Hot market sends Phoenix rents rising, pricing some out

Historically inexpensive areas south of Downtown and the Salt River have big jumps

Phoenix, Arizona (Getty)
Phoenix, Arizona (Getty)

Rents in south Phoenix are heading north.

According to, the cost of leasing a home across the neighborhood has risen 57 percent in the last five years, climbing to more than $2,000 in areas where rents sat just above $750 back in 2017.

The hot market is pushing out some low-income residents in the area south of the Salt River where the average income is about $38,000 a year, the news site said, as landlords seeing an opportunity to get more for a unit are doing what they can to make some extra money every month.

And when someone wins, someone else loses.

“What we’re seeing is notice of rent increases but also non-renewal of leases where landlords may want to take time to refurbish the property and rent it to a higher income,” Pam Bridge, the director of advocacy and litigation for Community Legal Services, told the website. “And moving is so expensive. It’s devastating for families.”

The reasons for the uptick in prices in the neighborhood are numerous. A study by the city found that Phoenix had a shortfall of more than 160,000, meaning there aren’t spaces to house its growing population.

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On top of that, a light rail expansion that will quickly get residents to the Downtown hub has some fearing local businesses and available land will be bought up by affluent speculators.

Vacancy rates, meanwhile, are at a 50-year-low, adding price pressure to the market.

With no end in sight to the rises in rent, some advocates for the community being pushed out are suggesting they buy a home instead — a move that would give them long-term stability on the monthly nut.

But the market for buying homes is also hot, with the median price in the Phoenix sitting at $427,000 in December — a record for the city.

[] — Vince DiMiceli