Phoenix, AZ

The Downside of Being a Fast-Growing City: Phoenix's Rising Rent Prices

Genius Turner
As residents of the Valley of the Sun are quickly learning: higher population = higher rent.(Ms. Phoenix/Flickr)

As Phoenix's Popularity Soars, So Too Do the Real Estate Prices

PHOENIX, Arizona — Back in 1992, Charles Barkley was traded to the Phoenix Suns. A year later when asked about living in the Valley of the Sun, Barkley said he loved Phoenix so much that he'll "never leave." Thirty years later, Barkley kept his word.

Perhaps what Barkley was saying, long before Phoenix became "trendy," is this: maybe no city is as unique as the Valley of the Sun. First, there's the location.

“Location, location, location!” is the realtor's slogan. And perhaps no city is better located than Phoenix, essentially stationed in the heart of everything.

Hop in the car and drive 6 hours west, you'll land in Vegas or California. Drive 4 hours south, you're in Mexico. And due to such an ideal location, residents of Phoenix never worry about waking up one morning to find the driveway buried in snow.

“Location, location, location!” Living in Phoenix, there's no fear of random natural disasters. After all, it's too centrally located for hurricanes, too hot for blizzards and too far removed from fault lines for earthquakes.

Even the legendary Phoenix heat, once felt, shows itself to be a "dry heat," not humid like Houston or Tampa, whose nearness to the Gulf of Mexico triggers profuse sweating.
Phoenix is truly a beautiful city.(Alan Stark/Flickr)

When the above is factored in with the good food and vibrant entertainment, it's no wonder the U.S. Census Bureau says: for the fourth year in a row, Phoenix has attracted more new residents than any other city in the United States.

Since the 2010 census, over a whopping quarter of a million people have moved to Phoenix!

To put this recent population explosion into perspective, that's equivalent to saying half the residents in Atlanta moved to Phoenix. No wonder, then, a headline from 12 News reads: "The Phoenix real estate market is booming. But it's pricing out some homeowners, renters."

"Pricing out" is a fancy expression that far too many New Yorkers, or residents of other overpopulated cities, are familiar with. Perhaps this explains why Will Rogers once advised: "Buy land. They ain't making any more of that stuff!" Indeed, the higher the demand for living spaces, the higher the price . . . for living spaces.

"The average price for a 2-bedroom apartment in Maricopa County has gone from $908 a month in 2015 to $1,281 a month in 2021," according to the report. And you can rest assured, so long as Phoenix ranks at the top of the list for "coolest cities to live in," despite the hot weather, don't expect rent prices to "cool" down anytime soon.

Of course, given that Phoenix is usually sunny and bright, longtime residents can always choose to look on the "bright" side: rising rent prices just means you live in one of America's most popular cities.

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My writing is popular in academia (biology, psychology, etc.) and on websites such as Quora (millions of views) and Medium. Also, I'm signed to the same literary agency as Eckhart Tolle. In short, I'm an ordinary guy serving an extraordinary God.

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