Maricopa County rentals approach the most expensive in the country

Phoenix’s reputation as an affordable city has been fading for some time now, but it wasn’t until this year that rising subway costs started making national headlines. Now, according to two recent reports, rents in some major cities in Phoenix have risen so much that, for the first time, they are on par with Miami and Oakland.

Zumper’s latest National Rent Report, based on the company’s analysis of current active listings in 400 cities, ranked Scottsdale’s rental market tenth nationally, averaging $1,850 for an apartment. room. A year ago, the city was not even among the top twenty.

Gilbert’s rental market followed closely behind, rising last month to become the 15th most expensive in the country. And the signs only point to further increases, even as rents in other notoriously expensive markets, like Los Angeles, begin to slow.

“As long as the housing market remains warm,” said Zumper analyst Jeff Andrews, “rents would be expected to continue to rise in the Phoenix area.”

In most cities in the Phoenix area, rents rose less than 5% last year. But they’ve all seen major increases in 2021: Phoenix is ​​up 28%, Scottsdale is up 24%, and Gilbert is up 25% since the pandemic began. But it was Glendale that saw the biggest jump, recording an increase of nearly 35% over that period.

Another national report, published this month by Apartment Guide, revealed an equally large rent increase. In his study of rising rents, Gilbert earned the top spot in the nation for his average one-bedroom rent increase – costs have risen 77% over the past year, from just over $1 000 dollars per month at 1,850 dollars. It was one of three cities in the country to see an increase of more than 50%.

Part of what’s driving the trend is the Maricopa County housing market, which is so white-hot there’s now an A&E house-flipping show in which two Phoenix real estate agents try to pull off “flippings.” triple digits” in profits.

The pandemic has also caused price hikes throughout the supply chain, leading to significant delays in construction. This has been particularly damaging for affordable housing construction, which operates on a strict schedule because it is tied to federal dollars. Luxury developments have continued to expand, while affordable construction has slowed considerably, contributing to rising rents.

“It was awful,” said Joe Keeper, director of real estate development at Native American Connections, a Phoenix-based affordable housing provider. “Development has become much, much more difficult.”

Rapid growth has also driven up the cost of land, says Terry Benelli, executive director of LISC Phoenix, a local community development group. This could push future affordable developments to the outskirts of cities, to “areas where it will be really difficult to stabilize families, to get their feet on the ground”, she said.

And without robust affordable housing, she said, rents will only go up.

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