By Elisa Andreis
Voted by USA Today the no.1 best place to live in America, Sedona is a resort town. It has the warmth of a small town and the sophistication of a bigger city (with a 90 minute drive-time proximity to Phoenix/Scottsdale area and to international Sky Harbor airport).
At 1370 m elevation, Sedona sits in the upper margin of the Sonoran Desert. Its massive red rock formations make it a unique setting of spectacular natural beauty. The land is dotted with canyons, creeks, mountains and forests and it is blessed with four mild seasons.
One of the elite Western communities, like Aspen and Santa Fe, it is a rich art center, with its 80 art galleries, its Independent Film Festival, the Jazz on the Rocks festival and over 3 million visitors a year. Sedona was already popular in the forties and fifties as Hollywood used it for many Western movie location shooting. Outdoor enthusiasts find plenty to do: hiking, biking, golfing at the top rated championship courses and at the exclusive Seven Canyons Tom Weiskopf-designed track.
Predictions say that in Sedona vacant land zoned for residential will be sold out in the next 10 years. Its geographical condition makes the case of land scarcity as Sedona sits at the center of a natural amphitheatre surrounded by mountains, an island of private property surrounded by national forest land.
As a result of all this in terms of real estate, Sedona has not been nearly as affected by the market downturn as other major areas of the US, such as California and Florida. There is a case for value in investing in Sedona. How much further does your dollar go?
Here are a few examples to illustrate this:
A 4000 sq ft home in Palm Beach, FL on a lot of 0.5 acres is about $2 million
A 4000 sq ft home in Aspen, CO on a lot of 0.5 acres is about $2 million
A 4000 sq ft home in Laguna Beach, CA on a lot of 0.5 acres is about $2 million
In Sedona, Arizona a 4000 sq ft home goes for about $1 million
This is the best time in the last 25 years to invest in the Southwest of the US.
The current condition of the real estate marketplace is inversely proportionate to the projection of population growth in Arizona in next 20 years. Arizona is predicted to double its population in this time period. In addition the state of Arizona is 83% not privately owned and cannot be. Only 17% can be privately owned which makes the scarcity factor an important one.
Sedona Real Estate Market Today
This is a great time to buy real estate as the prices are the lowest we’ve seen in many years, and the sellers are ready to negotiate. There are truly good deals to be made right now. Prices have softened considerably in the last 6/7 months. Homes priced in the million dollar range in June of 08 are now selling in the high 700s. Homes in the 1.2/1.3 mil are selling at around 1 mil. We are basically at 2004 prices now. There are some excellent foreclosures now around 1 million that used to be 1.8 million just a few months ago.
Since the peak of the market in 2005 our home prices went down a good 45%. The prices you see today and the subsequent 4% average trading range are after multiple price reductions of the last months/year. Right now there are exceptional deals to be made, and this is why everyone is in a frenzy to buy now and not wait for the spring time. We haven’t had prices this low in many years.
In terms of distressed properties such as foreclosures and short sales, consider that in Sedona we have just under 400 homes for sale (in all price ranges), of these only 60 are foreclosure and short sales (half/half). So distressed properties count for about 15% of our market. Of all the distressed homes about 65% of them are under 400k, the current strongest driving price segment in our market.
by Elisa Andreis