Rentals Take Center Stage as Phoenix Housing Market Reinvents Itself

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Phoenix real estate news this past week comprised the most diverse of subjects, with both leasing and sales making the headlines. Probably the most relevant piece of news for the Phoenix area focused on one of the [...]

Phoenix real estate news this past week comprised the most diverse of subjects, with both leasing and sales making the headlines.

Probably the most relevant piece of news for the Phoenix area focused on one of the largest developments in recent history, CityScape. The developer, RED Development, is confident that the full 1.8 million sq. ft. of office and retail space will be under contract by this fall.

Among current tenants in the massive development are five law firms, with the sixth set to move in this summer, while a host of retailers, restaurants and bars have scheduled September as their opening month. CityScape has definitely given the area new life, enabling several other smaller, but notable, developments to attract desirable demographics to the area.

In residential news, a recent report in The Arizona Republic illustrated an unexpected real estate trend evolving in the Phoenix Metro Area during the past months. While the area has been known for its stock of affordable homes and solid resale values, it has recently been taken over by rentals. The rental market has gained the upper hand in housing and demand for rentals is far higher than it was five years ago.

The increase in interest from renters has always sparked that of the investors, who are now engaged in the hunt for apartment communities in areas with good schools and in the vicinity of shopping centers. A statistic from The Republic’s article indicates that homeownership in the wider region has plummeted to 1997 figures, while the city of Phoenix is recording a number between 30 and 40 percent when it comes to the proportion of rentals out of occupied homes.

In fact, according to The Republic, around half of the homes that had been purchased in the Metro Phoenix Area as a result of foreclosure or short-sale are now rentals.