Originally Published: April 11, 2013 10 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY - Joe Contadino, president of Universal Homes in Phoenix, said his company sold 27 homes in the Granville subdivision during the first quarter (January through March) of this year.
That is up from only seven homes during the first three months of 2012, Contadino said.
Universal's experience with Granville is a strong sign that Prescott Valley is recovering from a housing slump that the Great Recession triggered, and enjoyed the busiest month for building permits for single-family homes in March in six years.
Universal Homes recently started improvements on 30 lots on the east side of Granville, and began building two homes there, Contadino said. Granville covers both sides of Glassford Hill Road and will have 3,288 lots for single-family homes and 114 multifamily units at build-out, according to Prescott Valley's General Plan 2025.
"We are in the point in the building cycle that is as good as it gets," Contadino said. He added homes typically take three months to build.
Contadino's company obtained 17 building permits for single-family homes in March from the Prescott Valley Community Development Department, the most of any builder. Everest RFC of Scottsdale, a new developer in the Quailwood subdivision, followed with 10 building permits.
The department issued 41 building permits for single-family homes in March, Community Development Director Richard Parker said. The activity for single-family homes in March sharply contrasts with the bottom of the recession in 2008, when Prescott Valley issued only one permit in September and zero in December for single-family homes.
Prescott Valley is poised to issue more than 300 building permits for single-family homes in the fiscal year concluding June 30, Parker said.
Parker, Contadino and Jim Gunby, vice president of sales and marketing for Dorn Homes in the Prescott area, cited an improving economy, decline in inventory and low interest rates as factors contributing to the six-year high in March.
"There is very little product available," Parker said, referring to existing homes for sale. "There are very few homes that are currently listed."
Parker said buyers can get enormous value with low interest rates.
Interest rates are lower than 4 percent, Gunby said. He added Dorn Homes, which has a close business relationship with Everest, has sold 19 homes in Quailwood during the first quarter of 2013.
That figure is 20 percent higher than the previous quarter for Dorn in Quailwood, Gunby said. Dorn obtained three building permits in March in Quailwood, a 987-lot subdivision located off Bradshaw Mountain Road and Highway 69.
Dorn is building homes on speculation in Quailwood as well as for build-to-suit purchases, Gunby said.
He speculated more single-family homes are under construction in Prescott Valley because it has more available lots than Prescott.
The City of Prescott issued 20 permits for single-family homes in March.
The Yavapai County Planning and Building Department issued 14 permits for single-family homes and the towns of Chino Valley and Dewey-Humboldt issued no permits for single-family homes.