Homebuyers Maximize Buying Power in Fringe Areas of Valley

By Brent Ruffner | Daily Independent

How far away from the metro area are homebuyers willing to go to get a deal on a house?

One Valley expert says homebuyers might have to look at fringe areas or create a larger household to afford elevated home prices these days. Buckeye, Casa Grande and San Tan Valley are all locations where home values are a bit more affordable than others, said Steven Hensley, housing analyst at Zonda.

But if you’re looking to live closer to the Valley’s core, be prepared to shell out a lot more money every month.

That’s because in addition to skyrocketing prices higher mortgage rates also are reducing purchasing power of Valley residents in the market to buy a home, he said.

So what’s the solution?
Hensley suggests larger households in the form of roommates or more people under one roof — such as multigenerational households — may become a “plausible solution” to the problem.

Last week, Freddie Mac reported the average rate on a 30-year mortgage rose to 5.11% from 5% the previous week. Average rates in recent months are growing at the fastest pace since 1994, the Associated Press reported.

Areas in Chandler, Gilbert and downtown Phoenix are on the higher end of the spectrum, Hensley said.

“(There is) certainly a correlation between price and proximity to central Phoenix,” Hensley said.

For instance, a 2,000-square-foot three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Casa Grande is $380,000, based on general averages of transactions that occurred during 2022.

Another more affordable area is Maricopa — where homes go for about $395,000.

The same house in Surprise goes for $100K more — at $480,000, according to the Zonda database. Want to live in Goodyear? A three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is $500,000 there. Buckeye is the cheapest out of the three West Valley cities where you can snag a house for $465,000, according to Zonda data.

About 75% of Arizona households would have hardships attempting to purchase a median-priced home in the state, according to a March report from the National Association of Home Builders.

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Related: More Valley Home Buyers Looking for Multigenerational Living Space