An Update on Tucson's Catalina Foothills Lot Market

I know I've been busy lately listing and particularly selling vacant lots in the foothills area, but I didn’t realize just how active this segment of the land market currently is until I took a look at the current Tucson Association of Realtors, Multiple Listing Service statistics. 
 
In the past 6 months alone, there have been 32 lot sales ranging in price from $73,000 to $700,000. These include two small, fill-in town home lots in gated Camino Sin Vacas all the way to a 3.3. acre site in The Canyons (generally considered the subdivision with the largest number of Tucson’s ultra-luxury homes) bordering the Coronado National Forest. Let’s take a closer look at these sales and the trends that we can determine from them. 
 
Thirteen of these lots sold between $73,000 and $130,000 with seven actually below $100,000. Buyers in this price range don’t usually think they can afford Foothills land but that may not be the case. It’s true that these lots generally pose some building challenges caused by sloped topography, proximity to a wash, limited buildable area, visual obstruction from telephone poles, dirt road access, etc. Nevertheless, with a good builder, designer, or architect (as well as some patience and persistence), suitable solutions can be found in order to build a wonderful custom home. 
 
The sale of these ‘tougher’ lots also has an effect on the rest of the Foothills vacant land market. In many cases these home sites have been on the market for a significant amount of time, and their sale increases sales momentum and puts upward pressure on the price of better lots. In essence, as the inventory of the weaker lots is reduced, the lots remaining become more in demand. 
 
We also see an upward trend of lot prices in the “Old Foothills” area. In recent years one acre lots sold under $200,000 with several sales in the $150,000-$175,000 range. In the past six months however, we finally saw a lot on Camino Escalante break this barrier and sell for $240,000. And I can say there were multiple offers on that lot; something we haven’t seen for a while. Similar price escalation was seen at the very best gated areas in the Foothills. The Canyons saw two lot sales above $500,000 during this period; one at $550,000 and one at $700,000 (the highest lot sale in the Foothills in the past year). 
 
During this same period, we saw a needed corrector of over-priced luxury lots that finally were sold at their “true” market value. One in particular stands out as an example. A lot in the Summit, a gated area at the very top of Swan Road with spectacular views but relatively small lots fairly close to each other, had been on and off the market for several years with an asking price as high as $715,000. It just sold for $425,000, still a substantial price for this type of lot. Also, there have been two adjacent lots in the Canyons, lots 60 and 61, that have been marketed for at least five years at prices ranging up to $499,000 each. The lots, however, are the least desirable in this subdivision because of their slope, and their view of many nearby rooftops below them. Finally priced with these factors in consideration, they sold for $160,000 each. 
 
The increased volume of land sales, selling off of lower end area lots, price correction of overpriced lots and the strong appreciation of the truly finest foothill lots, all bodes well for a robust 2020 market for land sales in the Catalina Foothill area of Tucson. 
 
Ready to build your home but still looking for a lot of land in Tucson? As a land expert with many years of experience in Tucson, I can help you find your ideal land lot. Reach out to me today by calling 520-918-5477 or emailing rick@buytucsonlots.com.