Mortgage applications reveal a flood of Californians moving to Arizona

Fulton Homes, Arizona’s largest family-owned and operated homebuilder, has consistently strived to understand the desires of homebuyers and trends in order to best accommodate them while also considering the direction of the larger industry. The homebuilder has always championed the idea that mortgage applications — which show a flood of Californians moving to Arizona and other trends – are a useful data point to learn from as the company develops long-term business plans.

“The applications for home loans tell us a lot about the health of the market,” said Doug Fulton, CEO of Fulton Homes. “We lean on our lending partners to tell us what they are seeing, and to give us an indication of volume so that we are prepared as a homebuilder.”

One of those partners, Phyllis Casillas with On Q Financial, Inc., has held that status since 1992, and brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and outstanding service specifically to the purchase of a Fulton Home.

“Working with Fulton Homes as long as I have has given me tremendous insight about how the regional and metro migration of our people ebbs and flows,” added Casillas. “According to census data, a person will move 11.7 times in their life. Within that number, trends are revealed.”

Aside from building a quality community with excellent amenities and plentiful greenspaces, which are appreciated by different buying segments, Fulton Homes looks at where the buyers are coming from and their age groups.

Anecdotally speaking, Casillas indicates a substantial amount of new home applications are coming from the state of California. Cost of living, environmental concerns and business climate, along with higher taxes, have all led to this trend of more Californians moving to Arizona. A new factor in the current market is work/office flexibility. “More and more people are able to work remotely, and employers are opening up to the remote employee concept,” added Casillas. “The thought process for buyers is that they can continue to work for their out-of-state employer and move to a lower-cost-of-living state, where they can buy more home and continue working remotely.”

Western states like Washington and Oregon, with skyrocketing housing prices and limited supply, also account for a large portion of out-of-state applications.

Casillas also indicates that younger buyers are jumping into new Fulton Homes communities: “We are seeing millennials buying homes, as they have grown into the area and started families. But more surprising is the spike of Generation Z [people born after 1997] who are entering the market because of the lower attractive rates.”

Fulton Homes believes that both of the above trends are reflective of a high quality of life that the state of Arizona provides, as well as an influx of new industries in the region such as bioscience, technology and manufacturing.

Another age group that is revealed in these trends is retirees who are downsizing, who no longer have the worry of commuting but desire the accessibility of the larger metro area. The amenities and the appeal of a brand new, customizable home featuring the latest in construction efficiencies are strong selling factors.

“We’ve seen the established, newly retired age group buying into the Fulton Homes communities pretty regularly in 2020,” stated Casillas. “Their path is a little different: Typically, they’re downsizing from a different part of the Valley and from a larger home. They’re then taking their equity to get a home with less square footage but higher levels of interior upgrades, and having little to no mortgage payment

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