The Northwest Valley has a lot going for it. We enjoy easy access to the rest of the Valley, sports venues, parks, affordable living, great views, and more.
It's also home to some of the Valley's best neighborhoods.
But have you ever wondered why one neighborhood thrives while another grinds along? Why one community appreciates while another neighborhood’s home values remain flat? It’s time you thought about how your neighborhood impacts and defines your home value.
Unfortunately, up till now if you tried to find data comparing home appreciation by neighborhood, you’d be out of luck. We know – we looked, and here at the Laughton Team we sell more Northwest Valley homes than anyone else.
It’s something we felt so passionate about that we commissioned one of Arizona’s best real estate data specialists to find the answer: how much does neighborhood affect home value?
We’re glad we did the research. Turns out, the simple answer to the question above is A LOT.
For example, of the 11 communities we studied, one has remained completely flat for the last three years, while another appreciated by nearly 13% during the same time period. Want to know which is which? Read on!
This is the nuts and bolts part about how we came to the conclusions we did. If you want to skip it and go right to the results, go ahead! But if you’re a left-brain person, here are some details to chew on.
First step- which neighborhoods would we select for comparison? While we would have liked to select every neighborhood in the area, we needed communities with a lot of transactions so there was actual, reliable data for appreciation comparisons. Brand new communities, smaller neighborhoods, or neighborhoods with low levels of transactions were excluded because they simply didn’t provide enough raw data for a proper comparison.
After considering numerous potential candidates, here are the Northwest Valley neighborhoods that made the most sense for our comparison:
We also chose to measure and define “appreciation” beginning with data from 2011, when the real estate market in the entire Phoenix metro area bottomed out. All our data was obtained from public records, not the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), as they would have excluded FSBO’s (for sale by owner) and other non-MLS sales.
Also, as mentioned above, we wanted the best research for our conclusions. The data that is the foundation of this report was compiled by real estate guru Mike Orr, founder of the Cromford Report and former Director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at ASU.
Before we dive into the neighborhood comparison, let’s take a quick look at an aggregate of all of our selected communities:
As the graph above clearly shows, overall appreciation among all 11 Northwest Valley neighborhoods has been quite healthy over the last five years, rising every single year since 2011. Remarkably, average price per square foot increased by an impressive 52.2% over the five-year reporting period, with 15% appreciation in 2013-2014 alone.
But we’re really more interested in how each neighborhood did compared to their competitors.
As you can see, we don’t consider the relative price PSF (per sq. ft.) of each community. We’re interested primarily in percentage appreciation of these communities relative to one another. As the chart shows, and as you might expect, appreciation rates among the 11 neighborhoods varies noticeably. And while there isn’t a single reason why one neighborhood appreciates faster than another, we do have some insights into why certain communities are out-performing others.
Our thoughts on this subject are based on daily feedback from buyers, sellers, other real estate professionals, and our own experience in the area.
These two communities are adjacent to one another. They have the lowest median prices of all the neighborhoods in the study. Clearly, this is the reason for the large increase in price per square foot, as demand for this price point is quite high. The location is less desirable than some of the competing neighborhoods, as both Crossriver and Dos Rios are east of the 303 on Happy Valley Road.
The good news is that retail is catching up and the intersection of Lake Pleasant Parkway and Happy Valley is now called The Four Corners. It even has a new Fry’s Marketplace that is unlike any supermarket we’ve seen...it even has a bar with beers on tap!
Price and value are the biggest reasons why the average home in Dos Rios has nearly doubled in value in the last five years, and why Crossriver has increased by an impressive 62% in those same five years.
Located near 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road, Fletcher Heights and Fletcher Farms are two desirable communities comprising around 2,000 single-family detached homes. Begun in the 1990’s as a master-planned community by Fulton Homes, the neighborhoods feature walking and biking trails as well as a 7.5-acre public park featuring picnic ramadas, BBQ grills, lighted tennis courts, and playgrounds.
Of all the competing neighborhoods, Fletcher’s location is closest to the 101, and it boasts some excellent nearby schools including Great Hearts, Legacy, Liberty High School, and Sunrise Mountain High School.
Because these two neighborhoods started at a higher price point than Crossriver or Dos Rios, they have enjoyed less overall appreciation in the last five years. Fletcher Farms tracked at a 50% overall increase during the five-year study period, while the average home in Fletcher Heights saw 57% appreciation during the same timeframe.
Westwing Mountain is a desirable North Peoria neighborhood set in the saddle of the surrounding Peoria West Wing Mountain Preserve. Located just north of Happy Valley Road on 83rd Avenue, Westwing is a large 1,700-home master-planned community with a variety of housing types, ranging from entry-level homes to gated communities with higher-end housing. Beautiful Westwing Park, maintained by the City of Peoria, features picnic ramadas, green belts, and lovely hiking trails. Westwing Mountain itself offers a skate park, lighted tennis courts, and basketball courts.
Westwing is also conveniently close to the “Four Corners” area at Happy Valley Road and Lake Pleasant Parkway. This commercial and retail shopping district boasts grocery and home improvement stores, shops, and restaurants such as Lakeside Bar & Grill, Squid Ink, and The Haymaker.
Perhaps because of its large size, Westwing has only seen 45% overall average appreciation over the five years we studied, with the biggest one-year jump of 15% in 2012-2013.
Vistancia is a popular master-planned community with three distinct neighborhoods: THE VILLAGES offers a wide range of homes in a family-friendly setting. BLACKSTONE is a private gated enclave offering a country club lifestyle. TRILOGY caters to the active adult market with its array of resort-at-home sporting and social amenities. We believe the future is bright for Vistancia. It’s nestled in a beautiful Sonoran Desert setting amidst stunning mountain views, and it has 3,450 acres of future growth ahead of it.
While appreciation at TRILOGY has slowed down over the last three years, the numbers coming out of BLACKSTONE and THE VILLAGES are most impressive: 58.2% and 49.8% respectively over the five-year study period. An explanation for TRILOGY’s sluggish appreciation since 2014 is probably the fact that their sales volume is quite high, with 360 sales in 2015 and 435 sales in 2016. It’s harder to achieve high appreciation and still maintain such a high sales volume for a single community.
Stetson Valley and Stetson Hills are both located just west of the major intersection of Happy Valley Road and the I-17. Here’s where you’ll find The Shops at Norterra, featuring a terrific variety of restaurants, retail stores, movie theatres, and other amenities. While both communities are surrounded by cascading foothills, STETSON HILLS is the older of the two neighborhoods, established in 1999. STETSON HILLS is comprised of over 900 homes with a diversity of styles and sizes. It also boasts 95 acres of dedicated parks, washes, and common areas. STETSON VALLEY is a 2,000-home community interlaced with lush greenbelts, winding walkways, and 15 parks.
STETSON VALLEY outsells STETSON HILLS by a factor of 2-to-1 because of price. But STETSON HILLS has lead the appreciation “battle” with nearly 50% appreciation in the last five years to STETSON VALLEY’S 38.3% appreciation over the same period.
Sonoran Mountain Ranch began in 2004 as a well-conceived master-planned community featuring a variety of homebuilders, home sizes, styles, and price points. With over 1,500 homes and homesites, Sonoran Mountain Ranch enjoys breathtaking desert views and easy access to biking and hiking trails. It is considered a desirable place to live by its residents. With 142 sales in 2016, it has performed well compared to most of its competitors. Appreciation has been a healthy 54.8% over the five-year study period, which puts this Peoria neighborhood in 6th place in the appreciation battle.
Dove Valley Ranch is an established Peoria neighborhood that is intersected by West Lake Pleasant Parkway and conveniently situated between four of metro Phoenix’s major highways: the 101, 303, I-17, and I-60.
The community is made up of 254 homesites, the majority built between 1999 and 2002. The homes tend to be smaller in size with smaller lots than competing neighborhoods. 53% of the homes include a pool. All homes in the community are within the highly desirable Peoria School District.
Pleasant Valley is a gated community located between Lake Pleasant Parkway and North 96th Avenue in Peoria. The neighborhood is comprised of 200 homesites with a mix of single-level and two-story detached homes. This is a quiet subdivision with larger homes and larger homesites than many of its competitors. The location is desirable because Pleasant Valley is located just across the street from Cibola Vista Resort and a mile north of the “Four Corners.”
No one can predict the future, but the past, as they say, is a prologue to what happens next. Here’s our interpretation of this valuable data and what happens next in the Northwest Valley housing market:
We hope you found this information both interesting and valuable. At The Laughton Team, we’re using this market intelligence to help both buyers and sellers make the most informed decisions possible. If you have any questions about this report, please let us know by clicking HERE. In addition, if you’d like to receive custom research from The Laughton Team in the future, you can subscribe by clicking HERE.
With warmest regards,
The Laughton Team has helped thousands of families buy and sell their homes since the team was established in 2007. We entered the real estate industry in one of the most depressed markets in history, and we know what it takes to persevere, succeed, and make the real estate experience a joyful one for each of our clients.
We always put our clients first and built our business on referrals from friends, family, and happy clients based on the following principles: