A year ago, plunking down $3 million for a metro Phoenix mansion landed a buyer at the top of the priciest home sales for the week.
But there are a lot more big-money homebuyers in the Valley now.
The number of homes selling for $3 million or more in the Phoenix area has doubled this year, compared to the same time frame in 2017, said Tina Tamboer, senior housing analyst with the Cromford Report.
So far this year, 28 homes in that high price range have sold.
Who is spending the big bucks on Valley homes now? A lot of company executives, doctors, lawyers and professional athletes are behind many of the area’s priciest sales.
But sometimes, we don’t know who buyers are because they mask their names under Delaware LLCs that don’t require any of the members’ names to be recorded.
The buyer of the $17.5 million mansion is Nummus Properties, a Saskatchewan corporation, according to public real estate records. Some research into where the tax bill for the home will go, always included in Arizona records, shows it's the address for Brandt Tractor Ltd.
That company is one of the biggest Jon Deere dealers in the world.
In December, Microchip Technology founder Steve Sanghi set the previous record for the priciest Arizona home sale when he paid $15.65 million for a mansion on Paradise Valley’s Mummy Mountain. He used an LLC to buy, but his name was listed with the tax mailing address.
Tamboer said the million-dollar home market gets a boost when both corporate profits and the stock market are up.
Those two indicators have been working in tandem to help people make more money — or at least feel wealthier — during most of the past six months.
Also, the exchange rate between the dollar and Canada’s loonie is better for our neighbors to the north than it has been for a few years. That is likely enticing more home buyers like Nummus to get more house for their loonie buck.
And metro Phoenix’s mansions are bargains compared to similar houses on the West and East coasts and parts of Canada.
The Valley’s luxury home market has been much slower to recover than the rest of the market. Until recently, listings were rapidly climbing. Too many million-dollar homes for sale was putting pressure on prices.
But Tamboer’s latest count shows the number of metro Phoenix homes for sale priced at $2 million or more are down 2 percent.
Luxury real estate agent Mike Domer of RE/MAX Excalibur, who had the listing on the $17.5 million home, couldn’t talk to me about the buyer. But he did say he’s “very busy” right now with other high-end home sales.
Many million-dollar home buyers who don’t want their names disclosed not only use LLCs, but also ask real estate agents to sign agreements not to disclose their names.
Why do we care who plonks down millions of dollars for Valley mansions, some readers ask me.
These mega sales are good for the area’s economy, and of course the housing market.
Both of those famous Valley homebuyers used LLCs, and it took me days to go through hundreds of property records to confirm they did buy.
I understand why wealthy buyers may not want their names disclosed for security reasons. That’s why we never disclose addresses of the homes.
But it’s great news for the Valley when people, famous and not so famous, want to spend millions to live here.
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