Housing report

Apartments are a tiny part of housing in Quebec, according to a report |

A new report to City Council shows apartment rental prices have risen significantly in Queen Creek compared to neighboring suburbs, as available multi-family housing is scarce.

The memo says rental costs have risen 76% over the past two years to a current average of $2,311 for a 2-bedroom apartment in Queen Creek, compared to $1,673 in Mesa, $1,914 in Gilbert and $1,916 to Chandler.

“Because nearly all of the inventory is new, average rental rates in Queen Creek rank among the highest in the Phoenix metro area,” the report said.

The report is an update of Queen Creek’s 2020 Land Use Balance report by economist Elliot D. Pollack.

He was tasked with assessing current single and multi-family housing prices and analyzing the balance of land use in Queen Creek versus adjacent municipalities.

There are currently 3,669 multi-family units existing, under construction or in an approved site plan in Queen Creek.

In total, this is only 5% of all residences in Queen Creek – considerably lower than neighboring Chandler (30%), Gilbert (17%) and Mesa (28%).

This percentage may not change any time soon.

A project proposed by developer and longtime Queen Creek resident Jason Barney would have added 665 newly built townhouses to the multi-family housing mix on 36 acres at the corner of Ryan and Signal Butte Roads, across from New Frontier Park in 861 acres.

But Barney’s request to have the land rezoned from light industrial to neighborhood was denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission before a meeting earlier this month.

“Staff do not support the proposed density of the proposed HDR (High Density Residential) and MDR (Medium Density Residential) zoning applications,” wrote Sarah Clark, Senior Planner and Project Manager in a memo to the consultant. Greg Davis of Iplan Consulting.

He would have laid out the land for the townhouses in front of the park.

After withdrawing his application, Barney said he would develop the land as it is currently zoned, with light industrial operations, filled with 18-wheeler truck traffic and warehouses that light industrial is likely to to attract.

These buildings will be directly across from the park and less attractive than townhouses, Barney said.

“I have a pretty good read of the city’s mindset on city politics and they’re not ready to support that at this point,” Barney told the Queen Creek Tribune shortly after he withdrew its rezoning application. “There is a lot of concern in many communities about too many multi-family dwellings.”

Barney criticized the decision to reject the townhouses, pointing to the lack of rental housing available in the area and the city’s opposition to multi-family housing options at the same time as the jobs economy is booming – what this latest report verifies.

Less than two weeks before rejecting Barney’s rezoning request, the city rezoned 1,600 acres of nearby State Trust Land to Commercial.

“Multifamily housing is an important component of the overall housing inventory in any community,” the report states.

“Increasing housing density is part of the normal life cycle of suburban communities as their employer base grows, adequate housing is needed to sustain the workforce.”

Brett Burningham, director of development services for Queen Creek, said earlier this month the city was “open to further discussions” on multifamily housing.

But he stressed that the city will take a methodical and well-studied approach.

“This hesitation is understandable,” admits Barney. “But, with the realities of imbalance, especially in Queen Creek, it’s certainly an important conversation to have – even if it’s a difficult conversation.”

According to the report, the city will not be able to drag its feet on multifamily housing any longer, especially given the overheated growth the city is experiencing.

Until recently, Queen Creek was under a self-imposed moratorium on new multi-family housing.

Between 2008 and 2020, the city prohibited the construction of any new collective housing. Since this restriction was lifted, 714 new multi-family units have been built and 1,804 more are under construction.

“Given the increase in house prices over the past 12 to 18 months,” the report states, “and more recently the increase in interest rates, local governments will come under increased pressure to allow construction. more affordable housing.

“This may include requests for increased density and may also result in zoning and land use changes.”

The report also points out that high-density multifamily housing generates more revenue per acre and that there are “economies of scale” in providing certain types of municipal services for higher-density development.

While rental numbers were austere, the report didn’t stop at the high cost and limited availability of multi-family housing.

He pointed out that, according to Redfin.commedian home prices in Queen Creek jumped 65% over a two-year period to $625,000 in May 2022.

“Rising rates are very similar to other East Valley communities like Chandler and Gilbert,” the report said. “But well above the US average of 44%, and unprecedented in such a short period.”

City Council is due to discuss the report at its Wednesday meeting.