Desert Mountain seeing increase in Californian homebuyers

Desert Mountain, a private golf and recreational community at 37700 Desert Mountain Parkway in Scottsdale. (Submitted Photo)

Desert Mountain, a private golf and recreational community at 37700 Desert Mountain Parkway in Scottsdale, has announced it is seeing an increase in buyers from California.

In 2018 at least 10-percent of Desert Mountain’s recent buyers have come from California. The trend is giving Arizona’s residential market and high end communities like Desert Mountain a recognized boost according to Arizona real estate experts, according to a press release.

According to real estate expert Jim Belfiore, some 25,789 Californians moved to the Valley from various California counties in 2016.

Mr. Belfiore and Joe Kliegl, managing broker for Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Desert Mountain, expect the influx of California residents moving to Arizona to increase by the end of 2018.

In his Desert Mountain-based office alone, Mr. Kliegl says 11 of 103 homes have sold to California residents year-to-date and nearly all of the 31 agents in his Desert Mountain office are currently working with California buyers.

He said luxury home buyers from California are drawn to north Scottsdale because of the clean open space and endless golf opportunities.

“Luxury home buyers are finding a specific appeal to places like Desert Mountain because the amenities and lifestyle give them a place to make friends in a private club setting that offers expansive golf, fitness, tennis, 5-star dining and social opportunities,” Mr. Kliegl said in a prepared statement.

Desert Mountain, a private golf and recreational community at 37700 Desert Mountain Parkway in Scottsdale. (Submitted Photo)

“Desert Mountain Club is also home to six, soon to be seven championship golf courses, a newly remodeled spa, tennis on three surfaces, seven restaurants, plus 15 miles of private hiking trails, mountain biking, trail running, road cycling and four-wheeling.”

With an elevation topping out at 4,500 feet above sea level and temperatures running several degrees cooler than the rest of the Valley, newly transplanted Californians say they feel right at home in Desert Mountain, a release states.

“We decided the move was right for us because we wanted exceptional golf, fitness and plenty of outdoor open space that we couldn’t enjoy enough of in the Bay Area just due to traffic constraints,” Brian Duffy said in a prepared statement.

He is a new member of Desert Mountain Club who moved from Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County in August of 2017. He and his wife joined the club earlier this year.

Businesses are thriving in the Bay Area, where Mr. Duffy said he continues to commute three times per month. He said he can work remotely while also enjoying the lifestyle that drew him, his wife and two dogs to the area.

“We hike Desert Mountain’s private trail system, work out at the new Sonoran fitness center and can choose a different golf course to play nearly every day of the week,” he said.

As a lover of the outdoors, Mr. Duffy said he is admittedly bracing himself for his first Arizona summer.

“We are always outside and even though this is our first full summer, we are enjoying the temperature break that is sometimes as much as 10 degrees cooler than the Valley. We love it up here,” he said.

Multiple studies, including a recently released survey, found half of San Francisco Bay area voters plan to leave the region in the next few years, according to a release. Residents cite long commutes, the lack of affordable housing and high costs of living as key determinants for their dissatisfaction.

The survey, conducted annually by the business-sponsored advocacy group the Bay Area Council, polled registered voters in the nine-county Bay Area and found 46 percent of current residents are planning to move — the highest percentage in three years.

Arizona isn’t only seeing a spike from the Bay Area but the entire state. According to, top destinations also include Nevada, Texas, Idaho and Washington.

“People want a good value regardless of whether they are in the market for a $500-thousand townhome or a $10-million mountain estate,” Mr. Kliegl said in a prepared statement.

“When California buyers come to Desert Mountain — or anywhere in Phoenix —- they are pleasantly shocked at the value they get for their money. Given the state of things in California, we don’t expect the trend to stop anytime soon.”

Recently, the California Association of Realtors reported that a San Francisco household would need to earn at least $333,000 a year to afford a home in the region.

The average median-priced home is $1.6 million, which equates to a monthly mortgage payment of more than $8,300. Renters pay an average of $3,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. The U.S. Census pegged the median yearly income in 2016 at almost $88,000.

The Bay Area Council survey also noted that millennials are increasingly considering planning to flee the region, up to 52 percent from 46 percent from last year’s survey, according to a release.

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