Evidence of a mini housing boom in the Village of Oak Creek is everywhere. New homes are springing up on empty lots and there’s a home remodeling spike due, in part, to a surge in short-term rentals.
A steady stream of large construction trucks are now a ubiquitous feature on our roadways.
According to Sarah Smith, permitting manager for Yavapai County, there were 37 new housing permits issued in 2017 up from just 16 in 2016.
Assuming that trend continues in 2018, and there’s no evidence to the contrary, that’s an average of three new homes being built per month.
By the end of this year, new home construction, along with those from 2016 and 2017, translates into at least 180 new residents in just three years, figuring two occupants per home.
Current population for the Village of Oak Creek ranges from 6,147 (2010 U.S. Census Bureau) to 6,448 (Onboard Informatics) depending on the source.
Since the 2010 U.S. Census is 8 years old, it makes sense that our current population is probably the higher figure of 6,448.
Of course, the 6,448-population figure does not include the number of tourists flowing in and out of short-term rentals every day.
Short term rental services like AirBnB.inc currently list 134 homes in the Village of Oak Creek, VRVO.com lists 985 homes (includes Sedona) and HomeAway.com Inc. lists 685 (includes Sedona).
The challenges of identifying the exact number of short-term rentals are many including the fact there’s no data source on how many short-term rentals list with more than one service, and there are an unknown number of others operating without a third-party service.
Sales of existing homes in the Village remains robust, too. According to Rob Schabatka, owner/broker of REMAX Sedona, there were 235 sales in the Village of Oak Creek/Big Park in 2017 and 52 in the first quarter of 2018.
While the inventory of available homes for sale is lower this year, the average home price is up. Shabatka says, “The market is as good as it has been in the last decade.”
With such changes comes good news. Home values in the Village of Oak Creek are higher than they have been in years; and, considering our Village is surrounded by National Forest, BLM land and state land, the shrinking amount of private land limits our residential growth.
We’ll always be a Village. As we get closer to being built out, property values are likely to go in only one direction, and that’s UP.