After their kids had graduated from high school, Lisa and Gregg Larson were ready to move from their north Scottsdale house into a smaller home.
The couple began looking a few years ago and put an offer on a downtown Scottsdale condo that fell through. Then last year, they saw the Enclave at the Borgata and bought their 3,000-square-foot loft condo near Lincoln and Scottsdale roads for more than $1.7 million.
“We moved from a 6,000-square-foot home but don’t feel cramped at all,” Lisa Larson said. “It’s like we have a custom home built just for us, surrounded by great places we can walk to.”
“It’s clear people want to live in connected areas,” said Chris Chamberlain, a partner with North American Development Group, which is developing the El Dorado on 1st condos in central Scottsdale and a new condo tower in downtown Phoenix.
Since last year, condo sales throughout the Valley have almost tripled, while prices are up 17 percent, outpacing gains for the housing market as a whole. New-home condo prices are climbing even faster.
Most of the buyers of new metro Phoenix condos are either Millennials or empty nesters like the Larsons.
Both groups want to be closer to restaurants, shops, job and often light rail. And they don’t want the upkeep of a house with a yard, so they can travel and go out more.
Most empty nesters still want a high-end home with top-of-the-line appliances, interior finishes and amenities. And they are willing to pay the price.
“Condos are gaining market share in the Phoenix area, selling in larger numbers and seeing higher prices,” said Mike Orr, real estate analyst with the Cromford Report. “The new attached luxury jewel-boxes (condos) are where prices are really climbing.”