Tucson real estate on the upswing compared to rest of U.S.

Updated: Jun. 3, 2020 at 8:03 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While much of the economy is suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tucson real estate is on the upswing.

A recent report shows Google searches for “new home sales” ranked Tucson as top in the nation with an increase of 164 percent.

A Moody Analytics report shows Tucson is in the top 10 for cities best positioned to recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m pleasantly surprised,” said April Kovari, the President of Fidelity National Title.

She along with her parent company were “of the believe that everything was going to drop, so we went into preparation mode.”

“The number of sales and listings coming through our office are just increasing,” said Steve Redmond from the Tucson Board of Realtors and Long Realty. “Everyone is just sort of amazed by it.”

With the State of Arizona on stay at home orders, restaurants and other businesses locking their doors and a half million people filing for unemployment claims, it was felt the real estate markets would feel the same pain.

“We had a bit of a downturn in March but then it turned around and picked right up again,” Kovari said.

Low interest rates likely play a role but so do the people who are ready to move from a highly populated, densely packed city.

“People lost their jobs and they’re living in a sprawling metropolitan city and now they can’t live there anymore,” Kovari said. “They realize this is a good time to make a change for my family.”

She also believes because of telecommuting and the fact people can work out of their homes likely has an impact as well.

“People can live in Tucson and work out of New York,” she said.

But there is an issue with a hot housing market during a pandemic.

“We have 2200 active listings for the multiple listing service right now,” Redmond said. “In, quote unquote, normal times we’d have four to six thousand.”

So Tucson is short of inventory and houses sell, even million dollar homes, on average of about 10 days.

The good real estate market and upbeat reports even has Pima Count rethinking its economic development plan which went through some changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to be in a position to take advantage of the more than likely rapid job relocation and population shift opportunities,” County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said in a memo sent to the entire Pima County Board of Supervisors.

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