Idiosyncratic. Contrarian. The Condo/Townhome Sector of the Sedona real estate market acts in ways that often defy logic. With sales of Single Family Homes, Luxury Homes, and even Vacant Land booming in 2017, sales of Condos and Townhomes is down 27%. But, don’t take as a sign of weakness. Although there have been 34 closed sales in the first half of this year (vs. 47 in 2016) there are 12 sales pending, and a mere 27 active listings. Demand is out-striping supply and prices are, obligingly, rising to the occasion. In 2016, the Median Recorded Sales Price of the Solds was $241,000. So far this year, it’s $310,000 – up 29%. The average price per square foot is up 14%, from $203 to $232. Some of that is due to more sales of luxury townhomes, but clearly, it’s a hot market.
Diversity – along with a relatively small sample size – makes this sector of the Sedona real estate market the most volatile. It comprises everything from an $116,900, 632 sq. ft., one bedroom unit at Tierra Sienna to a 3,312 sq. ft., $875,000 luxury townhome in the Cottages at Coffeepot. It even includes $815,000 (1,500 sq. ft.) casitas at the Enchantment Resort. Sorting out the sector by separating condos from townhomes would help. Condos are generally smaller and cheaper. But, that grouping also includes the uber-luxurious Park Place Condos – lately selling around $650,000, for units that once fetched in the neighborhood of a million dollars back in the boom days of Sedona real estate. Many people, including Realtors and developers, seem to be kind of fuzzy on the difference between the two. More than half of the units listed in the MLS as Sold Condos for 2015 are actually townhomes. And, condos make up only about 20% of the whole sector.
For the record, there is a difference, in both ownership and design. Condos are typically units in a larger building – think apartment-like complex, like Oak Creek Estados. One owns the space within the unit’s walls and an interest in the common area. You could have another unit above or below you. With a townhome, you own the ground underneath you and the space above you. It could be a single level home or a two story, but you won’t have neighbors above or below – just next door beyond a common wall or two. If you have a patio or small yard, your townhome is a patio home.
In any case, such homes remain a popular segment of the Sedona Real Estate Market. An interesting anomaly is that, currently, the active inventory of the Condo/Townhome Sector is about 12% of Single Family Residences, yet its closed sales are roughly 25%. That’s because they make ideal, affordable, low maintenance, turn-key second homes for the part-time residents, investors, and first-time home buyers as well as retirees. The one caveat is: be sure to take Home Owners Association fees into account and find out what they cover. They can range from $75 per month to well over $500. The higher fees generally come with such amenities as clubhouses, pools, tennis courts, and privacy gates. Some cover the cost of extensive exterior maintenance and insurance, others just common area landscaping. It’s a question of the sort of life-style you want or care to afford. Of course, that also applies to whether or not living in a condo/townhome community is for you in the first place. In any case, they’re worth considering.