Dr. Cardell: Pinal County Real Estate Values to Outperform the US Market


Editors note: This posting was contributed by Oracle resident Doug Cardell who has his doctorate in Economics. 

The boom that began a couple of years ago in Pinal County dipped slightly in the past year but is now rebuilding momentum. Our county is still a seller’s market with rising prices, while the US remains a buyer’s market. Arizona, Texas, and Florida are beneficiaries of recent migration patterns. Arizona continues hearty growth, especially from left-leaning areas, driving out residents with high crime and taxes. While Maricopa County is adding more new residents than any county in the nation, Pinal County continues to have one of the fastest growth rates in the US. Of the 100 fastest-growing counties, conservative-leaning ones outnumber left-leaning ones by about 10 to 1. In addition to Pinal’s politically friendly environment, we enjoy being an ideal transportation hub by road, rail, and air.

The projection for at least the coming year or two is a continuation and amplification of the current sellers’ market, with a continued rise in population and real estate prices. Median real estate prices peaked about a year ago. They suffered a 15% drop due to the Fed’s attempt to curb the inflation that predictably followed the Biden administration’s recklessly spending borrowed money. Since bottoming about the first of this year, we have made back about half the loss, and in the coming half year, we are likely to recover the balance. Furthermore, the time a property is on the market has dropped 33% since January, and home sales have almost doubled. All the indications are that these trends will also continue at least through next year.

The nation as a whole will likely continue to see falling prices, further consolidating the buyers’ market, at least through 2025. Median home prices nationwide may fall another 5% in 2024, on top of the likely 5% drop in 2023. However, the national market could somewhat flatten and trim the losses if interest rates drop faster than expected. The national market has reacted slowly to population shifts away from left-leaning areas. As a result, a significant portion of the country is overbuilding, which should add downward pressure to national real estate prices. Also, investors are far more fickle about holding properties than homeowners. This lack of attachment could drive prices down further as the market declines.

Pinal County will almost certainly significantly outperform the national market for the next two or three years. It will likely continue to do so for the remainder of the decade. We must not ignore the effect of national and local politics on Pinal County’s market. So, it remains crucial that we maintain and augment the low-tax, family-friendly, safe, and sane policies that attract those fleeing the taxes, crime, and general craziness in the left-leaning areas of the country.

Don’t let anyone convince you that real estate prices have nothing to do with politics. In the current climate, politics are a key driver of values.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments