The city of Tucson sits amid the dry landscapes of southern Arizona's Sonoran Desert, at the foot of the Santa Catalina Mountains. It is Arizona's second-largest city, with an estimated population of roughly 528,000 people as of 2014, up from about 520,500 people at the 2010 census. Tucson has a median household income of just more than $37,000 and an owner-occupied housing rate of 49.6%. The city is situated on 227 square miles of territory with more than 800 miles of bike paths, nearly 2 dozen golf courses, and numerous cultural and entertainment destinations. Offering year-round warm weather and a reported 350 days of sunshine each year, the Tucson real estate market attracts a diverse mix of families, young professionals and retirees.

Market Insights

Like many real estate markets in the United States, the Tucson market experienced an extended downturn as the effects of the 2007-08 financial crisis reverberated across America. At the market's peak in 2006 and 2007, the median sale price for residential property in Tucson hovered between $200,000 and $212,000, with monthly sales volumes fluctuating around the 5,000-home mark. A long period of decline followed, with the market finally bottoming out at a median sale price of $116,000 in November 2011, 45.3% off its peak. Sales volumes fell below 3,000 homes per month for the first time since the turn of the century. Price growth returned to Tucson the following month and continued through August 2014, when the market reached a high of $162,000. Median prices have been mostly flat since. As of April 2016, the median sale price in Tucson stood at about $159,000, 25% below its peak.

Sales volumes have shown consistent seasonal fluctuations between 2,000 and 3,000 homes per month since the financial crisis. Sales volumes generally peak around July each year, falling to annual lows in February. High volumes in the summer months produced a slight up-tick in the median sales price in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, summer prices were mostly flat, even though July produced an eight-year high of 3,241 home sales.

Property and Transfer Taxes

Arizona has two types of property taxes. Primary property tax provides funding for cities, counties, school districts and community colleges. Secondary property tax provides funding for capital projects and special tax districts, including fire departments, libraries, parks, water conservation programs and a variety of other voter-approved public services. The overall property tax burden for a Tucson resident depends on which tax districts cover a given property. In 2015, the overall average tax burden for all property owners in Pima County, which covers the city of Tucson, was $15.91 per $100 of assessed property value. At the city level, all property owners in Tucson paid the same rate of $1.46 per $100 of assessed property value. Residential property in Arizona is assessed at a value no greater than 10% of real market value, and possibly less, depending on other factors.

There is no transfer tax for real estate sales in Arizona. As of April 2016, the Pima County Recorder charges a $15 flat fee for recording the transfer of a property deed.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

The Catalina Foothills neighborhood delivers spectacular south-facing views of downtown Tucson, alongside some of the city's best restaurants, art galleries and shops. As of March 2016, the median price for homes in the 85718 ZIP code directly north of the city was more than $360,000. Prices in the 85750 ZIP code immediately to the east were a bit lower, with a median price just above $330,000. In the northeast corner of Tucson, the Catalina Foothills give way to the Tanque Verde neighborhood in the 85749 ZIP code. Tanque Verde had a median sale price of $283,000. Moving down from the foothill areas of Tucson, the Sam Hughes neighborhood in the 85719 ZIP code is a popular central neighborhood, and a bit more affordable than the outlying areas. The median sale price in Sam Hughes was just under $175,000.

Top Real Estate Websites

Alongside national real estate websites such as Trulia and Zillow, among others, the Multiple Listing Service of Southern Arizona is a good source for local property listings and Tucson maps and resources. Its website is available at TARMLS.com. The Tucson Association of Realtors offers monthly residential and rental real estate market reports on its website at TucsonRealtors.org. For regular news reports and analysis covering the Tucson real estate market, information is available on the real estate portal of InsideTucsonBusiness.com.

Wichita Real Estate Market

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