The city of Mesa sits to the east of Phoenix in central Arizona's Valley of the Sun. With an estimated population of more than 462,000 people in 2015, Mesa is the third-largest city in the state behind Phoenix and the southern Arizona city of Tucson. Mesa covers roughly 133 square miles of territory that includes 57 public parks and more than 40 golf courses.

Mesa is in Maricopa County, which is also home to Phoenix and more than two dozen other communities in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Real estate markets across the county took a substantial hit in the wake of the 2007-08 financial crisis, falling to price levels not seen for more than a decade. Since 2011, however, home prices have shown substantial growth across the county. The Mesa real estate market has seen particularly strong growth in both prices and sales volume over the five years preceding 2016.

Market Insights

The Mesa real estate market bottomed out in 2011 when the median sale price for residential property in the city dropped to $105,000, down from a high of $230,000 in the fall of 2006. As summer ended in 2011, the market began a sustained two-year growth trend that pushed the median home price in Mesa to nearly $180,000. Prices hovered around the $180,000 median until the summer of 2015, when more than 2,700 Mesa homes were sold in both June and July, a sales volume not seen in the city since 2006. The median sale price also ticked up, as it reached $200,000 in January 2016 for an eight-year high. Prices fell back slightly to $193,000 in April. A similar softening in prices occurred in the winter months in both 2013 and 2014, before a return to growth late in the spring.

For comparison purposes, Maricopa County reached a market bottom in the first quarter of 2011, when the median sale price for residential property dropped below $115,000. Mirroring the Mesa market, the countywide median sale price reached an eight-year high of $223,500 in the first quarter of 2016.

Property and Transfer Taxes

There are two types of property tax in Arizona. Primary property tax is available to fund municipalities, school districts and other government entities. Secondary property tax funds capital spending projects and special tax districts. As of 2016, Mesa does not impose a primary property tax, and instead collects revenue through a 1.75% retail sales tax and various other use taxes and fees. The city does collect a secondary property tax to pay for voter-approved projects. Mesa's secondary property tax rate for the 2015-16 tax year is $1.21 per $100 of assessed property value. In Arizona, the assessed value of a residential property may be no greater than 10% of its real market value, and may be less depending on other factors.

All Mesa residents must also pay property tax to Maricopa County, totaling $1.58 per $100 of assessed property value for the 2015-16 tax year. Some Mesa properties are located within special tax districts that impose secondary property taxes in addition to the countywide taxes.

Real estate sales in Arizona are not subject to a transfer tax. However, the Maricopa County Recorder charged a flat fee of $15 for the transfer of a property deed, as of April 2016.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

Mesa's two most expensive neighborhoods are both on the north side of the city. The Mountain View neighborhood, located in the 85213 ZIP code, has the highest median residential sale price among the city's 12 ZIP code areas. The median sale price for homes in the Mountain View neighborhood during the first quarter of 2016 was $269,000. The second most expensive area in town is the Las Sendas neighborhood in the 85207 ZIP code, which makes up the northeast corner of the city. The median sale price in the area during the first quarter of 2016 was $253,000.

Top Real Estate Websites

Apart from national real estate websites, such as Trulia, Zillow and others, and marketing websites operated by local real estate agents, there are few specialty websites targeted at Mesa-area homebuyers. The Arizona Republic, the local newspaper for the Phoenix metropolitan area, maintains a real estate news and information portal on its website at AZCentral.com. Additionally, the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS) offers a wealth of useful information on its website, at ARMLS.com. While the website is geared toward real estate professionals in the area, it does provide free monthly and quarterly market reports and other useful real estate information covering communities throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Mesa.

Oakland Real Estate Market

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