Arizona Once Again a Top State for Population Increase

Fletcher Wilcox
V.P.  Business Development and
Real Estate Analyst
Grand Canyon Title Agency


2021 Results for Single-Family Resale Homes

What Time of Year are Home Prices and Rents the Highest?

Will Purchase and Rent Prices Rise in 2022?


Population Increase: Homebuyers and Renters Continue to Move into Arizona

For the second consecutive year Arizona’s finished number three amongst all 50 states for numeric population increase. According to the U.S. Census Bureau Arizona’s population increased by 98,330 from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021. This is an increase of 269 people per day. As of July 1, 2021, Arizona’s population is estimated to be 7,276,316. Only Texas and Florida gained more people than Arizona from July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021. Texas gained 310,288 and Florida 211,196 people. The top three states for population decrease for the same period are New York, California, and Illinois. With New York’s population decreasing 319,020, California by 261,902 and Illinois by 113,776. After Texas, Arizona is the number two destination where Californians are moving to. Arizona is also a destination for people leaving Illinois. Not many New Yorkers move to Arizona, but rather Florida. 

How Did 2021 Compare to 2020 for Sales, Listings, Purchase Price and Monthly Rent? 

The following is for single-family resale homes in Maricopa County (Greater Phoenix). The information is from the Arizona Regional Multiple Listings Services, Inc. (ARMLS). The number of single-family resale homes that sold and that were listed in 2021 were almost identical to the number sold and listed in 2020. 2020 sales were 72,241 compared to 72,765 in 2021. 2020 listings were 79,054 compared to 79,270 in 2021. What was not identical in 2021 is price appreciation. The overall median purchase price in 2020 was $359,990 compared to $450,000 in 2021. This is an increase of $90,010 or 25%. The median purchase price in December 2021 of $375,000 is the highest ever for a single month. This is $5,000 higher than November 2021 and $100,000 higher than December 2020.   

The median monthly rent also greatly increased in 2021. The overall 2020 median monthly rent was $1,795 compared to $2,149 for 2021. This is an increase of $354 or 20%. 

If a home buyer were to purchase a home for $450,000 with a down payment of 10% and with a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.25% their monthly principal and interest payment is $1,763 or $386 less than the median monthly rent of $2,149.         

What Time of Year are Home Prices and Rents the Highest?

Chart One shows the median monthly purchase price for a single-family resale home in Maricopa County for the last five years. What you see is that for all five years, January is the month with the lowest median purchase price for the entire year. February is the month with the second lowest median purchase for the entire year. March for three of the last five years is the month with the third lowest median purchase price for the year but is always lower than May’s median purchase price. For the last three years December was the month with the highest median purchase price of the year. This has not always been the trend. For years June was the month of the year with the highest median purchase price. Then purchases prices dropped in July. I once wrote an article about this July drop in purchase prices. The last year we had the July drop in purchase prices was 2018. So now, it appears that a buyer gets a lower purchase price earlier in the year and a seller gets a higher purchase price later in the year. Chart Two shows the median monthly rent for a single-family home. Similar to the median purchase price, the median monthly rent follows the same pattern. With January, February, and March as the months of the year with the lowest median monthly rent.  

Will Purchase Prices Rise in 2022?

Yes. The number of months of inventory continues to be low. While positive migration continues the flow of buyers and renters into our state. This will keep pressure on purchase prices. However, purchase prices in some areas will drop some months and rise in other months, but by the end of the year expect them to be higher. Mortgage rates are forecasted to rise in 2022. When they start to rise the affect may be for some potential buyers to get off the fence. Evidently depending on if rates do rise and by how much they may slow demand a little. Predictions: In December 2022, the next time the U.S. Census Bureau will release their state population numbers, Arizona will once again finish number three in year-over-year population increase.  Expect in 2022 another 72,000 sales of single-family resale homes. Expect 30,000 sales of townhouses and condos and 25,000-30,000 new home sales. 2022 should have another very good, but very competitive year to be in real estate sales. 

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