Phoenix High Rise Condo HOA Survey

We just took a detailed look at Home Owner Association fees at all Phoenix high rise condo buildings for the last five years.   For the most part you will see a gradual increase in the older established buildings while increases were somewhat extreme in the newer buildings.  A cynic might believe that the reason the newer building HOA fees jumped so much was because the developers underestimated operating costs in order to promote sales of its condos.  Of course an optimist might explain that HOA fees and operating expenses are very difficult to predict for a building that does not already exist.  I’ll leave it to you to decide what makes the most sense to you.

Please know that I pulled the numbers from the MLS.  HOA numbers on the MLS are compiled by real estate agents prior to their listing individual condominiums for sale.  So the data, although pretty accurate may not be exact.  Minor discrepancies may be statistical errors or anomalies.  However, the numbers should be reasonably accurate to determine trends and general costs.

Here’s the data stated in dollars per square foot per month:

Buildings with a "-" did not exist during the time period.

Buildings with a "-" did not exist during the time period.

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3 thoughts on “Phoenix High Rise Condo HOA Survey

hey this is a very interesting article!

Will Daly
Will Daly

Brandon – You raise several excellent points. Regarding HOA fees increasing due to investor foreclosures that is certainly a problem, particularly in buildings like The Landmark where we have seen HOA fees almost double in just a couple years.

You are correct that high rise buildings are more expensive to maintain and that we are each more dependent on other owner’s paying their share of the dues than at non-high rise condos. However, I would argue that there are many financially stable buildings which are not at risk of failing; buildings like Crystal Point, Optima Biltmore Towers, and Executive Towers to name a few.

brandon adamson

Thanks a lot for posting this, very useful info.

I would have guessed that the newer buildings’ hoa fees sharp rise would be due to the fact that there are so many unsold units and/or investors who are delinquent on their fees. This would cause whomever is remaining there to have to pick up the slack and pay more. If there are 250 units and yet only 100 are paying their fees, their share would have to be bigger than if all buyers were up to date….

Also I would suspect that as you indicated a lot of these new developments offered a low introductory hoa fee to attract buyers, knowing full well it would just be increased later AFTER the sale was made, and then it would be the buyer’s problem. I saw a lot of promos that were “free hoa for 1 year” and such, and I bet that a lot of the buyers didn’t pay too much attention because they were planning on selling these places for a quick buck… not living there and shelling out $400 a month hoa fees for the next 5 years.

I think that the issues with hoa fees in general make me hesitant to buy in a highrise. It seems like it requires relying on a lot of people to make it all work properly. Granted that’s true with any condo development, but with a highrise everything is connected and minor repairs for these mini skyscrapers seem to have seriously catastrophic costs. The term “too big to manage” comes to mind. So I guess I’m a bit on the cynical side.

I would like to see some more mid size condo buildings, like maybe 30 units and 5 or 6 floors. Los Angeles and San Diego are filled with these types of places. In phoenix it seems like you get either 2 story 1980s “apartment style” homes or these new “Howard Roark” mega buildings.

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