Phoenix-Scottsdale emerges as a popular destination for residents and employers alike.
The Phoenix-Scottsdale area continues to be an extremely attractive market for a range of seasonal and full-time buyers, including Empty Nesters and senior purchasers who value a “lock and leave” lifestyle, a reputable healthcare system and cultural activities. With nearly 20 condominium projects under construction, the valley is currently experiencing a period of robust development activity intended to capture a piece of the perceived demand. The building community has been encouraged by strong job growth primarily in the tech sector, a post-recession flourishing of art, restaurants and transit and an influx of Empty Nesters looking to downsize without compromising on luxury. When compared to other top West Coast markets, the Phoenix-Scottsdale market is in an earlier inning of the real estate cycle, and strong market fundamentals paint the picture for a bright future ahead. There are a handful of significant trends at play, all of which are transforming this area into a walkable, urban, community-oriented space.
Foodies Take Notice
Downtown Phoenix has quickly become a burgeoning culinary hotspot known for its eclectic new restaurants that emphasize hyper-locally sourced and organic ingredients. Locations like the Seventh Street Corridor and the Central Corridor have sparked interest among Millennials and foodies of all ages, drawing other creative chefs to test out their concept in the flourishing Phoenix market.
A Real Renaissance
Downtown Phoenix is booming thanks to a new dining scene, increased transit options and the movement toward a walkable urban core. There is a whole experiential movement in the restaurant and bar scene. The idea of incorporating culinary concepts, along with shops and boutiques, into mixed-used developments has become extremely popular with developers. A new light rail also provides convenient access from downtown to the state’s two major college campuses — Arizona State University and University of Arizona — and new projects are hoping to entice college students with their proximity to the transit line. New developments coming online tend to boast a number of community-oriented features aimed at attracting the range of buyers looking at this market. From spacious common areas and greenspace to co-working spaces and oversized pool and fitness centers, the trend toward loading up on amenities is not slowing down.
With amenity spaces taking center stage, developers are often forced to shrink the footprint of the residences themselves, a trend that buyers have welcomed as a small compromise to their lifestyle. The influx of Baby Boomers coming down from wealthy parts of North Scottsdale and the desert and golf communities north of Phoenix are making a major lifestyle adjustment, often downsizing from sprawling single-family homes and into high-end, turnkey residences near restaurants and shopping. Then you have first-time buyers who are just willing to sacrifice interior square footage if they can reside in a community that offers robust amenities and access to the center of the city. As the economy and housing prices continue their upward trajectory, affluent parents are realizing the tremendous investment opportunity and are either supplying the bulk of the down payment or buying condos outright for their adult or college aged children. Phoenix-Scottsdale will remain a top market for buyers as the result of a post-recession boom and tremendous job growth for years to come. It will be interesting to see if the renaissance happening in the downtown area will lead to a condo boom.