‘Phenomenal’ pull in Valley toward higher density — but not everyone’s attached

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

Real estate expert Jim Belfiore is seeing more attached residential housing hitting in the market in parts of metro Phoenix — and he expects to see more new townhouses and density-driven housing in the East Valley and more central infill areas.

“We are seeing a lot more of the attached products,” said Belfiore, president of Belfiore Real Estate Consulting.

But for those new townhouses, condos and other attached designs to work, builders will have to make sure their price points and designs match the submarkets where they are landing.

“You have to match up with the demographics. You have to make sure your price points match the demographics in that submarket,” said Belfiore.

He points to areas of central Phoenix where townhouses and new attached housing projects are attracting buyers in the North Central area in the higher-performing Madison School District, but new infill housing south of Camelback Road and the Biltmore area sees less buyer enthusiasm.

“In North Central, you have an entirely different dynamic,” said Belfiore of the restaurants, other amenities and schools that attract buyers.

Belfiore said builders also need to make sure to offer the right size and height of new attached products.  He said three-story townhouses are not translating well in some Phoenix submarkets because they aren’t appealing to older buyers in some instances and in others their price points are too high for younger buyers.

Belfiore said affordability and scarcity of land are driving some of the increase in attached housing and townhouse developments in the East Valley.

Belfiore said the Annecy development in Gilbert near Val Vista Road and the Loop 202 freeway has attached products that are performing well for Maracay Homes and Lennar.

“The sales rates are phenomenal,” Belfiore said.

That development and other East Valley townhouses and condo are attracting buyers based on offering prices below $300,000.

Belfiore said builders and infill developers need to make sure they are gearing new housing projects towards buyers preferring more urban living in a desired part of town or whether they are looking at buying a townhouse or condo because they are less expensive than a single-family home.

“You need to have clear recognition as to whether you’re a lifestyle of price point driven location,” he said.

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