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Arizona Million Dollar Exclusive Homes For Sale

Tucson, Arizona Experiences Explosive Sales and Builder Growth in

Beautiful Multi-Million Dollars Fine Home Mansions

It wasn't too long ago, say less than ten years ago, when there was a map published in the local paper pointing out all "ten" houses worth a million dollars and more. In contrast, the U.S. Census Bureau published in 2004 that Pima County (Tucson, Arizona) had 1,500 homes worth one million dollars or more.

However, a million dollars won't buy you a mansion in Tucson anymore. It will get you a nice family home. In the past few years, the threshold for an exclusive dwelling has jumped from one million to two million dollars. In 2002, the most expensive home that year cost 2.2 million dollars. In 2005, the most expensive home sold so far was a 3.6 million dollar home.

The surge in high-end prices has happened rather quickly. The Census Bureau's 2004 American Community Survey found more than one million homes worth at least one million dollars in 2004, compared to 595,000 in 2002 and only 395,000 in 2000.

Demand for housing is still exceeding supply in many U.S. markets, said John M. Clapp, a professor of finance and real estate at the University of Connecticut. Low interest rates have made it easier for people to afford more of a house, as well as have some new financing methods, like interest-only adjustable mortgages, which initially allows buyers to lower their monthly payments.

The prices of homes may have increased, but the number of millionaire families in America has exploded to new heights. And the fun part of this, is Tucson is sharing in the wealth, so to speak; Tucsonans are finding themselves right in the middle of all the economic real estate growth. The official proof has come from British market research firm TNS Financial Services just releasing their yearly report on multi millionaire homes in America.

The number of American households with a net worth of one million dollars or more, excluding their principal residence, grew to a record nine million in 2005. Even more surprisingly, is the fact that more than one in seven of the households, are in just 13 of the nation's 3,200 counties.

Phoenix, Arizona's Maricopa County is ranked fourth in the United States, with Tucson, Arizona's Pima County rapidly rising along up the charts in America. This is where investors both personal and professional can "be at the right place at the right time." Tucson has a real estate market that has long been overlooked and misunderstood by outsiders, and wisely invested in by insiders -- we have a unique buffered real estate economy here, due to many factors -- specifically the number of relocations from colder climates and purchases of second homes. There are also many other interesting factors that we can discuss in detail with you.

The number of millionaire families in America was at 5.5 million by 2002. The ranks of millionaire households rose to 6.2 million in 2003 and 8.2 million in 2004. In most large counties, about one household in twelve, or about nine percent, was worth one million dollars or more. The households had an average net worth, excluding principal residence, of nearly 2.2 million dollars, of which more than 1.4 million dollars was in liquid, or investable, assets.

Despite a growing stock market, TNS reported that more than half of those surveyed said they had "become much more conservative in their investment approach over the past year." The survey found that 30 percent of the millionaire households in America did not own stocks or bonds, and 33 percent did not own mutual funds. One in four multi millionaire families in America had a second mortgage on a home.

Even in land-rich cities like Tucson, the demand for housing in mature neighborhoods has for a long time far exceeded supply. In a few exclusive communities, one million dollars won't buy you more than "an acre of land." In other parts of town, one million dollars is still enough to build a 4,000 square foot villa with a pool and a three-car garage.

Some people are surprised when they get to Tucson. Which is particularly noticed in the northerners who continue to arrive in droves. They don't realize how much the Tucson real estate market has appreciated in the last few years. Thus, real estate has become so hot that the boom has spread to neighborhoods formerly written off by many outside investors.

As you can see the housing market in Tucson has changed dramatically in recent years, real estate brokers say the Old Pueblo has been undervalued for a significant period of time compared to California. Investors and home owners have watched Tucson turn from a one-horse town to an investor's gold mine. Out-of-state investors sell a property for a couple million dollars in California and come out here to southern Arizona and buy themselves a million dollar fine home along with a few others homes they use as rental investments.

Along with the resale value of the out-of-state investor's old home -- low interest rates are also making additional financing affordable. All of these incentives are encouraging a lot of home buyers into the market -- and out of rental homes. With so much demand and so little supply -- home prices have made for wise sales investments, and will continue to be for a long time to come. "I bought my home four years ago almost to the day, and I could not afford to buy my house now," said Cathryn, a Tucson homeowner investor. "I think it's changing who can live in Tucson, particularly who can live in town in Tucson. It starts changing the face of our neighborhoods for sure."

Tucson is rich, with history as well. Continuously settled for more than 12,000 years, making it one of the oldest towns in the United States, Tucson prides itself on its diversity of cultures, architecture, and people. It is also the home of the "Optics Valley," a hotbed for the phototronics industry, due to the prominent optics-related companies located there. Tucson is home to Kitt Peak National Observatory, one of the premier astronomy centers of the world. Tucson is also home to the University of Arizona, which is not only a leading research institute, but also beloved for its cultural events and sports teams (Tucson residents love their Wildcats!).

Tucson also draws many tourists throughout the year, especially during the winter. In fact, tourism accounts for one of every ten jobs, and adds more than two billion dollars to the local economy every year. The Tucson area's most popular attractions are the Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum offering a living zoological park and geological museum, and the Tucson Botanical Gardens. The Old Tucson Studios is a family theme park and movie location. John Wayne and Harrison Ford are just a few of the stars who have filmed there. Other attractions include the Tucson Museum of Art and Historic Block, and Columbia University's Biosphere 2 Center.

So who is buying here...and why? Greater Tucson is attracting over 3,000 new residents each month...and for good reasons. The weather here is absolutely tremendous. We have only three or four months of really hot weather and that's a dry heat, local residents say with a chuckle. Even in the hot months, once the sun sets the evenings are delightful. The southern Arizona area has very few bugs, and of course combined with the winter months, you really couldn't ask for a better home anywhere in the world.

Another encouraging relocation factor is the relatively low cost of buying a new affordable home on a substantial lot. While the majority of the current real estate activity involves residents who are buying up or buying down, about 25 percent of the market is made up of people buying second homes. Most of these buyers are coming from California, Colorado, the Pacific Northwest, Chicago, and the Midwestern states. Californians anticipating retirement three or four years down the road are taking equity out of their California homes and not just buying a second home but an additional home as well, for investment purposes.

Tucson has always had a long time star-studded appreciation, most notably Linda Ronstadt as well as her past generations grew up in Tucson, with her family continuing to be a cornerstone of the community. Paul McCartney owned property in the area for quite some time, and Whoopi Goldberg is also rumored to be a property owner. As well as Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, and a long celebrity red carpet list continue to called Tucson "home."

You will find comforting earth tones that match the desert scape combine with the vivid colors that represent the town's Hispanic/Mexican heritage. The most popular architecture is based on the work of early Tucson architect Josias Joesler, which is characterized by rambling one-story homes with archways and courtyards. It's free flowing and relaxed. It's common to have your home flow directly to the outside to exterior kitchens and dining areas. Landscaping is very natural and desert-like. Of course with the new influx of cosmopolitan relocating families, architects are presenting a large modernist selection of homes as well. So now you really can find any style of architecture you desire in the modern city of Tucson, and still feel the charm of the Old Pueblo.

The median price for a new single-family home in Tucson was $220,000 in June 2005, a 30 percent increase over the same month in 2004. The median price for a single-family luxury home was $800,000 in August 2005. Between January and August of 2006, there were 275 properties on the market listed at one million dollars or more. More and more people of all economic background are taking their opportunity to relocate to this unique environment.

Tucson is surrounded on three sides by mountain ranges, and some of the most luxurious Tucson homes are right against those mountains. The average size of a luxury home is just under 5,000 square feet. Tucson's most expensive property as of 2005 is the Campbell Cliffs at Cobblestone. Listed at eighteen million dollars.

It should also be noted the luxury markets near Tucson include Sonoita, Patagonia, and Tubac. Many times you can find a larger amount of acreage out in these areas, and still get a large luxury estate home, on say approximately 40 acres for about one million dollars. So as you can see, there are many choices for the luxury estate buyer. The Pepper Group™ Diversified Real Estate company is experienced on this close-knit community of selective fine homes sales. Contact us as soon as possible. We have a lot of fun showing people the possibilities.

For a complete information package on million dollar exclusive homes
for sale in Tucson, Arizona and surrounding areas, please contact us exclusively at:
(520) 977-0003

These are some of the best Tucson-specific articles we've ever read, a simple and complete explanation of the incredible Real Estate market Tucson is experiencing; and forecasted to continue to experience for many years to come. It may be a helpful summary for you:

Arizona Now Tops the Nation in Growth
Breaks Nevada's 20-Year Grip on the Title

By Howard Fischer, Arizona Daily Star

New figures today from the U.S. Census Bureau show Arizona is now the fastest-growing state in the nation. Its 4 percent population increase between 2005 and 2006 broke the stranglehold Nevada had on the title for the prior 20 years.

The addition of 220,000 Arizonans during that period boosted the official state population to 6,500,000 -- good enough to bump Tennessee, which added only 83,000 new residents, from its spot as the 16th-largest state in the nation. When the last formal census was taken in 2000, Arizona was just 20th. The state is only about 300,000 residents behind Massachusetts, which is growing at just 0.6 percent a year.

Lawmakers pumped an extra $345 million into the budget last session to accelerate road construction. But they were able to do that only because the state was running a surplus, permitting legislators to provide a tax cut and finance new programs.

The Arizona Department of Housing said that about 47 percent of renters and 27 percent of homeowners paid more than 30 percent of income for housing -- a figure the agency considers the benchmark of affordability.

So far, all that growth has not translated into higher unemployment. In fact, new figures released Thursday by the Department of Economic Security put the state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November at 4.1 percent, down from 4.7 percent a year earlier. The nationwide rate is 4.5 percent.

New residents also mean new schools -- lots of them. The state School Facilities Board already is planning to build 31 schools this budget year to accommodate 29,000 youngsters.

According to the Census Bureau, 130,000 people moved here from other states. Another 30,000 are international migrants.

Growth Increase in Population from 2005 to 2006:

  • Arizona: 3.6%
  • Nevada: 3.5%
  • Idaho: 2.6%
  • Georgia: 2.5%
  • Texas: 2.5%
  • Utah: 2.4%
  • North Carolina: 2.1%
  • Colorado: 1.9%
  • Florida: 1.8%
  • South Carolina: 1.7%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Arizona Tops Nevada as Fastest Growing State


WASHINGTON (Dec. 22) -- Arizona: It's not just for retired Midwesterners. Arizona is attracting people from across the U.S. and across the border at such a pace that it is now the fastest-growing state in the country, replacing Nevada, which had held the crown for 20 straight years. The new population figures were released by the Census Bureau.

"It used to be merely a retirement magnet for Midwest seniors," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. "Now it's an escape hatch for Californians seeking affordable housing."

Arizona led the nation with a population growth rate of 3.6 percent in the past year, followed by Nevada, Idaho, Georgia and Texas. "Every area where there's private land there's some form of development going on or being considered," said Century 21 real estate offices in Phoenix and Sierra Vista. "We've been in the business 25 years and we have never seen anything like this."

Wuerch said Arizona's real estate market has cooled after sizzling for several years. Still, he said, the market remains stronger than in other parts of the country, with growing medical and high-tech industries providing the jobs, and the sunshine providing the allure. "Good climate and affordability seem to be the draws for Americans this decade," said Frey, the demographer.

Forecasters See Real Estate Riding Population Wave

By "Inside Tucson Business"

Although Tucson rests in the middle of the Sonoran desert, the city's rising tide is expected to continue raising all boats, at least when it comes to the real estate market in Southern Arizona.

In their 15th annual industry recap and forecast, members of the Tucson area chapter of the CIM real estate networking and educational association, heard from last year's winning forecasters and additional industry experts. The forecasters said that Tucson's continuing influx of residents will keep all sectors booming for the indefinite future.

Noting that the CIM conference attracted almost 400 participants for this year, a record for the Southern Arizona chapter, CIM president said, "This is testimony to both the strength of the market and the level of interest in it."

"Macro-economic events affect everything," said 2005 appraisal forecast winner, principal of MJN Enterprises. "In Tucson, our drivers start with the housing market, and while housing starts here are high in relation to the number of new residents, as compared to other cities, loan service costs in relation to individual debt remain low, indicating that there's no risk of a housing bubble."

What the city's housing numbers do point to is continued pressure on construction costs and land prices, which will push up apartment prices, put a premium on retail space nearest the new housing and more demand for offices and industrial property.

"When 2004 was the hottest market on record, nobody expected 2005 to be even hotter," said a accredited land consultant. "We normally average about 2.5 people per house. If you look at the 28,000 people who moved to Tucson in 2005, a total of 11,200 homes were sold to meet their needs. That means 1,000 homes were sold to meet speculator demand, but even with these homes back on the market, I would still predict 10,000 new homes sold in 2006."

"That total also subtracts the potential purchasers of condominium conversions. With between 2,500 and 5,000 of them planned, mostly for the Catalina Foothills, they will make their mark," the consultant said.

Beyond Tucson, he said even more sales are likely outside of metropolitan boundaries as the city's growth continues on the periphery in Catalina, south on I-19 and beyond Vail into the Benson area. "As office and home builders compete for land, we could continue to see that outward pressure with 500 homes sold, in 2006 alone, in Cochise County."

"Another result of the home sales, themselves, has been fundamental changes in the development process," said a major Tucson Division Builder President. He said the growth of the city and changes in accounting rules mean developers are more likely to acquire unimproved property than take option on it. "We're closing on the land at the preliminary plat, rather than waiting until the final plat."

He said booming sales, which have left real estate developers with a lot of cash, mean there's more to spend on future land inventory. Combined with post-Enron accounting rules that mean land development work "goes on the balance sheet whether we own the land or not, we feel we might as well own it."

As for the condominium market, a Tucson developer, said it's no longer about price. Along with the Catalina Foothills, he said a total of 1,300 condominium units are planned for downtown.

"More residents are choosing the option," he said. For the first time, this group includes those who prefer single-family attached to traditional single-family residential. "They prefer the controlled access and the various amenities that the former apartment complexes offer."

Despite competition from the condominiums and people priced out of the market by increasing home costs, he said, "I would forecast a fantastic year for the industry."

By comparison, the market for multi-family housing will continue to be constrained by a lack of available land and capitalization rates less than mortgage rates, said a founding partner of a Tucson real estate company. Condominium conversions have pushed up per-unit prices and slashed the available inventory, but comparisons between rents in Albuquerque and Las Vegas and household income demonstrate that rents remain lower. "So, there's still a lot of room to raise them."

He called the real estate market "a perfect storm" for buyers and sellers. "There's no where to go but up, which means things are just going to get better and better."

Keeping pace, retail and office markets are also headed upward. "Downtown Tucson retains its 15-year inventory of available space, and retail or office space in older areas," said a president of a Tucson commercial company. "The retail vacancy rate is 8 percent, the lowest since 1988, with the lowest vacancies following the rooftops," he said. With master-planned communities becoming the standard, "developers are answering with better design, meeting the increasingly more local needs of the tenants."

They're also working to meet municipal government demands for designs that fit into the community setting and attention from national retailers. "As the city approaches a million in population they're looking at Tucson with new eyes."

Examining the status of the finance market and mortgage rates, a business development officer for last year's winning Wells Fargo Bank, said the decade-long relative stability of premium mortgage rates will continue, even if continue to slowly climbs. The only thing that will change is the amount of cash available for loans, which should tighten as investment returns to the stock markets, "and this will benefit the real estate market by making investors shift back to looking at market fundamentals.

Cleared to Tee Off or Take Off

By Paul Smalera of The New York Times

The Hohokams were probably the first to turn the foothills of North Tucson into a second home. Two millenniums ago, they spent their summers gathering cactus pears and mesquite beans, anthropologists say, just north of the basin where the city of Tucson was founded in 1775.

In more recent years, the foothills and the areas adjacent to the north have been rediscovered, you might say, by second-home owners who are finding that the Hohokams were onto something. Depending on the neighborhood, real estate agents estimate that 10 to 40 percent of the residents in North Tucson are second-home owners.

If, like Mr. Clippard, you fly but have trouble finding airplane parking, you might consider requesting permission to land at La Cholla Airpark, a community just north of downtown Tucson. The Clippards have a second home there -- and a two-plane hangar on a taxiway (or, as the earthbound might call it, a road), right off the airpark's main drag, a 4,500-foot landing strip.

"About every six months or year, we sponsor a fly-in pancake breakfast where about 300 pilots fly their little airplanes in, park on the street, and we play Dixieland jazz," Mr. Clippard said. When Mr. Clippard, a former airline pilot who retired from Pan American in 1991, and his wife, Carol, settled in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., they often flew their vintage Beechcraft to visit Mr. Clippard's father, who lived in Green Valley, Ariz. But because the local public airstrip was in an inconvenient location, the Clippards decided to build on land they'd bought in La Cholla.

The Clippards completed their self-designed home in 1999. Their aircraft-size version of a detached garage also houses a workshop and a second-floor guest suite.

If your concept of flying doesn't involve starting your own engine, though, you may find it convenient that the developments around the Santa Catalina foothills are 20 minutes closer to downtown than La Cholla is, and often feature more amenities like golf courses and tennis courts.

The Pellegrinos, however, found they preferred living in a foothills development without golf - Pima Canyon. Their previous house in Tucson was right on a fairway. "When the lawnmowers are going off at 5 o'clock in the morning, getting the course ready, you don't like it," Mr. Pellegrino said. "And when a golf ball comes crashing through your window, you don't like it."

Many part-time residents do enjoy living right off the courses, however, according to real estate agents who specialize in the foothills. They estimated that up to half the houses in newer developments like La Paloma and Ventana Canyon are bought as second homes.

Tucson has long been known as a snowbird destination, where Midwesterners like the Pellegrinos, from Chicago, come to escape the winters.

The Scene

The Santa Catalina and Tortolita Mountains, natural boundaries to the north that are full of prickly cactuses and wild desert creatures, have halted the sprawl that affects the east and west sides of Tucson, creating a natural enclave where part-time residents say they feel at home.

North Tucson is also becoming the home of the city's high-end shopping. A once dusty intersection of North Campbell Avenue and East Skyline Drive has become a town square for those who live in the foothills.

La Encantada shopping center opened on one corner of the intersection in 2003, to some skepticism. Mr. Schneider said he initially wondered who would shop at La Encantada, which is anchored by AJ's Fine Foods and a Tiffany store. Mr. Pellegrino, who is semiretired from the food distribution business, said he had noticed that people treated food displays as if they were exhibitions at the Field Museum in Chicago.

Less than four years later, the other three lots have spawned their own shopping centers, and Campbell Avenue's commercial district has grown northward. The Foothills Mall, on Oracle Road, has played a similar role near the airpark.

The Nederlander Producing Company of America is in the third season of the "Broadway in Tucson" series, bringing musicals like "Rent" and "Evita" to downtown.

Although national chain restaurants have made inroads in the new shopping plazas, so have local favorites like Mosaic Cafe Dos, which is run by the daughter of the owners of Teresa's Mosaic Cafe, one of Tucson's best-known Tex-Mex restaurants.

Some residents of North Tucson are skeptical about whether other desert communities offer the same lifestyle as theirs. "Phoenix is becoming mini-Los Angeles, with all the freeways," Mr. Pellegrino said.

About 15 percent of residents in La Cholla join the Clippards in making it a second home, say real estate agents who lives in La Cholla. The Clippards are certain that there are few places in Arizona that could give them their current arrangement. Since they keep their planes at a public airstrip while in Fort Lauderdale, they often put their planes, and themselves, in Tucson during hurricane season.

Pros: Infrastructure, services and shopping are the key to the foothills' attractiveness. Since there are few large lots left, congestion is not likely to develop along River Road and Skyline Drive, the region's main east-west roads, real estate agents say. Near the airpark, there are still undeveloped spaces that once defined the entire north side of town.

Cons: Without a comprehensive freeway system, it's tough to get to other areas of Tucson, creating an enclave effect that some residents love.

Lay of the Land

Population: About 60,000 people live in the foothills and another 45,000 live around La Cholla Airpark.

Size: About 42 square miles in the foothills and 50 square miles around nearby La Cholla.

Who's Buying: Baby boomers from cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Los Angeles who are planning for a retirement that allows them to enjoy the culture and sophistication of life near an urban core.

Getting There: Many flights from the East Coast connect to Tucson International Airport through Chicago, Dallas or elsewhere. There are some nonstop flights from New York, and most service from the West Coast is direct. Tucson is a stop on Amtrak's Sunset Limited route.

While You're Looking: The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa (3800 East Sunrise Drive, 520-742-6000; is nestled in the Tucson foothills. There is also a Holiday Inn Express (10150 North Oracle Road, 520-202-4000; in Oro Valley, near La Cholla."

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