Catalina Foothills Market Trends
Over the years Tucson has grown to become a popular destination for winter visitors, second home owners and retirees, in addition to substantial growth in business and industry and the jobs that go with it.
This popularity has contributed to thousands of Tucson homes being built in new residential subdivisions springing up all around Tucson – in the Northwest (Oro Valley), West, South and Southeastern Tucson – but not so much in the Catalina Foothills. And that’s an important distinction.
The key reason – an extremely limited supply of vacant buildable land, and certainly no large tracts of land, plus zoning regulations that typically designate residential lots as (CR-1) one home per acre, the Catalina Foothills have not experienced that kind of rampant development. The Foothills is a relatively small, (approx. 44 sq. miles) established area, that is pretty much built out, so that what you see is what will be, with, of course, some exceptions.
For perspective, in 2019 Catalina Foothills home sales accounted for just 5.4% of the total number of homes Sold in the greater Tucson Metro area – 16,406 homes sold in the greater Tucson Metro — 876 sold in the Catalina Foothills. Yet the Foothills accounted for 10.7% of the total dollar volume of all the homes sold. That is because, in general, homes in the Catalina Foothills are more expensive than those in other areas of Tucson.
And like many other cities and towns across the US the Foothills did not escape the highs and lows of the real estate boom and subsequent bust of the early to mid 2000’s, with sold prices finally bottoming out in 2012 followed by a long slow slog of piddling price increases each year until 2020 when, with the arrival of Covid buyers and the demand for homes exceeding the supply, Foothills home prices rose dramatically in 2021 – 2022, as shown in the chart below.
See my blog –TheTucsonFoothills.com for the latest sales and market data.
The ups and downs of the luxury market
In 2000 Pima Canyon opened for business adding almost 300 luxury home sites to the Foothills market in one fell swoop. Developed on the last large parcel of land, with wonderful mountain, canyon and occasionally city views, Pima Canyon is essentially built out, with homes for sale starting at about $1,000,000+ and going up to $4.0mil or more.
At the other end of the spectrum is Skyline Country Club Estates, built in the 60’s and 70’s, it was the first luxury golf community in the Foothills. By late 2003, as the country began to recover from 9/11, Tucson started to catch the attention of more luxury home buyers, yet buildable land in the Foothills was becoming very scarce.
Enter Skyline Country Club. It began to go thru a re-birth, a renaissance.
Skyline has some of the best home sites in the Foothills, high up, and with magnificent views and all of it in a very private, gated-golf course community.
Homes that are old and out-dated, and quite a few of them are in Skyline CC, were either being knocked down and re-built or extensively renovated. And because the land is so valuable, economics dictated building larger more expensive homes on those lots. See my post – teardowns in the Tucson Foothills for more on this.
Two other unmistakable signs of the scarcity of buildable land in the Catalina Foothills was the boom time trends of building luxury homes on what I’ll politely call in-fill lots – less desirable lots scattered here and there throughout the Foothills – and the breaking up of the original multi-acre Catalina Foothills estates homes – homes that were built in the 1930’s and 40’s – and subdividing the land to build new luxury homes on smaller +/- one acre lots. See my post- going through changes with a Joesler in the Tucson Foothills for more on this trend.
The era of distress sales is now well behind us and the luxury market has more than recovered. In the last few years It has gone thru the roof, so far thru the roof that it makes the boom of the early 2000’s look like child’s play.
Despite the fluctuations of the market, the Catalina Foothills continues to attract those who appreciate its natural beauty, gorgeous climate (for most of the year) and its easygoing southwest lifestyle.
I hope you enjoy it!
John Schneider, Realtor®
Tierra Antigua Realty
Catalina Foothills Homes
Tucson, Arizona 85718 / 85750