven floor plans ranging from three to four bedrooms and two to 2.5 bathrooms that will range between 1,432 to 1,884 square feet.

Within the next couple of months, plans call for additional product lines to expand square footage range from an estimated 1,300 to 2,500 square feet.

"As we bring on new phases, we expect to expand our offering to include up to 15 floor plans and homes that will include a third bathroom and a fifth bedroom," he said. "We offer buyers a variety of color combinations, elevation styles and floor plans from which to choose."

With pricing subject to change, homes currently are priced from the high $300,000s to the high $400,000s.

The community will include an amenity building and pool, along with multiple parks with ramadas, playgrounds and barbecues.

"The demand has been strong at Radiance," Davis said. "Our well-priced homes make this highly desirable East Valley location open to a wide group of buyers who otherwise might have been priced out of this area."

An influx of jobs and growth in the East Valley over the last few years is expected to continue, he said.

"This, combined with the existing amenities in the East Valley, along with easy access to the Phoenix metro makes Radiance an extremely desirable area for homebuyers," he said.

Brookfield's plans

Radiance is nearly two miles east of Eastmark, a master-planned community in Mesa developed by Brookfield Residential and DMB Associates Inc.

Eastmark, which has been recognized as one of the nation's best selling master-planned communities for the past several years, is nearly sold out.

As a result, Brookfield teamed with D.R. Horton a few years ago to buy nearby state land.

In November 2020, D.R. Horton was the winning bidder in an Arizona State Land Department auction, paying $245.5 million for 2,783 acres.

By October 2021, they received unanimous approval from Apache Junction City Council for a master-planned community previously called Superstition Vistas, where D.R. Horton and Brookfield would each develop 5,000 homes.

While D.R. Horton will build all of the homes at Radiance, Brookfield will build some of its homes at its community called Blossom Rock and also will sell lots to other homebuilders, said Dea McDonald, president of the Arizona Land and Housing Group for Brookfield.

McDonald said he's planning a grand opening of Blossom Rock with several builders in the early second quarter of 2024, but said it's too early to identify those builders.

Meanwhile, D.R. Horton and Brookfield will work together to build a nonpotable water system for irrigation at both their communities.

"As we all know, water is a very important topic for the Phoenix area," Davis said. "To help reduce potable water usage, we plan to install a nonpotable water system for the common area irrigation, as well as installing climate-appropriate landscaping as part of our included front yard landscape packages."

As with most master-planned communities, a portion of the land is set aside for commercial use, including multifamily rental units.

"There are currently two planned commercial sites, along with multiple build-to-rent and multifamily sites within Radiance," Davis said.

Posted in Market Updates
April 13, 2023

Inventory hits two-month supply in Phoenix

Source: Phoenix Agent Magazine | Emily Marek

Inventory of homes for sale hit a two-month supply in March, according to the Phoenix REALTORS® Local Market Update. Last year, inventory supply was 185.7% lower at less than one month.

Total inventory of homes for sale reached 1,880 properties in March — that’s up 86% from March 2022, when there were 1,011 single-family houses on the market. It’s a similar story for townhouse and condo sales: available inventory is up 130.2% year over year, with 633 properties for sale. That amounts to a 2.2-month supply of townhouse and condo inventory, up 266.7% from last March.

The average number of days on the market also rose to 69 last month. While that’s lower than the year-to-date average of 74 days, it’s up 146.4% from March 2022 (when the average home sold in less than a month).

Posted in Market Updates