Lake Havasu Real Estate Appreciation

Market Trends

Lake Havasu Real Estate Appreciation


Lake Havasu is one of the most unique communities in the United States, offering a generous mix of both retirement and vacation entertainment opportunities as well as employment for those who have not yet reached retirement age.  From the superb boating, fishing and water activities available within minutes of nearly any property in the city to the ample employment opportunities that exist in nearly every industry that would be found in larger cities, Lake Havasu City has something for everyone.  Since its inception in the late fifties, Lake Havasu has been on a constant upward trajectory with regards to real estate appreciation.  Of course there have been hiccups when the entire country saw declines, but our community retained values better than most others in the country, and once the recovery started we were once again leading the way.  The main reason for the stability through the down times and the tremendous growth during the up times has to do with a desire to attract new residents, and a focus on bringing them to explore our community.

From the very beginnings as a military camp, Lake Havasu has been an oasis in the desert.  The position on the Colorado River made it a perfect place for development when the Parker Dam created 450 miles of shoreline.  Robert McCulloch was an entrepreneur and owner of McCulloch Motors and was flying over the area in 1963 while looking for an area to test his outboard motors.  He realized the potential of the area for development, and Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963 by resolution #63-12-1.  Due to the fact that the emerging city lacked many improvements at the time, and there was only one major road serving it, McCulloch chose air charter as the method of spreading the word about his development, and 2,702 flights brought 137,000 potential land buyers to Lake Havasu City between 1964 and 1978.  The primary push was toward colder climate residents was successful, selling the last parcel of land in 1978 and incorporating later that year.  The warm weather and laid back lifestyle that was offered was attractive to "snow birds," who are people from colder climates looking for an area to escape to for a few months out of the year.  "Snow bird" season typically lasts from late December until April, when the majority of vacationers and second home owners descend on the city to escape winter's coldest timeframes.  In 1978 the area had reached a population of over 17,000 residents.

While Lake Havasu has continually grown and expanded throughout the years, there have been several booms the followed the initial population push.  McCulloch realized that even though the growth of his vision was doing quite well, a tourist attraction would bring even more people to the area.  In 1971 he opened the reconstructed London Bridge spanning the Bridgewater Channel and connecting the island and the mainland.  The ability to see the London Bridge in the middle of the desert attracted hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, and provided many local businesses with a lucrative industry.  During the late nineties, the tourist activities of "spring break" among college students began to prove to be a lucrative time for beach communities.  In March of each year, millions of college students seek out areas to take a break and relax, blow off steam and enjoy themselves with other college students.  "Spring Break destinations" started to be developed as college students began to gather at areas that offered activities for them during their break.  Areas like Daytona and Jamaica attracted hundreds of thousands of students each year, and local merchants realized the benefit of attracting them.  At this point, Lake Havasu City was realized as a less expensive alternative for University Of Arizona students, who could enjoy all the benefits of beaches and boating without the costs of airfare to destinations that were further away.  The influx of students to the area for spring break attracted students from other colleges as well as tourists who wanted to experience a higher energy vacation.  In 2010 the area was used as the backdrop in the movie Piranha 3D, a fictional comedy about college students being attacked by piranhas in the river. The success of the movie only attracted more spring breakers to the area, which is now one of the most popular in the country.  

All of the attention towards catering to the activities that both tourists and residents seek has created a situation where Lake Havasu real estate is an incredibly solid investment, and shows appreciation rates that outpace most of the rest of the nation.  The ability to purchase a home or a condo as a second home for vacationing and offset the mortgage with rentals to snow birds, spring breakers and casual tourists makes purchasing real estate in Lake Havasu quite desirable, and keeps real estate values quite high.  While still affordable for all income levels, purchasing real estate in Lake Havasu proves to be a good investment across the spectrum of all levels.  Growing employment opportunities in the area as growth continues also keeps values going up as more people come to the area as permanent year-round residents.  If you are interested in learning more about Lake Havasu City and the real estate opportunities that the area offers, contact us today.