Since opening in winter 2015, Wickenburg Ranch, a Trilogy resort community, has achieved its most successful year of home sales to date. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or perhaps because of it, the master-planned lifestyle community with 55+ neighborhoods in the Sonoran Desert foothills recently celebrated its 700th sale. The sales, which exceeded Wickenburg’s projected 2020 numbers, come during a time of record high housing demand and prices. COVID has made a lasting impact on the way people live1, and that’s evidenced by the many boomers trading their current living situations to start anew.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated boomers’ moving plans to create a newer, more invigorating lifestyle somewhere better suited for their current stage in life. Wickenburg Ranch’s record year of sales is a testament to that,” said Mollie Beale, Director of Member Experience at Wickenburg Ranch. “Boomer buyers like to do their own research, and they choose to purchase at Wickenburg when they discover the deep connections, lifestyle, and amenities here. The events of 2020 have also pushed more boomers to feel like now is the time to join a community that aligns with their needs.”
Homebuying motivations for boomers haven’t changed, but they have become more important and urgent as the pandemic continues. New residents to Wickenburg Ranch – many of whom are coming from densely populated areas of California, Colorado, the Pacific Northwest and other parts of Arizona – are attracted to the lifestyle community because it combines the best of small-town charm with big city convenience. The shift from larger cities to more rural areas is a trend that’s been thoroughly studied in 20202, and Wickenburg Ranch has quickly become a haven for boomers who are leading that migration.
“COVID has elevated the emotional needs of boomer buyers who want to live a full and happy life,” said Beale. “They’re tired of being socially isolated in cities where they’ve been unable to do things like dining out and seeing friends. In contrast, Wickenburg Ranch is more insular. The terrain of the Sonoran Desert foothills offers a rural charm due to its abundant views, natural open setting, fresh air and connection to the outdoors. But the rural elements are juxtaposed with a unique feeling of connection through social clubs, resort-style activities, a large system of hiking and biking trails, and top-rated golf courses, plus the ultimate convenience of nearby hospitals and other services in Wickenburg and Phoenix.”
Higher home appreciation values have created a seller’s market and for many boomers is another factor creating new urgency for them to move. Boomers are typically viewed as discretionary buyers, and the exodus from dense and more expensive areas like California to Wickenburg Ranch is attractive for Boomers who revel in lower taxes and overall cost of living – especially after cashing out on the high equity of their former homes.
Upon completion, Wickenburg Ranch will include 1,600 homes across 800 acres of serene desert landscape. Home offerings by Shea Homes and Dorn Homes represent years of 55+ consumer research, where quality of space and indoor/outdoor living are paramount. Current floor plans feature single-story living averaging from 1,300 to over 3,000 square feet, complete with modern technology as featured in the Shea Connect for telecommuting, telehealth, and connection to family, friends, and the world outside their immediate community. All Dorn Homes include their Organic Home Plus, a holistic system with state-of-the-art features dedicated to building healthy homes with energy efficiency and optimal ventilation. As with many home sites at Wickenburg Ranch, residences are perched upon the rolling desert hills overlooking the 18-hole golf course, with large patios for year-round entertaining providing one-of-a-kind views of the pristine desert, starry skies, and Arizona sunsets.
Homeowners enjoy outdoor activities all year long thanks to Wickenburg’s scenic setting, mild climate and outdoor walkability. Safety is reinforced by the rural locale, gated community and access to nearby healthcare facilities. The crown jewels of the master-planned community include two golf courses operated and managed by Troon®: the 18-hole championship course Big Wick, voted number one in Arizona for Course Conditions by Golf Advisor, and the award-winning 9-hole entertainment course Lil’ Wick. The latter features illuminated holes for nighttime rounds, music, a bar and grill with outdoor seating and more. As a Troon Privé Club, members enjoy exclusive access to Troon’s golf and lifestyle benefits worldwide. Moreover, residents can call upon premium at-your-service hospitality specialists including a lifestyle director, concierge and on-site sommelier, who facilitate everything from movie ticket bookings to restaurant reservations, wine tastings, social clubs and beyond.
Additional resort-style amenities at Wickenburg Ranch include a 32,000-square-foot clubhouse with a full-service spa, fitness center, art barn, grand living room, five restaurants and golf pro shop. While the restaurants are open and expansive patios allow for outdoor dining, curbside pick-up dining is also available, offering the same level of hospitality to serve members during physical distancing measures.
Glimpsing into the future, Wickenburg Ranch plans to debut nine new model homes from Shea Homes, including the community’s first new duplex product, in March 2021. The expansive number of home offerings, ranging from 1,300 to over 3,000 square feet, will help with the high demand of today’s housing market, accommodate the fast-growing community, and provide more opportunity for Boomers craving a change in lifestyle.
“Boomers are resilient. The trend of these buyers leaving cities for less populated areas, a lower cost of living, and a more enriched life will continue in 2021 and beyond,” said Beale. “Wickenburg Ranch’s quality of life has remained much more intact than other communities during the pandemic. It’s a mix of 5-star hospitality living with a laid-back vibe, suitable for a diverse range of buyers looking for a community where it’s easy to maintain health and wellness, stay active, and connect with like-minded people.”