Tucson’s real estate market is not too shabby. That’s saying a lot in a country as big as the US, with plenty of places for people to choose to live.
Back in December 2013, Tucson was ranked by HousingPredictor among the top 10 real estate markets in the US, the strengths of which were expected to hold steady through 2016. Tucson held down the bottom of the list, in the number 10 spot—a feat none too small, as our humble metro area shared space with big cities like Miami, FL (No. 1), San Francisco, CA (No. 2), and Seattle, WA (No. 4).
The rationale for Tucson’s ranking was a strong one, with HousingPredictor writing that Tucson “should be re-energized over the period to reemerge as a growing boomtown in the new decade.” Now as we head into 2016, it’s a great time to reflect on the traits that helped Tucson make it onto that list two years ago—and which will surely help our town hold strong for the next decade.
1. Affordable Property
The median home value in Tucson is around $147,000, whereas the median sale price for a home sits above that at about $160,000. While six digits may seem like a lot for some home buyers, those prices are lower than in most places around the US—or even in the state.
For example, prices are much more luxurious in nearby Vail, with median home values at $259,000. Even up in Phoenix, the median home value is around $183,000, with sales prices just above $196,000 on average.
You get more for your money in Tucson, one of the most affordable larger towns in the state.
2. Values Rising
Home values in Tucson have risen by 1.4 percent over the past year, and are predicted to rise by around 4.1 percent by the end of next year. Compare that with somewhere like Mesa, for example, where values rose by 8.4 percent last year and are expected to go up by another 3.8 percent in the coming year. Or how about Sierra Vista, where values fell by 0.3 percent last year and are not expected to grow in 2016.
Tucson walks the middle line between growth and loss in Arizona’s housing market. In all likelihood, that can ensure stronger overall growth and less decline than in hotter markets where values are more volatile.
3. Spacious Homes
A hot trend in home building in large cities across the country is micro-housing, which often means homes, condos, or apartments in the 200- to the 350-square-foot range. While there is certainly some micro-housing in the greater Tucson area, there are plenty more homes boasting lots of space in which families can spread out.
Two- to three-bedroom, two-bathroom listings throughout the city range from 1,400 to 8,000 square feet in size, with some larger and some smaller. While listings vary in square footage, the number of rooms, and cost, there are enough spacious homes to go around in the area than in many cities throughout the west.
4. Revitalization and Growth
Whether we’re talking about the housing market prophecies from HousingPredictor, Arizona’s overall growth over the past few years, or the success of Tucson’s Downtown Revitalization project, new opportunities abound in the Old Pueblo area. Job growth is up and predicted to take a further upward turn over the coming years.
Local business and nightlife throughout the metropolitan area have taken off over the past five years, with no signs of stopping. Add to the mix a growing public transit system, planned development, and improvements in the pipeline, and you’ve got a corner of the state that is poised for continued revitalization and growth.
5. 350-Days-a-Year Sunshine
As long as there is rain, sleet, and snow, negative temperatures, tornados, hurricanes, and other natural disasters along the coasts and throughout the Midwest, the perpetually sunny skies over the Southwest will always be attractive to people looking to relocate for one reason or another. Families, retirees, and young professionals alike can find their place under the sun in the Tucson metropolitan area.
In a time when housing prices across the country are skyrocketing, Tucson is a comfortable oasis from the high-cost West Coast—and that’s certainly no mirage.