Phoenix market hits bottom. Ready to grow.

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Feb. 23, 2010

When real estate industry insiders talk about the cities in the United States hardest hit by the recession, Phoenix is near the top of the list. However, I was there last week, and the situation seems to be changing.

There are several signs that real estate prices in Phoenix have found the bottom. Granted, most of the talk is conjecture at this point, but articles like this one are easy to find online and in the carbon-based media. These sources indicate that the fundamentals are strong, prices are at the bottom, and the market is on a strong simmer, if not quite ready to boil over. This is the perfect time for investors and buyers to be thinking about Phoenix as a smart play.

One New York banker commented that large-scale investment properties in default have had, until recently, only one or two potential purchasers sniffing around. In the last couple of months, however, as many as 30 or 40 offers are being received. When the big boys with the money to buy buildings of this scope and scale are lining up, it’s a good indication that market confidence has returned.

Vancouver-based Rob MacDonald, of MacDonald Development is a veteran of the real estate investment sector and is in the midst of re-launching a condominium tower in the urban centre of Phoenix. Formerly sold as Century Plaza at the peak of the market, the building has been renamed One Lexington.

“I’ve been visiting and working in Phoenix for decades, and I’m very bullish on what’s happening in the city centre,” MacDonald said. “With the new light rail transit as a catalyst, the downtown and midtown areas are showing exciting signs of a new urbanism. In very short order, Phoenix will have a thriving core. It’s this revitalization, combined with the market recovery that I’m seeing all around me, that made our team confident that One Lexington would be a good investment.”

It turns out that a good investment for MacDonald Development is a good investment for smaller investors too. With far-reaching views, huge outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and a light rail station out the front door, pricing at up to 50% less than the previous sale prices should attract past-purchasers and new devotees as well.

While it’s true my company is involved in this project (it’s a great example of Sell The Truth in action) and that I therefore have an abundance of belief in the offering, I’m not alone. The blogosphere and the traditional media are excited, and words of encouragement are flowing. You can read the most effusive post here. Even the Canadian media are getting in on the act. Here is the article in the National Post on the project.

Why am I devoting a column to a project that I have a vested interest in, and opening myself up to accusations of bias? There are two great reasons.

First, as stated, this project is a very good example of Sell The Truth in action. Take a look at the One Lexington website and see how much straightforward Marketing Journalism we’ve packed in. Website visitors will know exactly what’s happened before, what’s happening now, and all the great reasons to engage with the sales team. This is the antithesis of how real estate projects were marketed in the past. Unfortunately, some developers still haven’t got the memo that a whole new breed of consumer expects the facts up front, and isn’t willing to follow the old rules and do things the old way.

More importantly, readers of this column are in the business of real estate, and I think a resurgence of interest in the seriously recession-struck Phoenix market is big news. Local journalists agree with me. And so does the National Post. It’s time to look at the Phoenix market again; as investors, as buyers, and as a city to watch as it rises from the ashes of one of the worst periods of economic turmoil any of us have ever seen.


For more information on Marketing Journalism, download a free copy of my book, Sell The Truth here and plan on attending a breakfast seminar on March 29th, presented by RENX, featuring myself, Hunter Milborne, and a few surprise guest speakers.

Formal registration isn’t set up yet, but for readers of Sell The Truth on, you can pre-register by simply sending me an email at [email protected] and I’ll let you know when the registration system is set up. Proceeds from this seminar will go to a GTA charity, thanks to our generous sponsors, who will be revealed shortly.

We have one sponsorship opportunity remaining, at $1500, and if you are interested in getting your company name in front of a room full of real estate movers-and-shakers let me know. You can email me at the above address for more information.

David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

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David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more

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