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Snowbirds and West Coasters Are Flocking to Paradise Valley, Arizona, for Space and Privacy

When much of the U.S. is suffering through arctic freezes, the residents of Paradise Valley, Arizona, are donning shorts and hitting the golf courses. 
That’s because they’re among the 13,000 residents of the Sonoran Desert town outside Phoenix, where they enjoy more than 300 days of sunshine and warm temperatures each year. It’s Arizona’s wealthiest municipality, contains about 5,000 houses and every year, the local luxury real estate market seems to break records as newcomers flock there.  
“This is a newer area, so it’s not like you have a lot of 1800s and 1900s homes. This is newness, paired with such good weather and resorts. There’s a huge allure to this area in Arizona. People are flocking in from all over the country to buy homes here,” said Robert Joffe, founder and associate broker of the Joffe Group. 
“It wasn’t long ago, maybe five years ago, that I sold the highest-priced home on the MLS [in Arizona], and it was $12.75 million,” Joffe said. In 2022, a 13,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style house on 4.3 acres sold for $21 million through Walt Danley Christie’s International Real Estate. And last year, a cash sale broke that record when Joan Levison of Realty ONE Group sold a 18,500-square-foot house on 5 acres near Mummy Mountain for $23.5 million.

Boundaries

Paradise Valley covers 15.4 square miles from Scottsdale and Camelback Mountain on the southern border, Piestewa Peak to the west, McCormick Ranch Golf Club to the east and a northern border that runs along East Mountain View Road. 

Price Range ~ A Mediterranean-style residence in Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Although the median sale price hit $2.8 million at the end of last year—an annual increase of more than 14%—listings start around $5 million, according to data on Realtor.com, with plenty of inventory in the $5 million to $20 million asking price range. 
The Clearwater Hills neighborhood claims the most expensive properties. Modern, new construction mansions ranging from 8,000 to 18,000 square feet are priced from $20 million to $30 million. The properties, brokered by Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Arizona Properties, back the Phoenix Mountains Preserve.
The most expensive off-market property Joan Levinson of Realty One Group is marketing comes with a $29.5 million price tag and a primary closet that the owners put $1 million into designing and building.
Currently, the most expensive listing in Paradise Valley is aspirationally priced at $75 million. It’s not built yet, but plans feature creative amenities including an indoor shooting range, a Metaverse room and a snow room as a counterpart to the sauna. 

Housing Stock

Georgian Revival-style mansions and Mediterranean-style houses would win in an architectural popularity contest. For example, a Spanish Colonial-style house at North Casa Blanca Drive spans nearly 13,000 square feet, with a 21-seat movie theater, a modern Poggenpohl kitchen and a tennis court. A seven-car garage rounds out the property’s amenities. The asking price? $15.75 million.
To be sure, modern architecture with boxy looks and glass walls also show up at higher price points. Buyers won’t encounter problems finding new construction, spec homes or vacant lots to build their dream homes. 
Above all, buyers prize location and views, and Levinson’s listing at North Silvercrest Way has both. A clear view of Camelback Mountain presents itself even before entering the house due to front and rear transparent glass walls. Virtually all houses have at least one pool, and this house has both a 75-foot lap pool that’s cantilevered on one side and a crescent infinity pool. 

What Makes It Unique

Paradise Valley is zoned for low density residential. Every lot stretches out to a minimum of one acre, so privacy reigns as one of the area’s best amenities. The only non-residential structures allowed are resorts, schools, medical centers, golf courses and places of worship; thus the chicken must cross the road for luxury retail at Fashion Square in Scottsdale.
Major League Baseball spring training, otherwise known as the Cactus League, happens in 10 stadiums around the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area. The San Francisco Giants practice in Scottsdale, just south of Paradise Valley. All other practice facilities are within an hour drive, allowing baseball fans to watch as many as 15 MLB teams in February and March each year.
Mild weather also draws golfers to play on its picturesque golf courses or catch the Waste Management Phoenix Open, one of the PGA Tour stops.

Luxury Amenities

Expected to open in fall 2024, the Ritz-Carlton Paradise Valley, the Palmeraie has planned residences and a resort with a grand 400-foot pool. Existing five-star resorts include Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain and the Phoenician.
Members of the invitation-only Paradise Valley Country Club can golf on an 18-hole, parkland-style course designed by Lawrence Hughes or play tennis or pickleball. In keeping with tradition, members and guests then dine in either men’s or women’s grills, or the mixed bar and grill. Camelback Golf Club, owned by Marriott, offers two 18-hole courses, Ambiente and Padre, designed by Jason Straka and Arthur Hills, respectively. 

Who Lives There

Most house hunters in Paradise Valley these days come from the West Coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, according to data from Redfin. Chicagoans flock to Paradise Valley to escape tough winters. The bulk of residents tend to be high earners from the professional sports and business worlds who move for “a variety of reasons, one of which is more favorable taxes,” Levinson said. 
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation has promised a $40 billion investment in U.S. chip production by way of its facility in north Phoenix, which is sure to bring in new residents to neighboring communities, including Paradise Valley. Intel commands a large presence in the greater Phoenix area with 13,000 employees.
The majority of homeowners consider Paradise Valley their primary residence.

Notable Residents

Many professional baseball players choose to buy property after being in the area for the Cactus League, including Hall of Famer and former Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson, Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer Michael Phelps also has owned a home there. 
Hollywood A-listers routinely buy and sell Paradise Valley property, too, including Alicia Keys and Frankie Muniz.

Both Joffe, in his 39 years of experience, and Levison, in her 35 years of experience, said that their buyers aren’t as affected by interest rates, since many forgo home mortgages. Up to 90% of Levison’s clients are cash buyers.
“I’m very bullish,” Joffe said. “I anticipate this will be another banner year for real estate sales. We do have somewhat of a lack of inventory. It’s nothing like it was during Covid. We certainly could use more inventory, but the demand is there and I’m anticipating very good things.”
The most market activity happens between January and May, and this year, both associates report a great start to the buying and selling season.
“My biggest problem is lack of good inventory. People who are wealthy don’t have to buy and they don’t have to sell and they are very selective. I could sell twice as many homes if I had better inventory,” Levinson said. “I have about $100 million to $150 million worth of property that’s not sitting in the MLS. I don’t have a crystal ball for tomorrow, but I don’t see our prices going up dramatically. Prices have gone up quite a bit over the last two years. We should be hitting prices typically reserved for California and Florida, but it’ll be gradual.”


Always my Best,


Katie Huffines

Luxury Real Estate Ambassador

Realty ONE Group

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