Phoenix Metro Multifamily Market Tilts in Favor of Renters, Data Shows

Phoenix rents have declined by 4.7% year-over-year, according to one recent study by ApartmentList. Rent prices dropped 1% in October, more than the national average of 0.7%. The drop brought the Valley’s median rent down to $1,422, roughly 5.1% higher than the national average. Phoenix is the No. 52 most expensive large city in the country, wedged between Jacksonville, Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia, according to ApartmentList.

The decrease in Phoenix rent prices follows a period of rapid price growth in the metro and across the nation. For example, citywide rents have risen a total of 25.6% since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, ApartmentList data shows.

That post-pandemic rent growth has created a “pretty tough period” for renters, said Peter O’Neil, research director for commercial real estate firm Northmarq. That is now shifting, as rents are expected to remain relatively steady in the months to come.

“Right now, if you are a renter or you’re looking to rent, you have a lot more options than you might have had a few years ago,” O’Neil said. “It’s a more competitive market for the landlords or the operators, so you might have an opportunity to drive a pretty good bargain.”

Years of rapid population growth, multifamily construction

At the same time, developers in the Valley have been rushing to meet the housing needs of a population that has swelled in recent years. For instance, the city of Phoenix has grown nearly 25% since the 2000 U.S. Census, from roughly 1.3 million to more than 1.6 million. That growth pales in comparison to what Buckeye has experienced over the same span — jumping from a population of 6,537 in 2020 to 105,567 in 2022, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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