An Arizona Suburb Is Attracting an Affluent Population

The allure of Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley
Popular Camelback Mountain with patches of sunlight cast upon the peak at sunrise, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Before the pandemic, if you heard the name of Paradise Valley, Arizona, you may well have been familiar with it due to one of its most famous residents. That would be onetime presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, whose home was located there. The town is now the site of a memorial to Goldwater, which has been in place since 2004.

But Goldwater wasn’t the only high-profile figure to settle down there; Stevie Nicks and Muhammad Ali also found the town appealing enough to reside there. (No word if the three of them ever crossed paths; one can only imagine what a conversation among them might have been like.) And the town’s popularity is growing. A new article in The Wall Street Journal charts a fascinating phenomenon — namely, that a whole lot of wealthy individuals have begun buying homes there since the pandemic began.

The article quotes a real estate broker, Greg Hague, who offered some telling data on what’s happened to the town’s real estate. “Pre-pandemic, we always had some out-of-state buyers but the largest proportion of buyers were Arizona people,” he said.

Now, that’s changed — and the price of real estate has increased as a result, with the median home price now in the neighborhood of $5 million. A developer who the Wall Street Journal spoke with noted that many of their clients had a net worth of over $100 million, including “a good handful [who] are over half a billion.”

Paradise Valley’s large lots are seen as one draw for an affluent crowd; the scenic desert and presence of nearby cities also helps matters. It’s a subtle but significant shift in the makeup of the town’s population, and it’s one of many such changes that the pandemic has had on real estate markets across the country.

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