Home construction in the Valley at highest levels in a decade

The Valley's housing market is booming and prices are about to increase.

PHOENIX - The Valley's building boom is on.

All across the Phoenix area, more homes are under construction now than at anytime in the last 10 years, even before the housing bust and the Great Recession.

"Oh it's going really well," said Jim Belfiore, who owns Belfiore Real Estate Consulting. "We're seeing growth, rapid growth, as we have for the past couple of years."

Belfiore said sales of new homes increased 22 percent from April to May.

"Demand is growing rapidly at this time and we expect that to continue," Belfiore said. "It's putting a lot of pressure on construction trades."

And construction workers. The Valley lost 200,000 of them during the recession. Many workers went to other states and back to Mexico. And they've been reluctant to return. 

Add that to about a 22 percent tariff on Canadian lumber, and the cost it takes to build new homes has jumped 25 to 35 percent this year. So far, that cost hasn't been passed on to the buyer. But it will soon. 

That's why newer, re-sale homes are in demand, especially in parts of Peoria.

A four bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home that realtor Holly Henbest was recently showing has upgrades she said are a draw to resale homes. Those upgrades include granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Plus, it's in a neighborhood with great views and quiet streets, where 40 homes have sold in the last three months, leaving the supply and demand high.

"That relapse feeling from the crash several years ago, people are almost like PTSD about it," Henbest said. "They think it's coming back. But infrastructure is strong and all indicators are positive."

"It's not just homes that rapidly selling all across the Valley, condominiums are too, especially downtown. In fact, in just the last year, condo sales have tripled and the prices have jumped almost 20 percent.

This includes luxury condos and Portland on the Park. It was finished in January with 149 units, selling for a quarter million dollars to one and a quarter. To date, just 30 are still for sale.

"I will tell you, we were surprised they sold as quickly as they did right out of the bat," said Tim Sprague with Habitat Metro.

He credits the downtown development for that.  And everyone from millennials to baby boomers are looking for an easier lifestyle and a turn-key home.

And as for another housing bust, "I think it could down the road. I think it's highly unlikely it will in the near future," said Belfiore.

That means the building and buying will continue all across the Valley.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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