The Multifamily Sector Is Exploding in Phoenix—For Better or for Worse

December 27, 2019
Phoenix Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona, USA Cityscape By SeanPavonePhoto -Adobe Stock

True to its name, Phoenix is on the rise. With a strong job market and a steady flow of new residents, the multifamily sector is heating up as builders work to fulfill renter demand and investors jockey to pocket the latest high-rise. The downside to all this progress? Rent is skyrocketing, wages cannot keep pace, and looking for affordable housing is turning into an episode of Finding Bigfoot.

The multifamily sector in Phoenix has been making headlines lately. The fifth-largest city in the U.S. had the nation’s fastest-rising rents in November, according to data from Yardi Matrix, a California-based provider of commercial real estate market information.

“Job growth and strong in-migration continue to fuel the desert Southwest,” says this source. And Phoenix is a prime example. Through the third quarter of 2019, the metro added 54,300 jobs year-over-year, Cushman & Wakefield reports. And Arizona as a whole continues to see net population gains as people move from other states, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau

Record-Breaking Rents

Throughout the past year, Phoenix rents have consistently been among the fastest-growing in the country. As of September, they were up 6.1% year-over-year, putting Pheonix in the No. 2 spot among major U.S. metros, according to Multi-Housing News. (Las Vegas was in first place.) At the time, this source described Phoenix as “still affordable, with its $1,174 average rent heavily trailing the $1,471 national rate.” 

In October, the year-over-year data for Phoenix showed a 7.9% “surge” in rents that took the average above $1,200, according to Multi-Housing News. Again the metro ranked second (behind Pensacola, Florida, this time).

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