Articles – Sedona Monthly Article July 2008 Condo Market Explodes

Sedona Monthly
July 2008
Sedona AZ Real Estate Market Watch
Condo Market Explodes With Choices
Roy E. Grimm, PhD

Condos and townhomes have always been a popular option for buyers in Sedona’s Second-home Market. Their turn-key, low maintenance nature makes them a natural if one lives in Northern Michigan or Seattle and only spends part of the year here. In the past, however, the problem has been that there simply weren’t many available for sale at any given time. Perhaps thirty or forty. At the end of 2005 there were merely 23 for sale and prices were escalating.

That’s all changed these days with our present Buyer’s Market. Between slow real estate sales generally in Sedona and plethora of new units coming on the market, the condo inventory ran up to 160 by the end of 2007 – and has settled to 128 in Mid-year 2008.

Aside from several newly built or reconditioned developments, we’ve seen a rash of low rent apartments conversions selling for as low as $175,900 for a one bedroom, one bath, 482 square feet in the Village of Oak Creek. On the other end of the scale, we’ve had the debut of Park Place (that I want to call, “Boardwalk”), a gated, luxurious 88 unit development in West Sedona where the 1800 to 2300 square foot residences run from $725,000 to $1,150,000. For that you do get gorgeous views, top of the line appointments, underground parking, elevators, and a bit of Hwy 89A road noise.

In between, prices have moderated dramatically and the variety of offerings has expanded. The Median Record Selling Price for condos at Mid-year 2006 was $415,000. In 2007 was $360,000. At Mid-year 2008 it’s $304,000. That would buy about a 1,250 square foot unit. That’s in the ball park of the new modest, but nice, Piedras del Rojo 18 unit development on West Hwy 89A.

Of course the median is the middle of the pack. The higher side of the market includes such interesting alternatives as resort casitas at Enchantment (in the $800,000’s), creekside condos at Junipine (in the $600K’s), and the exclusive original luxury townhomes at The Cottages at Coffee ($800K’s to a million). The new luxury condos at Park Place in West Sedona got off to a slow start and are now picking up steam – especially since they’ve dropped their prices from the $700K’s-$1.1 million down to the $500K’s-$900K’s.

The next entry in this high end group was supposed to make its initial appearance early this year (2008). The luxury Preserve at Oak Creek will ultimately be built at the north end of Uptown with prices starting at a million, but they’ve put the whole thing on hold until the market rallies.

Not included in the condo figures are the dozen or so patio home resales on the market at Firecliff in the VOC ranging from the high $400k’s to over $700,000. Patio homes differ from condos in that they are free-standing structures on small plots of land. The heavy building density gives them something of a condo feel. They’re not for someone who wants a good sized yard, but they are nicely finished with granite and travertine.

All this amounts to an attractive smorgasbord of intriguing choices for condo buyers who now hold the advantage at the bargaining table.