Booming housing market prompts Arizona to auction trust land

The state of Arizona is auctioning areas of trust land for future housing developments due to a booming housing market in the Tucson area. (Daily Miner file photo)

The state of Arizona is auctioning areas of trust land for future housing developments due to a booming housing market in the Tucson area. (Daily Miner file photo)

TUCSON (AP) – The state of Arizona is auctioning broad areas of trust land for future housing developments in response to a booming housing market in the Tucson area.

The first residentially zoned trust land in Tucson sold at auction last month for more than $10 million, State Land Commissioner Lisa Atkins said. It was the first residentially zoned trust land in the area sold at auction since 2006, Atkins said.

"I'm particularly pleased with the results of this auction in southern Arizona," Atkins said. "It's solid evidence of Tucson's strong market for new housing."

A second auction will be held Oct. 9 with a minimum bid of $425,000, the Arizona Daily Star reported.

Land broker Will White, who runs the Tucson office of Land Advisors Organization, said the city needs to "begin preparing more land in order to accommodate the strong demand."

The state's decision to put trust land up for sale is because of Tucson's expanding economy, said Wesley Mehl, deputy state land commissioner.

"The State Land Department has made it a priority to identify parcels in southern Arizona that are market-ready and to schedule auctions for such parcels to meet existing demand for residential and commercial uses," he said. "As market conditions continue to be favorable, it is very likely that more state trust land in the Tucson area will be offered at auction in the near future."

The department reviews market conditions, existing demand, physical characteristics and adequacy of existing infrastructure when it makes sales decisions.