How Much is One Acre of Land Worth in Arizona?

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How Much is One Acre of Land Worth in Arizona?

Bart Waldon

Wide open spaces, stunning desert vistas, and relatively affordable land compared to neighboring states - Arizona is a real estate dream for many looking to stake their claim on a prime parcel. With roughly 72% of the state's acreage owned by government entities however, viable private land carries a premium. What factors determine fair per-acre pricing in both growing suburbs and rural counties across Arizona's diverse terrain? Evaluating elements like location, zoning, infrastructure access and parcel size proves essential whether you aim to buy or sell.

The USDA records Arizona's average farm real estate rate at a modest $4,164 per acre. Contrast that to other Southwestern states and Arizona cultivation property remains budget-friendly. But development potential, views, water availability and more create drastic value differences beyond agricultural utilization alone.

In thriving Maricopa County zones like North Scottsdale, Cave Creek and bustling Paradise Valley, even raw 10+ acre lots can demand upwards of $15,000 per acre in some cases - over triple state farmland averages. Meanwhile, remote undeveloped tracts bought in bulk occasionally dip below $500 per acre. Identifying fair per-acre pricing amidst such extreme spectrum takes diligence for both buyers and sellers.

Key Factors That Impact Arizona Land Pricing

While no universal formula exists, several core factors influence pricing per acre across Arizona's diverse landscapes and markets:

  • Development Potential - Land near growing suburbs with zoning allowing housing construction sells at a premium compared to rural agricultural parcels. Areas classified for commercial projects also fetch higher rates. Assessing what the land could be used for is key.
  • Access/Exposure - Corner parcels near well-trafficked intersections tend to sell for more than chunks of land deep off unpaved county dirt roads rarely travelled. Visibility and ease of access impact desirability.
  • Utilities Access - Land already connected to electric, gas, sewage lines, and nearby transportation sell for exponentially more than sites lacking infrastructure access that would require heavy investment to develop.
  • Lot Size - Within a consistent geographic area, smaller land parcels less than an acre often sell for disproportionately more per square foot than 10-20 acre sites or bigger ranch properties. Evaluate rates per acre, not whole property sticker prices.
  • Unique Attributes - Contributing value factors like lakefront access, mountain views, proximity to recreation, enhanced privacy, borders on public lands, tree coverage, and habitat for hunting justify premium valuations.

By weighing these types of qualifying factors, both buyers and sellers can reach more accurate acreage valuations for vacant land listings in Arizona markets.

Arizona Land Price Variances by County and Region

Rural Cochise or Apache County lands command much lower per acre stickers than sites within thriving Maricopa or Pima County suburbs surrounded by homes and retail amenities. Some general prevailing value ranges by county and area include:

Maricopa County

  • Scottsdale Area: $20K-$30K+ per acre
  • Surprise/Sun City Area: $5K-$20K per acre
  • Buckeye Area: $2K-$10K per acre

Pima County

  • Oro Valley/Marana Area: $10K-$30K per acre
  • Catalina/Saddlebrooke Area: $5K-$20K per acre
  • Green Valley Area: $2K-$10K per acre

Pinal County

  • Florence/Anthem Area: $5K-$15K per acre
  • Oracle/San Manuel Area: $500-$5K per acre

Yavapai County

  • Prescott Area: $10K-$25K per acre
  • Prescott Valley Area: $5K-$15K per acre
  • Camp Verde Area: $1K-$10K per acre

Of course, market shifts, development announcements, and other forces can rapidly swing pricing even within the same neighborhoods. Broad regional familiarity and custom property evaluation is needed to accurately set expectations.

Estimating Approximate Raw Land Valuations

Arriving at a sensible starting offer price for vacant land listings requires digging deeper than surface level county or city average pricing. The following process can assist with reach logical value estimates:

1. Research Recent Nearby Sales

Analyze what other comparable-sized lots within a 1-3 mile radius sold for in the past 6 months. Weight the differences like road frontage, views, drainage, and ownership restrictions.

2. Account for Development Potential

Estimate possible future value based on potential builds gone entitlement allows like residential units or commercial square footage.

3. Factor Justifiable Premiums

Some examples like lakefront access, corner lots, tree cover, elevation views, or backing to public lands should reasonably adjust valuations 20-50% higher than equivalently sized parcels without the attributes.

4. Verify Infrastructure & Utilities Accessibility

Confirm details like connected electric/gas, road quality, internet availability, sewer lines, water access, flood zone status, grading challenges, protected species habitats, HOA restrictions etc.

5. Weigh Inherent Site Challenges

Natural downsides like 100-year flood zones, ultra-remote access, protected species interference, excessive erosion, wells testing unsafe for drinking should lower asking rates if needing extensive workarounds.

6. Calculate Per Acre Costs

Based on the qualitative and quantitative analysis so far, set realistic per acre expectations, not just total property sticker prices that could seem inflated or underpriced without context.

While no defined blueprint exists across Arizona's diverse land ecosystems and development patterns, a diligent comparative valuation process can derive supportable per acre land rates fitting local conditions and norms.

Good Time to Buy or Sell Land in Arizona?

Arizona has experienced one of the most rapid expansions of any state over the past decade in the wake of the 2008 housing crisis, with Maricopa County alone adding over 57,000 new residents in 2021. This substantial growth trajectory bodes well for long term property valuation outlooks.

Additionally, as of 2023 the greater Phoenix metropolitan area maintains:

  • Unemployment Rate Below 3%
  • Over 100,000 Open Jobs Reported
  • Below National Average Cost of Living
  • Lower Taxes Than Most Western States

Paired with Arizona's pro-business environment and seasoned retirement communities, both residential and commercial real estate investors remain bullish on healthy land appreciation over the next 5-10 years.

While short term dips are possible if a nationwide economic recession manifests, Arizona is expected to continue outpacing broader national averages. For buyers or sellers assessing the right time to make a land deal, steady in-migration and job creation provide confidence. Conducting due diligence around zoning potentials and neighborhood growth outlooks allows savvy plays.

Key Takeaways

Ultimately no definitive per acre pricing bible covers deciding land values across Arizona's diverse terrain and county conditions. Connecting with trusted local real estate professionals helps cut through the complexity. Location nuances, fair comparative rates analysis, intended use highest-and-best practices, plus market trend projections provide guardrails when asking or bidding Arizona acreage. While deals worth celebrating can be found with persistence and vision, setting reasoned value expectations minimizes frustrations.

Final thoughts

While the prospect of buying vacant Arizona land may seem ripe with opportunity, getting accurate per acre valuations requires careful due diligence into intended use, zoning regulations, infrastructure availability, socioeconomic predictions, and more. Nailing down sensible expectations through deep local understanding and help from seasoned advisors can strengthen bargaining positions. Ultimately, Arizona still harbors plenty of flourishing land markets primed for strategic buyers, builders, and collectors to stake a future. Affordability compared to other premium Western states remains compelling as well. But educating yourself, partnering with supportive resources, and conducting rigorous research underpin success. For buyers and sellers willing to invest the effort however, promising deals may reside, waiting to be shaped into something remarkable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cheapest price per acre in Arizona?

The cheapest Arizona land prices can be found in rural counties, with some remote parcels selling for $500 per acre or less when purchased in bulk. However, cheaper land typically lacks infrastructure or development potential.

What factors most increase costs per acre in Arizona?

Access to utilities, road frontage exposure, zoning potential, views/scenery, water features, and proximity to growing population centers drive higher per-acre rates for Arizona land lots. Parcels with entitlements suited for commercial builds also value higher.

How much does land per acre cost in Phoenix suburbs?

In desirable Phoenix suburbs like Scottsdale, Cave Creek, and Carefree, per acre land can demand $20,000 - $30,000+ for 10 acre or less sites. More remote Maricopa County outposts like Buckeye still range $2,000 - $10,000 per acre.

How can I estimate value for Arizona land I want to sell?

Analyze recent sales of comparable nearby lots, weigh developmental potential, factor justifiable premiums, verify infrastructure, consider inherent challenges, and calculate rate per acre instead of whole price. Local real estate professionals also advise.

Should I buy Arizona land now or wait for lower prices?

Steady population growth and business investment forecast experts see Arizona outpacing most states long-term. While some market dips occur, strong in-migration and job creation sustain real estate. Identifying promising plays takes diligence and vision.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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