Category Archives: Phoenix Real Estate

Downtown Phoenix’s Growing Popularity is Pricing Out Many Residents

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10-28-2018 Courtesy, in part, azcentral

Downtown Phoenix’s Metro housing boom is blanketing the area with thousands of new apartments and condominiums.

But the rents and prices for the new homes will shut the door on some who want to live in the area. and home prices in historic neighborhoods in and around downtown Phoenix are soaring as the area becomes more popular, further limiting Metro Phoenix potential buyers.

“It’s heartbreaking that the teachers and those working in the area’s hotels and cafes can’t afford to live in downtown,” said Cindy Dach, downtown Phoenix proponent, resident and business owner. “The area won’t be diverse unless we plan housing for everyone.”

Some affordable housing is planned in the city’s core, but not enough, say housing advocates. Building affordable housing in the area is tough due to rising land prices.

“We need the entire spectrum of housing in downtown Phoenix,” said Patricia Garcia Duarte, CEO of the housing non-profit Trellis. “Many people forget affordable housing is needed to create a healthy community.”

Luxury, luxury and more luxury in Metro Phoenix Phoenix, AZ

Most of the 8,000 apartments recently built, underway or planned in downtown Phoenix are in luxury complexes with rents higher than the average Valley mortgage.

The average apartment rent in downtown Phoenix is $1,608, according to ABI Multifamily. The average apartment rent for a one bedroom for the entire city of Phoenix is $1,050.

Millennial Adrian Zaragoza rented in downtown Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row neighborhood for five years before buying a new condo in the area’s Portland on the Park development last year.

“I saw rents rising, and the chance to buy a condo before those prices climbed too,” he said.

Zaragoza said all of the new development going on downtown “is exciting,” but he’s glad to be his own landlord and not dealing with rent hikes.

If too many apartments go up and don’t fill up fast, rents could fall in downtown Phoenix.

Also, though rents are high in downtown Phoenix, they are still $50 to $100 lower a month than rents in downtown Scottsdale and Tempe.

Can you still find an affordable house In Phoenix, AZ?

Aysia Williams and Benjamin Hughes rented in Phoenix’s Woodland Historic District, on the western edge of downtown, for about a year before trying to buy their first home.

“We fell in love with the area, but saw prices and rents climbing fast,” Williams said. “We knew we wanted to buy, but there was a lot of competition for the houses we liked.”

Woodland is part of the 85007 ZIP code, one of central Phoenix’s more affordable neighborhoods. The area, which has also attracted many investors, saw its overall median home price climb 10 percent to more than $192,000 in 2017. Sales in the area jumped nearly 20 percent last year.

The couple’s house, for which they paid less than $250,000 a few months ago, was never even listed for sale. They were renting in the neighborhood and searching for a home they could afford when they met a longtime homeowner who didn’t want to sell to an investor.

People talk about the gentrification of central Phoenix pricing too many first-time homebuyers out. Buyers can still find affordable homes if they look hard enough.

Home prices in most other historic neighborhoods around downtown Phoenix are much higher. Prices in nearby the nearby Roosevelt historic district and Willo historic neighborhood can easily top $500,000.

Housing downtown workers can afford

Phoenix Housing Director Cindy Stotler said downtown Phoenix has 1,001 affordable units which is more than most people realize.

The issue is that those units are reserved under federal law for “very low-income” individuals who have a median annual income of  $14,000-$38,000.

Stotler said the real downtown housing gap is in “workforce housing,” for middle-income individuals who make $38,000-$48,000 annually. These individuals would have to pay nearly 50 percent of their income to afford living in market-rate housing downtown which is not reasonable or sustainable, she said.

“To me, the area that we’re missing in downtown is the working people’s housing. And people who are not like a lawyer or something and making a lot of money, but they’re just average working people,” she said. “There’s no regular housing for them. We’re not building that.”

To get workforce housing downtown, the city likely won’t be able to rely on traditional developers, Stotler said.

Land prices are high, which makes it difficult for developers to offer middle-income rents and still turn a profit on their projects, she said.

Garcia Duarte said financing is also difficult for more affordable housing, which deters some developers from building it. 

Stotler is looking to city-owned land in downtown as a possible solution to this issue. She hopes to find developers or non-profit groups that may be able to build middle-income housing on these lots.  

Affordable housing to market-rate

Phoenix’s housing department owns and operates three affordable housing properties in the downtown core.

  • Deck Park Vista: Located at Third and Moreland streets, Deck Park Vista has 56 subsidized senior apartments. The average household income is $17,848 and only two of the units qualify as workforce housing.
  • Ambassador West: This complex located near Van Buren Street and Fifth Avenue has 102 units. The average household income is $24,159 and only 28 of the units qualify as workforce housing.
  • Reflections on Portland: This small, 18-unit complex at Second and Portland streets has five workforce housing units. The average household income is $35,245.

Stotler would like to take some of the city’s housing projects and redevelop them as denser projects with more units available for middle-income households.

For example, Deck Park Vista is a garden-style apartment complex with just 56 units on two acres of land. Stotler said she could fit between 200-400 units on the land.

“It’s a poorly designed project for the downtown,” she said.

Stotler said the city has 10 other senior housing options across Phoenix, including some near downtown, like the Warehouse District, where the current residents could be moved to accommodate a new multistory project on the land with 200 workforce units and 50 affordable units.

Financing the project won’t be easy. While the city gets federal assistance to provide low-income housing, there are far fewer resources to build and provide middle-income housing, Stotler said.

“That’s where I’m struggling right now, is where we can get the funding to build all these workforce units,” Stotler said.

Pressure to build affordable In Phoenix, AZ

In most large cities, particularly those on the East Coast, it’s common practice to require developers who build market-rate housing to contribute to an affordable housing trust fund, which allows the city to build affordable housing.

Phoenix can’t do this. State law prohibits cities from creating such trust funds, Stotler said.

Instead, the city council can, and has, put pressure on developers to include a percentage of affordable or workforce housing in its projects if they want special perks from the city like a tax break or extra height.

Recently, the developer of an apartment project planned at the Arizona Center agreed to reserve 10 percent of its 354 planned units for workforce housing in exchange for a tax break.

Whether you’re looking to buy a single-family home in Phoenix, AZ, a Historic Phoenix home, or, If the condo lifestyle is something you’re considering, or, if it’s all you can afford now, please give me a call for  free, no obligation consultation. I specialize and LOVE working with first-time homebuyers and am am FIRM believer that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. I’ll take all the time with you that you need!

New Hotel Going up in Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row

Oct. 28, 2018

roosevelt row,phoenix,downtown,real estate,neighborhood,garfield,roosevelt,historic,districtRoosevelt Historic District Benefits from Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix, AZ as it Continues to Boom

A seven-story Cambria hotel is going up in downtown Phoenix’ Roosevelt Row.

Construction just started on the 127-room hotel scheduled to open next year on the northwest corner of Portland and Third streets, near Margaret T. Hance Park.

Cambria is part of the Choice Hotel chain.

Choice Hotel Senior Vice President Janis Cannon said the company’s hotels are designed to reflect the historic neighborhoods they go up in, and guests can expect “the spirit” of Historic Roosevelt Row in the new hotel.

The Cambria hotel will have a rooftop pool and bar along with a restaurant and meeting space.

True North Studio LLC is developing the hotel with Choice, which paid $1 million for the site in May, according to public real estate records.

“The Roosevelt Row Arts District, one of the top arts districts in the nation, is a true jewel of Phoenix,” said Jonathon Vento, principal developer with True North.

In 2016, the boutique hotel FOUND:RE opened up at Central Avenue and Portland in Roosevelt Row. It replaced an older hotel that had closed.

Whether you’re looking to buy a single-family home in Phoenix, AZ, a Historic Phoenix home, or, If the condo lifestyle is something you’re considering, or, if it’s all you can afford now, please give me a call for  free, no obligation consultation. I specialize and LOVE working with first-time homebuyers and am am FIRM believer that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. I’ll take all the time with you that you need!

TAPESTRY ON CENTRAL LUXURY CONDO FOR RENT – MIDTOWN PHOENIX

FOR RENT AT TAPESTRY ON CENTRAL IN DOWNTOWN/MIDTOWN PHOENIX- Only $1,350/mo. 16 W Encanto Blvd., Unit 407 Phoenix, AZ 85003

rent,tapestry,condo,central,ave,poolside,downtown,midtown,luxury,condominium,neighborhood,area,realtorCheck out this FANTASTIC & immaculate POOLSIDE LUXURY condo OPEN FLOORPLAN with the balcony overlooking the pool in a MIDTOWNDowntown Central Phoenix location that just can’t be beat! Literally just STEPS away from the Encanto Light Rail stop, and, borders the Willo Historic District, this pristine condo is a perfect place to call home. Water, sewer & trash included in rent along with INCREDIBLE amenities this complex at Tapestry on Central has to offer: Resort-like heated lap pool & jacuzzi, Fitness Center, Dry Sauna, huge clubhouse w/full kitchen, exterior gas grills/BBQ area, private movie theater room, underground, secure, gated parking garage & perfectly manicured grounds. Walk or Light Rail to fabulous restaurants, Phoenix Art Museum, Heard Museum, US Airways, Chase Ballpark, Symphony Hall, Herberger, Orpheum Theater & more!

VERY Large Master Bedroom with His & Hers closets leads to both the living room, the bathroom AND the living room AND your private Balcony! Full Master Bathroom with Separate Tower & Tub PLUS Walk-In Shower AND Dual Sinks. The kitchen has gorgeous granite countertops, Dishwasher, Disposal, GAS OVEN & Built-In Microwave & Fridge. Washer & Dryer INSIDE Unit with added laundry cabinets!. Front Entry Closet & pantry also gives plenty of room for your coats & food! Fob entry access to ALL amenities give this luxury condo all you can desire in a luxury condo complex!

Also, search condos for sale at Tapestry on Central:

Arizona set to add 500,000 jobs during next eight years

August 6th, 2018

Arizona is poised to add 1 million new residents between now and 2026 as well as more than 500,000 jobs to continue growing the state’s economy.

Arizona expected to gain 500,000-plus jobs, 1 million residents by 2026. Downtown Phoenix District Booming.

The statistics, from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, paint a picture of a state once waylaid by the Great Recession as it continues to find its economic footing, according to a report by the Arizona Republic.

phoenix,downtown,growth,real,estate,realtor,central,condos,homes,house,buy,area,neighborhood,specialist,agentThose numbers would see the biggest growth in Phoenix and Maricopa County, already the state’s most populous region. The population is expected to grow from about 4.9 million to 5.5 million in the metro area during the next eight years.

The state’s population likely would rise to 8.1 million by 2026.

While those numbers are big, it’s not the kind of growth the state saw during the 1990s. Yet the county’s job growth could top out at 2.1 percent annually during that span.

What it could mean for Maricopa County and Arizona is increased influence on a business scale in the state where things already tip toward Phoenix. Politically, it could mean more clout in Washington for the state as increased representation at least following the 2020 Census.

That kind of political clout would continue to bolster Arizona’s industries that deal with federal contracts, notably the defense and aviation industries that have a large number of companies doing work in the region and state. During the second quarter, companies in the state received $2.26 billion in defense contracts.

Arizona already is a tight labor market, with the unemployment rate at 4.7 percent in June.

Whether you’re looking to buy a single-family home in Phoenix, AZ, a Historic Phoenix home, or, If the condo lifestyle is something you’re considering, or, if it’s all you can afford now, please give me a call for  free, no obligation consultation. I specialize and LOVE working with first-time homebuyers and am am FIRM believer that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. I’ll take all the time with you that you need!  

 

Downtown Phoenix Skyline Changing Thanks to Housing Construction, Jobs

Aug 5, 2018

The downtown Phoenix region is changing rapidly, thanks in large part to thousands of new apartments being built as well as scores of new tech jobs landing in the area.

The downtown area is receiving a boost from 2,000 apartments that have been finished during the past two years and will get another 3,000 during the next few years, according to a story from Azfamily.com.

downtown,phoenix,construction,real, estate,real estate,agent,neighborhood,area,central,condos,homes,house,high riseBuilding high-rise apartments and condos started prior to the Great Recession, with towers such as 44 Monroe on the northeast corner of First Avenue and Monroe Street. But that building came to a halt as the real estate economy cratered.

Two apartment complexes, the Stewart and the Link, both under construction, will bring roughly 569 apartments to downtown within the next two years.

During the past few years, more apartments have come online, and current building is slated to add more than 10,000 apartments during the next year.

The continued rise of Phoenix as a place to live is fueled by an increasing number of technology and other jobs in downtown. The city has more than 300 tech firms within the downtown area which also are surrounded by amazing Historic Districts, compared with 67 in 2012, according to city officials.

If the condo lifestyle is something you’re considering, or, if it’s all you can afford now, please give me a call for  free, no obligation consultation. I specialize and LOVE working with first-time homebuyers and am am FIRM believer that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. I’ll take all the time with you that you need! 

New Metro Phoenix Condo Sales Soar, Will Prices Keep Climbing?

Is the Phoenix Metro Condo Boom Back?

July 31st, 2018

ashland,place,district,regency,house,neighborhood,historic,midtown,phoenix,az,historic,regency,house,district,downtown,agent,real estate,condos,luxury,condos,for sale,neighborhoodA stabilizing housing market and population gains will help Arizona’s economy expand faster than the nation’s again this year, though the gap will narrow, according to a forecast released April, 2018. Condo sales in Phoenix, AZ booming as a result.

These are the key findings:

Another year of solid growth: Arizona’s economy, which expanded 2.6 percent in each of the past two years, is poised to grow 2.7 percent this year, according to the forecast by BMO Capital Markets.

Wages are a big part of it: Personal income in Arizona has historically lagged, but the state seems to be catching up a bit. Wage growth in Arizona, up 7.4 percent over the past four quarters, is running at one of the fastest paces in the nation, according to the report.

historic,real,estate,high rise,luxury,phoenix,agent,regency house,central,ave,phoenix,azThen there’s housing: Two of Arizona’s largest employment sectors, real estate and government, have exerted a drag on the state’s economy. However, heady population gains and a low foreclosure rate bode well for real estate.

The Arizona housing market is still battling the effects of the 2008 housing crisis but could finally be normalizing after a prolonged recovery,” wrote economists Michael Gregory and Priscilla Thiagamoorthy of BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

downtown,phoenix,az,historic,district,high rise,condo,real,estate,agent,luxury,central,avenue,pool,cabanaExpanding population helps: Housing and other sectors of the Arizona economy have been aided by an influx of residents for the state.

“If population continues to grow and labor market conditions tighten, the state may have a greater need for housing supply,” and condos are becoming extremely attractive, according to the report.

Arizona’s population recently passed 7 million, with the state adding about 80,000 more net migrants last year.

Another recent report, from the International Franchise Association, identified Arizona as a top-five state for franchising activity this year, an indication that small businesses could do better  partly due to population growth.

U.S. picture improving: Arizona’s gains come against the backdrop of a strengthening U.S. economy.

The nation’s economy grew 1.5 percent and 2.3 percent in 2016 and 2017, respectively. BMO expects that will improve to 2.6 percent this year.

“The dominant (national) theme is improving manufacturing prospects prodded by increasing business investment stoked, generally, by late-cycle capacity constraints and tax cuts,” wrote Gregory and Thiagamoorthy. “Factories are also benefiting from expanding exports, reflecting stronger global growth and a weaker U.S. dollar.”

If the condo lifestyle is something you’re considering, or, if it’s all you can afford now, please give me a call for  free, no obligation consultation. I specialize and LOVE working with first-time homebuyers and am am FIRM believer that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION. I’ll take all the time with you that you need! 

Newly Discovered 1952 Haver House Hits Market in Phoenix

Newly Discovered Historic Phoenix Haver House Hits Market for $450,000, Already Under Contract

July 20, 2018

ralph haver,home,phoenix,historic,haver home,real,estate,agent,historicphoenix,central phoenix,agent,biltmore,haverMid-Century Modern home designed by the noted architect Ralph Haver just landed on the market in central Phoenix for $450,000.

The fully remodeled home was confirmed as a Haver this year.

The sprawling desert metro was Haver’s playground from the 1940s into the ’80s. Over the decades, entire “Haverhoods” in Phoenix, as well as commercial buildings, were designed and built with his signature aesthetic: an open floor plan, exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, and a marriage of indoor spaces and the outdoors.

This home is in Beverly Park, a neighborhood that has long been recognized as a Haverhood.

Along with the home’s prestigious pedigree, it has also been completely remodeled, including the addition of a 436-square-foot owner’s suite in 2016.

It has a total of four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and 1,600 square feet, and all the infrastructure has been updated, including plumbing and electrical. The interiors include newly remodeled bathrooms and kitchen and a distinctly modern minimalist approach, in keeping with the spirit of the home’s design. All the exposed block walls have been coated in Haver masonry wash.

The home is situated only minutes from some of the area’s hippest bars, restaurants, and local attractions, including another Mid-Century Modern architectural gem, the Arizona Biltmore, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in collaboration with his student Albert Chase McArthur.

5540 N 19TH Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016

Subdivision: Beverly Park
4 Beds, 3 Baths

Square Feet: 1,668
Year Built: 1952
No pool
7,087 sq ft
Aprrox Lot Size Range: 1-7,500

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Central or Downtown Phoenix, or just have some questions about anything at all in or about any one of the historic districts in Phoenix, I’d be very happy to help you! Just call or email me anytime. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION!

OPEN HOUSE AT REGENCY ON CENTRAL IN DOWNTOWN PHOENIX UNIT 2001

This Saturday, from 1pm-3pm, Laura Boyajian, Listing Agent and REALTOR at Wise Choice Properties for Unit 2001, is holding another open house for residents and the general public at the Regency House, also known as Regency on Central. This newly designated historic high-rise sits in Ashland Place Historic District and is just flat out stunning!

Come to 2323 N Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004 In Midtown Phoenix and say HELLO! MLS # 5782288

historic,neighborhood,agent,real,estate,regency house,central,phoenix,high rise,azThe first one was a huge success and SO much fun! Many of you came & met for the first time, and others who knew each other hung out, drank wine together and chatted like a fun party!

Come check out the MARVELOUS views of this 20th floor unit from one of the TWO balconies, and, check out the amazing, timeless, stylish and highest-of-end remodel possible!

great room,living,regency house,central,district,phoenix,az,agent,real,estate,downtownThe views from this unit in the sky are absolutely incredible and we hope you’ll join us for some wine & Hors d’oeuvres. For more information, feel free to call Laura Boyajian anytime at 602.400.0008. We look forward to meeting you!

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Central or Downtown Phoenix, or just have some questions about anything at all in or about any one of the historic districts in Phoenix, I’d be very happy to help you! Just call or email me anytime. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION!

Renovated Burton Barr library set to reopen after flood damage

The city’s main library was devastated by a flood last monsoon. The $10 million renovation includes a larger children’s area and more community space in the Downtown & Central Phoenix, AZ area

phoenix,burton barr,library,real,estate,historic,books,agent,central,neighborhd

Workers put the final touches at the Burton Barr Central Library, which will be open to the public on Saturday after a year-long renovation sparked by a catastrophic failure in the building’s sprinkler system that flooded much of the building.

But don’t worry, many of visitors’ favorite aspects of the library are the same. 

This week, the sounds of vacuums and power tools echoed throughout the branch. Librarians stacked books while IT professionals installed computers. 

“This is a beloved resource in Phoenix,” Phoenix Public Library Community Relations Manager Lee Franklin told The Arizona Republic. 

The storm

In July 2017, a windstorm caused the library’s roof to shake and release dust. The building’s smoke-detection system confused it for smoke and caused the fire-sprinkler system to be filled with water. 

The sprinkler heads did not activate but water came out of the holes, causing damage to all five of the building’s floors and part of the book collection. No one was in the library during the flooding. 

During the renovations, the fire suppression system and roof were replaced. 

More space, accommodations 

When walking into the renovated library, people will notice many of the same features and services. 

“We are ready to be back in business and offer a significant increase in service,” Franklin said. 

Franklin said the staff understands the community’s love of the former library and didn’t want renovations to change it drastically. But there will be some new things.

Throughout the library, visitors will find more computers and convenience outlets near desk areas. The library replaced flooring and tabletops. 

The biggest changes were made to the children’s section, College Depot and MACH areas. 

The children’s space, on the first floor, is larger: a bigger story-time area, bigger collection and an upgraded First Five Years area.

Franklin said before the storm, the library had been planning to update the College Depot on the second floor. 

Now, the space has a computer lab that can hold 66 people and a large meeting room. 

“We are now able to offer more sessions and accommodate more people,” Franklin said.

The area can host visits from experts, GED classes, workshops and summer camps. 

On the fourth floor, the MACH area was significantly damaged by water. The area, also known as the space for makers-artists-crafters-hackers, caters to people who want to learn more about STEM. 

The area now has two computer labs and a designated 3D-printer room. 

An additional service at the location will be the seed library. Franklin said Burton Barr librarians realized the program was successful at other locations and wanted to bring it downtown

Phoenix library flood’s damage tally: 6,000 books

The library’s fifth floor

The pipe burst above the reference section on the fifth floor. 

Franklin said when replacing the section, staff researched which resources were used the most. 

Some resources were not able to be replaced due to being out of publication. Therefore, computers were added to the area so visitors can search digital versions. 

Franklin said the library staff like to call the floor “the great reading room.” 

Also, the room’s metal pillars offer visitors the opportunity to see how the building’s architecture interacts with sunlight. 

The pillars point to skylights in the ceiling, which highlight the sun’s ascent.

Franklin said the library will honor the summer solstice on June 21 because the midday effect of the pillars is most pronounced on that day.  

Rare books and art

Franklin said many people in the community were concerned about the rare books in the library. None of the books or the Washington handpress were harmed, she said. 

The room’s floor was replaced with more durable material and the tables can now be moved around.

During the first days of accessing the damage, crews saved art work from the property. 

Burton Barr is home to more than 30 art pieces on permanent display and a gallery space. The gallery will continue its exhibit schedule with the reopening. 

Franklin said art pieces were shown at City Hall during the renovations.

Reopening details

The library will open at 9 a.m. Saturday. 

The day’s activities include story times, a fairy-tale princess visit, activity stations and a magician in the Children’s Place from 9 a.m. to noon.

Visitors can visit the rare books room from noon to 3 p.m. and print a keepsake on the century-old Washington handpress, or spend the afternoon learning about coding or how to build a droid. 

Metro Phoenix Home Prices Rising Fastest in Affordable Neighborhoods

If you’re one the fence about buying a home in Phoenix, it’s time to get off. It’s been a long, hard road to recovery for metro Phoenix’s boom-and-bust-battered housing market, but it’s back, and then some.

Real Estate,Sold,Laura B,Historic,Phoenix,Homes,Real Estate,neighborhood,districtsBut some Valley neighborhoods are there, back to 2006 price levels, and higher and other neighborhoods are very close. 

As expected, millennial first-time homebuyers are propelling the recovery. 

Metro Phoenix home prices are rising the fastest in many of its most affordable, centrally located neighborhoods, from downtown Phoenix to central Mesa, where young buyers want to live and can afford houses.

2017 was a good year for the housing recovery in the Phoenix area. Almost one-third of the Valley’s ZIP codes posted double-digit-percentage increases in prices last year, according to The Arizona Republic/azcentral Street Scout Home Values report.

Street Scout is azcentral’s neighborhood and housing site that provides property valuations, home sales data, real estate news and listings.

Street Scout exists to make our community stronger, more informed and more connected. We’re a news organization with deep roots here, but we’re also a modern media company that’s pushing the boundaries of what we think about when we say “content.” Stunning real estate photography, comprehensive neighborhood guides, accurate, timely data and expert analysis provide you with what you need to find the best place to call home. 

But there is concern buyer demand for affordable homes is beginning to outpace the supply. And there’s always worry in Arizona about the possibility of another housing bust when prices climb for a few years. 

Phoenix, AZ Recession Rebound

In nearly 30 Phoenix-area neighborhoods, prices have rebounded to 2006 levels or even higher, data from The Information Market shows.

Most of those areas still have median home prices below $300,000.

“Last year was a strong one for the Valley’s housing market, particularly the more affordable neighborhoods closer in,” said Tina Tamboer, senior housing analyst with the Cromford Report. “Only 2004, ’05 and 2011 were better years for home sales, and those weren’t normal years.”

The housing boom inflated home prices and sales between 2004 and 2006, and then investors drove up sales as foreclosures climbed and prices plummeted from 2010 to 2012. 

Home prices have doubled in many Phoenix-area neighborhoods since the bottom of the market. Besides the 30 ZIP codes where home prices have bounced back from the crash, values in another 40 neighborhoods are within 10 percent of recovering.

Fastest-growing home prices In the Phoenix Metro Area

Aysia Williams and Benjamin Hughes rented in downtown Phoenix’s historic Woodland historic district for about a year before deciding to buy their first home.

“We fell in love with the area, but saw prices and rents climbing fast,” Williams said. “We knew we wanted to buy, but there was a lot of competition for the houses we liked.”

Woodland is part of the 85007 ZIP code,one of central Phoenix’s more affordable neighborhoods. The area, which has also attracted many investors, saw its overall median home price climb 10 percent to more than $192,000 in 2017. Sales in the area jumped nearly 20 percent last year.

Home prices in their neighborhood on the western side of downtown have rebounded from the crash and are almost 2 percent higher than they were in 2006.

Aysia and Benjamin were so lucky and bought from their wonderful neighbor, who didn’t want to sell to an investor.

The couple’s house, for which they paid less than $250,000 a few months ago, wasn’t even listed for sale.

People talk about the gentrification of central Phoenix pricing too many first-time buyers out. But more high-end home sales in the area help other more affordable areas like Woodland and Coronado Historic District improve, too.

Buying a house in the hot 85007 neighborhood of Phoenix included graffiti art in the backyard of Ben Hughes and Aysia Williams’s home.

‘First-time homebuyer market is exploding in Phoenix, AZ’

Stephanie Silva and Billy Horner moved to Chandler, AZ, from Chicago for the warmth last March.

“We wanted to rent first to see if we liked the area and a ‘shovel-free life,’ ” said Silva, who works in Tempe. Horner works in downtown Chandler.

The couple recently bought a home for under $275,000 in the central Mesa, AZ ZIP 85210, almost halfway between their jobs. Prices in the still-affordable neighborhood climbed 9 percent, and sales rose 38 percent last year. 

Home values just rebounded back to 2006 levels in their neighborhood, where the median price is about $215,000. 

“We are on a quiet, cozy block in a home with a pool and a yard,” Silva said. “So far, it is everything these Midwest transplants could ask for.”

The couple’s real-estate agents said if more people don’t decide to sell in the popular, affordable neighborhoods closer in, then it will soon get even tougher for first-time buyers.

The first-time homebuyer market is exploding. So many people are done with renting and dealing with landlords,” Matthew Coates said. “But we are seeing a deficit of homes available.”

The number of Valley homes for sale priced under $350,000 is down almost 20 percent from last year, according to the Cromford Report.

Some potential buyers are giving up

Nils and Heather Hofmann began looking for a home midway between their jobs in Deer Valley and Chandler more than a year ago. Their budget was $300,000.

The couple, who was renting in north-central Phoenix, put their home search on hold last fall after seeing dozens of houses. The ones they liked usually sold before they could get an offer in.

“I think we must have seen more than 80 houses,” Heather Hofmann said. “We wanted to buy where we were renting, but prices were too high.”

The couple decided to stop looking for a while late last summer because it became too frustrating. But then they found out Heather was pregnant, resumed their search and upped their price to $400,000.

The Hofmanns bought a home last month in north Phoenix’s Desert Ridge neighborhood, close to several freeways for their commute.

The median home price in the Desert Ridge area is about $485,000, up 5 percent from 2016.”

Looking farther outside of Phoenix Proper for Real Estate to Buy

The metro Phoenix suburbs farthest out were hardest hit by the crash and have been the slowest to recover. 

But both sales and prices are again climbing in those areas, including the West Valley suburbs of Goodyear, Surprise and Buckeye and southeast Valley areas of Queen Creek and Maricopa.

The median home price in the Buckeye ZIP code 85326 is up almost 10 percent from last year to $192,000. But the area’s home values are still about 19 percent off the 2006 peak.

Will 2018 be the year for Phoenix?

Metro Phoenix home prices continue to climb in most neighborhoods.

The median Valley home price is now about $253,000, up from $235,000 a year ago.

Some homeowners and national market watchers see price increases in the Valley and are concerned about another bubble.

“The housing market is very solid now. But there’s nothing that shows we are heading for another crash.

Metro Phoenix’s December 2017 median price of $250,000 is still below the high of $260,000 from 2006.

Housing market watchers say 2018 could be better than 2017 for prices and sales.

Whether this is the year the area’s median market reaches that 2006 level depends on whether first-time buyers can find homes they can afford.

“Either low inventory numbers for homes for sale will restrict sales because buyers can’t find houses in their price range or Millennials, the driving force behind our market, will be able to and decide to buy,” said Tom Ruff, housing analyst with The Information Market, owned by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

“That, coupled with an improving economy, will lead to increased sales in 2018,” he said.

Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Central or Downtown Phoenix, or just have some questions about anything at all in or about any one of the historic districts in Phoenix, I’d be very happy to help you! Just call or email me anytime.