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Build-to-rent bonanza: Communities continue to pop up Valley-wide

Posted 5/4/24

As demand for rental properties in the Valley remains acute, the build-to-rent category continues to boom in ways unique to metro Phoenix.

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Build-to-rent bonanza: Communities continue to pop up Valley-wide


As demand for rental properties in the Valley remains acute, the build-to-rent category continues to boom in ways unique to metro Phoenix.

With available land and a relatively low number of apartment units available as this decade began, Surprise is one of, if not the, epicenters of this phenomenon.

According to an April 2024 article by Alexandra Bath on rentcafe.com, Phoenix, Dallas and Atlanta are the top three metros for build-to-rent construction in 2023, accounting for nearly one-third of all units of this type added.

The Valley saw 4,030 single-family homes for rent opening in 2023.

“The Surprise market shares similarities with the rest of the Valley in its growing popularity for BTR communities, driven by demand for rental housing options,” stated Andrew Podore, managing director of multifamily investments at Mark-Taylor. "Surprise continues to be well-loved for its attention to family-friendly, suburban living offerings within reach of popular attractions."

According to a January 2024 by Northmarq, more than 8,000 build-to-rent houses are now under construction in the Valley.

In an August 2023 article for the Independent by Melissa Rosequist, Arizona State University professor Mark Stapp said around 6,000 units had been added since 2017. Surprise accelerated that pace in the past two years.

According to Surprise Community Development Director Lloyd Abrams, the city approved six build-to-rent communities and four are now under construction.

When completed, these six development will add 1,498 units into the city boundaries.

“Surprise has become increasingly competitive, especially in the BTR sector. So far this year, Yardly Paradisi and Sobremesa have opened. Over the next couple of months, we expect Elanto at Prasada and Bungalows on Sarival to join the market,” Podore stated “In total, over 1,000 units will be delivered in 2024 across these four properties, all located within a few miles of each other.”

Even a more built out West Valley city like Glendale is included in this trend. Glendale Planning Manager Tabitha Perry said four build-to-rent communities received approval in the past two years and will add a total of 736 units when completed.

Two of the four are an extension of the far West Valley boom, situated on Glendale’s newer west end just south of Surprise. Those are Hancock Communities’ Casino Royale on the northeast corner of Sarival Avenue and the Northern Parkway, and the approved but as yet undeveloped Sonoma Cotton Residential on the southeast corner of Northern and Cotton Lane.

Glendale also added Bungalows at Westgate by Cavan Company at 7403 N. 91st Ave., and Avilla Palomino by Nexmetro at 5023 W. Peoria Ave.

Two long-undeveloped properties off Greenway Road near Cactus High School and Arizona Christian University went the traditional apartment route. Hanger at Thunderbird is completed just east of the ACU campus while The Isabella is set to open soon west of Cactus.

“These types of developments are not inherently an infill development. Glendale desires a variety of house products as the general plan, Envision 2040, supports as a house element under growth and development. Other traditional apartment developments, which were supported by the existing zoning district, met the market demands as well,” Perry stated in an email.

Mark-Taylor recently purchased three build-to-rent communities in the

Valley built by different developers. They are as follows:

  • Sobremesa Villas in Surprise by Isola Communities.
  • The M at Shadow Mountain in North Phoenix by Treger Development.
  • EVR Porter in Maricopa by El Dorado Holdings, Inc.

That adds to the Scottsdale-based developer’s portfolio, which now spans nearly 4,000 units under the build-to-rent asset class. Mark Taylor first acquired build to rent communities in 2017.

The competition in Surprise and across the Valley has led Mark-Taylor to offer varying rebates on early rental payments for leases.

However, the builder markets Sobremesa Villas as a luxury BTR community. Studios are priced at $1,400 per month; with one-bedroom homes at $1,650 a month and two-bedroom casitas at $2,000 each month.

Amenities include electric vehicle charging stations, private garages equipped with EV chargers, a resort-style pool and spa, a dog park, outdoor spaces with ramadas, fireplaces, TV lounges, and misting fans. Podore cited those and other amenities as reason to justify the luxury designation.

“Sobremesa Villas is a luxury community because it includes premium offerings, such as a Bosch appliance package with gas ranges — an upgrade that is not typically seen in the BTR or multifamily market. Additionally, Sobremesa Villas offers backyards with covered patios, tankless hot water heaters, and is constructed using HercuWall technology,” Podore stated.