Except for San Antonio, Texas, no city in the US has grown like Phoenix. Census data shows that it is adding up more than 13,000 people between July 2020 and July 2021. Add good winters and an explosive real estate scene to the relatively low cost of living and it’s no wonder people are flocking to Arizona’s capital.
If you are thinking of joining this fast growing city more than 1.6 million people, you may be wondering: How much does it cost to live in Phoenix? Surprise, surprise – living in this metropolitan area can be cheaper than living anywhere else in the country. So let’s break down Phoenix’s cost of living, component by component.
Good news: You have a great time here. Phoenix house price growth topped pretty much anywhere else in the country while there. But the market already cooling now, so it’s a good time to buy a house in the area. That’s true across the country, though, so let’s take a closer look at home prices and rents in Phoenix, in particular.
In Q3 2022, the most recent quarter for which the National Association of Realtors has published data, the average single-family home in Phoenix was sell for 474,400 US Dollars. That’s down more than $20,000 from the previous quarter — great news if you’re trying to buy (but less-than-ideal if you want selling a house in Phoenix).
If you’re looking to rent, you’ll also be glad to know that rental costs nationally and in Phoenix have dropped. this summer, Realtor.com reported that the median rental price in the metro area was $1,647. For a studio, you’re looking at an average of $1,300. Step up to a two-bedroom and be prepared to pay around $1,800.
Finally, do you want to buy a house in Arizona or rent, your time is not bad. As the market cools, the price should continue to fall.
The job market in Phoenix
A deep dive into Phoenix’s cost of living wouldn’t be complete without evaluating the job market. It’s great if things are affordable, but if the opportunities and pay are terrible, even cheap areas can be a struggle.
happily, the job market looks good, and unemployment on the decline when you look at the data over the course of a year. In 2020, census data put Phoenix’s median household income at just north of $60,000.
As with anywhere in the US, the amount you can expect to take home depends on your industry and role. To give you a decent idea of what to expect, here are some average Phoenix salaries MIT’s living wage data:
- Architecture & Engineering: $87,087
- Business & Financial Operations: $69,208
- Development & extraction: $50,322
- Education, Training, & Libraries: $48,813
- Food Preparation & Related servings: $28,954
- Health Practitioner & Technician: $80,560
- valid: $77,104
- Personal Care: $30,238
- Sales & Related: $34,358
More good news: Compensation in Phoenix has ticked up in the last two yearsaccording to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
As far as local job market scene, you can expect a wide range across the industry. The five largest employers in the region are:
- Banner health
- American Express
How much does it cost to live in Phoenix? It depends, of course, on how you keep yourself occupied there.
Go back to MIT’s living wage data, the average single adult in Phoenix should budget about $4,000 a year for food costs. A household of two adults and three children should plan to spend about $14,000 on food annually. The Economic Policy Institute’s family budget calculator came up with MIT’s slightly lower estimate.
All of this assumes you’re cooking at home, though. If you like to eat, add more to your budget here. Phoenix has a burgeoning restaurant scene with many exciting eateries.
Transportation in Phoenix
Although the cost of living in Phoenix is better for housing and food, getting from A to B can eat up a bit of your budget. In fact, the city ranks high in terms of metro areas where residents spend on transportation. In 2020, Phoenix-area households spent almost 19 percent of their budget in transportation (vs. the national average of 16.2 percent), according to the BLS.
Phoenix has bus system which can go up for $4 a day, or $6.50 if you want to take the express bus. But it is primarily a city of car culture. from $11,639 in annual transportation expenditures in Phoenix, 97 percent was spent buying and maintaining personal vehicles, BLS says.
Plus, while getting around in Phoenix can eat up some of your budget, it shouldn’t take too much of your day. The average resident of Phoenix commutes 26 minutes if you get a job.
Local, state, property taxes and fees
When you are figuring out how much house you can afford – or if you need to move to Phoenix in general – don’t forget about taxes.
Arizona property taxes are pretty low, overall, an average of .66 percent statewide. However, Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located, charges some of the highest rates (although not the highest). The Greater Phoenix Economic Council says you should budget around $5,000 in property taxes if you’re buying a median-priced home.
As far as the personal income tax goes, Arizona plans to move to flat rate of 2.5 percent next year, making it one of the lowest tax tables in the nation.
Ultimately, Arizona’s low tax rate makes Phoenix a particularly attractive option.
Go to Phoenix
Obviously, the cost of living in Phoenix has a lot to offer. As housing prices and rents drop, it must become better to set up a comfortable life there. To crunch the numbers yourself, you can use us cost of living comparison calculator.
If you live elsewhere in Arizona, you can consider sell your house and relocating to this flourishing metro area. And if you are not yet an Arizonan, Phoenix – with its stable job market, and growing food and culture scene – can offer you a great place to jump into the Grand Canyon State. Just make sure you save up enough for your move.