How They Closed It: Desert Spec Build Sets Pair Of Arizona Records

bedroom with walls of windows looking at the desert in arizona
Listed for just under $9.9 million, the speculative development atop Camelback Mountain in Paradise Valley, Ariz., set a price record for spec homes earlier this year when it sold for $9.75 million. (RETSY)

When it comes to the world of luxury real estate and development, closing a deal can be as nuanced as it is cut-throat. Here’s how one of Arizona’s top real estate agents pushed Phoenix’s spec-home market to new heights with a record-setting deal.

The Who: Josh Peters, founding partner of Scottsdale-based brokerage RETSY, has more than a decade of experience working in the wealthiest pockets of Arizona. A 2019 member of the “Top 40 Under 40 in Real Estate,” Peters regularly works with owners of Fortune 500 companies, athletes, celebrities and sports team owners. He recently sold a brand new, custom contemporary home on Cholla Lane in Paradise Valley for $9.75 million, setting a price record for Arizona’s most expensive spec home. The sale also raised the bar in terms of price per square foot, setting a new record at $1,511 per foot.

patio daytime view at a paradise valley luxury home built on speculation

In general, prices for spec homes in Paradise Valley range from around $2-4 million. (RETSY)

The What: Developed by ARCO Custom Homes, the single-level home sits on a flat, one-acre lot that is accessed via a private and gated road. Positioned to maximize the views, the modern tour de force has more than 6,400 square feet of open-concept floor space, high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and retractable glass walls that bring the indoors and outdoors together. Outside, it’s resort-style living with a spectacular swimming pool, spill-over spa, outdoor kitchen and owner’s hideaway.

The Where: When it comes to high-end living, no neighborhood is considered more desirable than Paradise Valley, according to Peters. Established in the 1960s, the area is popular for its mountain scenery, good schools, and proximity to shops and fine dining. Homes in the community have room to move; most multimillion-dollar properties boast flat, acre-plus lots, providing plenty of elbow room from neighbors. In general, prices for spec homes in Paradise Valley range from around $2-4 million.

swimup pool at a paradise valley luxury home

Homes in Paradise Valley are coveted for their flat, acre-plus lots, which provide plenty of elbow room from neighbors. (RETSY)

The How: The property hit the market for slightly under $9.9 million and sold in about two months, records show. Peters credits the sale to long-term relationships with high-net-worth individuals and what he calls a “methodically-targeted marketing” approach. Investment in proprietary technology and marketing tools such as oversized QR codes have helped RETSY capture the lion’s share of the Phoenix luxury market since launching last year.

The Right Now: After a record 2020, Paradise Valley’s real estate market has continued to operate at a historic clip, maintaining record or near-record price levels (per square foot) and low inventory this year. At the time of the Cholla Lane closing, the market averaged about 55 residential transactions a month, with the average sale price hovering around $3.55 million, according to real estate data provided by RETSY.


Neal is the Chief Content Officer at Forbes Global Properties. A content strategist with more than a decade of experience in the sports, entertainment and real estate spaces he previously launched a sports real estate column and chronicled L.A.’s biggest home sales for the Los Angeles Times' award-winning “Hot Property” section.