Source: Sahuarita Sun: “Rancho Sahuarita sees huge demand for new homes”

Rancho Sahuarita was recently featured in the following article in the Sahuarita Sun, on February 16th, 2021. It was written by Reporter, Jamie Verwys. 

“Rancho Sahuarita has a lot to celebrate for its 20th anniversary this year as new home sales hit reach heights not seen since the recession.

With interest rates at a low, millennials stepping into the market and a new sense of what home means, Rancho’s Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Sharpe sees the trend only continuing.

“We’re really just beginning and we see builders continuing to expand,” he said. “It is an exciting time to buy. We are still in a very supply-constrained environment, but I don’t think we’re in a place of a bubble. There’s a lot of excitement out there with people wanting to buy new homes.”

Sharpe pointed to the Entrada Del Rio neighborhood north of Sahuarita Road as an area that really brought them out after the recession. There are four builders there: KB Home, Richmond American Homes, Lennar and Meritage Homes. Sharpe said they have been selling a home a day.

“We really haven’t seen that since 2008/2009,” he said. “In 2020, we had 172 net sales. That’s the highest it’s been since 2009.”

Sharpe said as they were coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, they had prepared for another recession and a tough few years, but there has instead been an increased demand for new homes in Sahuarita and the rest of southern Arizona.

“What happened is people really realized that home matters and community matters,” he said. “Now, as people are spending more time at home, they are recognizing they needed these spaces with a place to dine and play and talk and learn. Home mattered in a different way.”

Along with people spending more time at home, Arizona offers attractive affordability to both those in-state and out.

“We are also seeing an immigration from the coast, California, Oregon, Washington, as well as the Northeast, coming to Arizona looking for that more affordable experience,” he said. “Out-of-state buyers see they can get so much more for their money. That will set Rancho and other parts of southern Arizona apart as so many other cities and states are getting more expensive.”

Prices between the different builders represented in Rancho Sahuarita differ, but Sharpe said new homes on average range from $200,000 to $350,000. The price has been attracting millennials who are first-time homeowners as well.

“Over the last decade, millennials have been holding back and they’re waiting to pay off debt, getting married a little later, and what we’re seeing now is the first wave of millennials stepping into the marketplace,” he said. “Ultimately, we’re seeing an influx of the first generation of millennials that we anticipate will continue on for the next three to five years if you look at demographic trends.”

Sharpe said resales are also selling at a healthy rate.

“I believe there’s less than a month’s supply of resales, and then additionally, resale prices continue to show strength,” he said. “So you’re seeing very much a seller’s market with high demand for homes in general.”

Last year, they sold 479 resales.

Competition is high

The competition is high for resales in general. Realtor Mari Bon with HomeSmart Pros said the inventory available in Sahuarita or bigger cities like Tucson or Phoenix isn’t enough to meet the high demand.

“I do talk to buyers and express that – when they have found a property they want – if they wait too long, it might not be there. And by the time they find another property they want, it might be a higher cost,” she said. “We do have several buyers who will be submitting offers, so we go into a bidding war as far as buyers trying to outbid each other.”

Currently, HomeSmart Pros has 11 homes in its inventory for resales in the 85629 zip code, including some in Rancho Sahuarita.

Bon said she had seen a high demand for homes in the range of $190,000 to $250,000 right now.

She said her best advice to those looking to buy is to make sure their financing is in place before they start shopping.

“Make sure you’ve taken care of the financing side and make an offer,” she said. “Some buyers start the opposite way of looking without financing. Then we are waiting for them to submit pre-qualifications, which takes time. It’s a competitive market, and as a selling agent, we scrutinize those pre-quals to make sure every document has been submitted and the buyer is ready to pull the trigger.”

With interest rates low, Bon has seen a trend of mature buyers moving from a smaller home to a larger one, as well as younger people opting to buy over renting.

“I don’t represent rentals, but I hear from buyers that it doesn’t make any sense for them to go rent a property when the cost is a lot more to rent than to buy because interest rates are so low.”

Still growing

Rancho Sahuarita is still growing. Sharpe said they are beginning construction in an area south of Entrada Del Rio.

“Right now, not including Entrada Del Rio, we have roughly 500 lots in escrow with homebuilders,” he said. “Now we are looking for the next 1,000 lots to see what we can do to get them in builders’ hands.”

He sees Rancho Sahuarita continuing to offer what many homebuyers are looking for in 2021 and beyond.

“What people are wanting is that open space, that safety, those parks,” Sharpe said. “And as we talk to new buyers, the feel we get is that they wanted space for their kids to play, wanted safety in their neighborhood, wanted good schools. We believe that over the next to three to five years, this will continue to be the case.””