Arizona municipalities trying not to slow down homebuilders amid surge

May 19, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: May 20, 2021, 8:27 am
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This story is part of KTAR News’ “Arizona’s Rising Real Estate” weeklong special series on 92.3 FM, online and our app.

PHOENIX — At a time when the housing market in the Valley is desperate for more inventory, homebuilders are trying to keep up. However, they must get plans and permits approved first before they can have shovels hitting the ground.

That’s where attorneys like Jordan Rose come in.

The founder and president of Rose Law Group helps homebuilders process applications for things like zoning and land use in cities across Arizona.

“I would say that 95% of them at this point in time are welcoming the growth and removing red tape,” Rose told KTAR News 92.3 FM about municipalities. “Elected officials are filtering that message down to their staff and their management and saying, ‘Let’s figure out how to say yes, not no, and work on that with the developer as a partner.’”

She believes that’s due, in part, to municipalities wanting to make up for the economic slowdown they experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Still, regulations remain that could make the homebuilding process difficult and costly for homebuyers.

A new study by the National Association of Home Builders shows regulations imposed by government at all levels account for $93,870 – or about 23.8% – of the average sale price of a new single-family home.

That’s up from $84,671 in 2016 and $65,224 in 2011.

Rose said in Arizona, homebuilders face regulations for things like roadways built prior to construction of model homes, the height of a roof on a home and the distance a garage can be from the front property line.

“There’s all sorts of issues that are problematic for developers, so it’s certainly no walk in the park,” Rose said. “But the attitude is ‘let’s figure out how to get to yes generally right now.”

Another challenge for homebuilders is a shrinking supply of land that’s available for development.

The Arizona State Land Department is helping out by opening more state land for development. It recently released 2,783 acres of state land in the far southeast Valley, which has seen tremendous growth over the past few years.

D.R. Horton Inc. and Brookfield Residential Properties Inc. submitted the highest bids in an auction for state land that sits in Apache Junction. The pair of homebuilders paid $245.5 million for it – more than three times the appraised value of $68 million – and plan to build a master-planned community there called Superstition Vistas.

The bid also came with another 5,500 acres of adjacent land that the homebuilders agreed to entitle and provide the infrastructure for future development.

“Construction will probably start right around the end of the year,” John Bradley, Arizona division president of Brookfield Residential, said. “It’ll take us probably another year to be prepared to sell to builders. D.R. Horton will probably be building homes middle of next year.”

Bradley said they got the land in November, and so far “we have not had any what we would call red tape challenges.”

“We have plenty of things that we need to work on with the city,” he added. “But we have been doing that very, very constructively.”

When it’s complete, Superstition Vistas will have about 10,000 homes with nearly 30,000 residents.

Anticipated amenities include paths, trails, parks that define a specific neighborhood, a community pool, and a community farm. There will also likely be a regional park with a lake, ball fields, playgrounds and a dog park.

Bradley said he believes there’s high demand for master-planned communities like this.

“The market has taken off,” he said. “This is a post-pandemic scenario that I’m not sure too many people saw coming. But it has been very, very strong and it seems to be continuing. I’m not sure that the end is in sight.” recently ranked Phoenix third in the nation for building the most homes for buyers. The city recorded more than 8,600 building permits for new homes as of March.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team Photo)...

Officers seize over 100 pounds of cocaine at Arizona-California border

Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division officers seized over 100 pounds of cocaine on Tuesday at a port of entry near the California state line, authorities said. 
11 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...

Scottsdale man accused of stealing millions in music royalties

A Scottsdale man is one of two people accused of stealing millions of dollars in music royalties over the past five years, authorities said Wednesday.
11 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Arizona Heart Foundation)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona Heart Foundation to provide free screenings for rural communities

The Arizona Heart Foundation is launching an outreach program to bring free screenings to rural communities where cardiovascular disease too often goes undetected.
11 hours ago
John Charpiot, left, and David Harmon. (Facebook Photos/Coolidge Police Department)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona prison system implements changes after reviewing January escape

The Arizona prison system announced new safety measures following a review of how two inmates escaped last winter in an incident that sparked an intense five-day manhunt.
1 day ago
(Arizona Governor's Office Photo)...

Tucson border patrol agent dies in line of duty; flags to fly half-staff Saturday

Flags will fly at half-staff across the state Saturday for a Tucson border patrol agent that died in the line of duty.
1 day ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., runs from the Senate chamber after voting on an appropriations bill t...
Kevin Stone

In CNN interview, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema won’t tip hand on $2T domestic bill

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema wouldn’t commit to supporting her party’s $2 trillion domestic agenda during a sit-down interview with CNN on Thursday, but she didn’t provide specifics on how to secure her vote.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Thyroid issues: Here are the warning signs and what to do

In a 100-person office in the United States, an estimated 12 co-workers, employees and loved ones, will likely develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime. That’s because, according to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12% of the U.S. population will experience thyroid issues.

How your family can explore the Musical Instrument Museum

Whether you want to spend a day with family, do crafts with kids at home, or have an adult night out, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix has options. As the world’s only global musical instrument museum, MIM offers interactive and immersive exhibits to foster an appreciation of different cultures and their instruments. “A visit […]

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Arizona municipalities trying not to slow down homebuilders amid surge