Phoenix’s Outlying Suburbs Keep Growing
GILBERT – As gas prices continue to climb, more and more people around the country are choosing to live closer to the heart of big cities — leaving many suburbs to suffer with slow growth.
Things may be in bad shape across the rest of the country, but the valley seems to be bucking the trend.
Places like Gilbert — Queen Creek — San Tan Valley — and East Mesa are seeing a big demand for housing. Don’t let the neighborhoods-in-construction fool you, they’re filling up fast.
It’s because of the lower cost of living compared to other parts of the valley.
Investors and home buyers are fueling the market.
Ask anyone in the housing or real estate industry, and they’re tell you they haven’t been this busy in years, even in the ‘burbs.
“Phoenix is very young metropolitan area, and to compare us to Manhattan or San Francisco or Chicago or even LA, we’re a maturing adolescent metropolitan area,” says Mark Stapp from the W.P. Carey School of Business.
In Gilbert, houses are going up every day and being sold quickly. It may be a long drive to work, but compared to other big cities, people out here have it good.
“That 30-minute commute gets them something they otherwise couldn’t get at all.”
Stapp does not believe, at least in the valley, that gas prices will push people closer to the city center.
“You just don’t have a cost of driving that’s that significant here. Because our commute times aren’t that great in relative terms.”
And compared to other big cities, land and housing, whether it’s in the east valley or central Phoenix, is still relatively cheap.
“We’ve got an urban landscape that allows us to have development on the edges that is very affordable and very accessible back in the city center to where jobs and cultural amenities are.”
The average commute in the valley is 25 minutes. Compared to other cities of this size, that’s pretty good.