By Catherine Reagor| March 01st, 2020
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Metro Phoenix apartment dwellers aren’t seeing any relief from hefty increases in monthly rents.

The Valley leads the U.S. for jumps in rents, again.

The higher rents come as more luxury complexes open and older more affordable complexes are renovated into pricier places to live.

Every uptick means more people struggle to afford a place to live.

Overall, area rents jumped an average of 7.4% during the past year, accord to national research firm Yardi Matrix.

Las Vegas and Sacramento had the next biggest rent increases, and those were in the 5% range.

Nearly every Valley city outpaced the national 3% average bump in rental prices for the past year, according to Yardi Matrix.

1-bedroom rents by city

Rents in Scottsdale are the priciest among larger metro Phoenix cities, while rents in Glendale are the most affordable, according to apartment firm Zumper. 

Tempe was the only larger Valley city that saw the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment decline — by 1%.

A city-by-city look of average rent and price increase since January 2019 for one-bedroom apartments, according to Zumper, shows:

  • Scottsdale: $1,460, up 5%.
  • Gilbert: $1,260, up 12%.
  • Chandler: $1,220, up 6%.
  • Goodyear: $1,140, up 11%.
  • Peoria: $1,120, up 11%.
  • Surprise: $1,090, up 16%.
  • Tempe: $1,040, down 1%.
  • Phoenix: $960, up 2%.
  • Mesa: $920, up 6%.
  • Glendale: $890, up 5%.

Tipping point for rents

Nearly 45% of metro Phoenix renters pay more than 30% of their incomes for housing, according a national study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard.

Paying more than a third of one's income for housing is considered the tipping point to becoming unaffordable, leaving people strapped to cover food, transportation, health care and other basic living costs. 

Renters need to earn about $20 an hour to afford a Valley apartment.

If you are dealing with higher rents or facing eviction, I'd like to hear from you. Email me at [email protected] or message me on Twitter @catherinereagor.  

People, jobs and apartments

Arizona’s population and employment growth are driving new apartment development and rents.

The state was second in the U.S. for adding new jobs last year and that momentum is expected to continue for the next two years. Another 1 million are expected to move to metro Phoenix during the next decade.

Apartment developers are building for the growth with another 9,000 apartments expected to go up this year.

About 90% of the apartments built in metro Phoenix during the past five years have been luxury developments with rents well beyond what many Valley residents can afford.

Incomes must climb with rents or developers must build more affordable apartments for the area’s growth to continue.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-8040. Follow her on Twitter @Catherinereagor. Check out home values at Street Scout.com.

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