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The Draw of the Desert: Scottsdale, Phoenix & Paradise Valley Real Estate Heats Up

by | Feb 15, 2022

The sun-drenched hillsides, the towering cordons, the magnificent sunsets—Arizona desert life is hard to resist. That would explain the Phoenix area recording the highest rate of home price growth in the country last year, with a whopping 32.2% year-over-year increase in November, according to CoreLogic.

Multiple offers were the new norm in 2021 in Arizona, a market that saw annual median price growth between 23% and 30% across the single-family and condo sectors of Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Properties were in such high demand that homes sold often in “coming soon” status or even sight unseen. Contingencies were waived and as-is offers were the name of the game. The bottom line: Cash was king. Prices increased so significantly in such a short time that sellers felt a sense of urgency, wanting to take advantage of the profit margins before they changed or slowed.

But a slowing isn’t in sight even now. Arizona appealed as an escape from the pandemic reality, remaining relatively open and offering spacious living. Tax benefits, warm weather and a vibrant outdoor lifestyle were added bonuses of the locale. Inman named McCormick Ranch in Scottsdale as one of America’s hottest neighborhoods in 2021, showing just how many eyes were on Arizona real estate.

The Grand Canyon state saw a massive influx of buyers from California—more so than usual, particularly from densely populated areas such as San Francisco, L.A. County, and Orange County. Outside of California, Seattle and Chicago buyers were also very prominent in the area. Whereas Arizona has often been a hot second-home market, many buyers moved to the area for their primary residences, a significant shift from prior years. Rental prices skyrocketed and investors were scouring the market for rentable properties. Low inventory meant buyers were forced to rent until they were successful in finding a purchase.

What’s ahead in 2022? No cooling is expected in the hot desert market. An increase in inventory would be a welcome relief, and newer homes will likely remain attractive to buyers as well as higher-end finishes and spacious homes. Read more about the Arizona and national markets in The Agency’s 2021 Red Paper Annual Market Report.

Among incredible listings on the market in the region:


Represented by Wendy Walker and Amanda Malcolm, this architectural masterpiece in the foothills of Mummy Mountain is wrapped in glass walls that frame fantastic views from the Preserve to North Scottsdale. The exquisite hillside retreat boasts 5,502 square feet of interior living space, four bedrooms, a primary retreat with an office, an elevator, a zero-edge pool and endless outdoor entertaining space, located moments from Paradise Valley’s exclusive Country Club.


Situated on 20 magnificent acres, North Scottsdale’s premier luxury estate represented by Adrian Heyman captures unobstructed views of thousands of acres of national forest. The custom-built private home and horse facility includes a cooled barn, oversized stalls, covered arena, lighted round pen, roping arena and more. An additional 20-acre parcel is available with the property featured in Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine.


Perched above Flagstaff Ranch, this turnkey luxury mountain home represented by Chad Dragos overlooks the San Francisco peaks, national forest and city lights from nearly every room. Featuring 5,200 square feet of sun-drenched living space, the property offers elegant design, five bedrooms, a gorgeous chef-caliber kitchen and spacious terraces for soaking in the views.


Represented by Eddie Escobido III, this outdoor enthusiast’s 70-acre estate is steeped in Arizona history, dating back to the 1800s. Featuring a four-bedroom main home, the property offers endless opportunities for hiking, cycling, hunting, dirt biking and more, tucked away and bordered by a National Forest with sweeping ocean views. 

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