May 29, 2024 - News

How Arizona home buying power today compares to the 1970s

Change in buying power for homeowners in select Arizona cities
Data: RealtyHop; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home buying power in Phoenix decreased nearly 60% from 1970 to 2022, per an Axios analysis of a new RealtyHop study.

  • Home buying power is the ratio of annual income versus the average house price in 1970 (when boomers started buying starter homes) compared with 2022.

Why it matters: Buying a house is far less accessible today than it was for previous generations.

The big picture: For almost all of Phoenix's history, our housing prices were below the national average. That changed about five years ago.

Zoom out: Buying power decreased even more in pricey Scottsdale, while Tucson, Chandler, Mesa and Glendale fared slightly better.

Reality check: Mortgage rates were in the double digits in the 1970s and 80s. Today they're hovering around 7%.

What we're watching: Gov. Katie Hobbs last week signed two bills that aim to alleviate Arizona's supply problem by requiring cities of at least 75,000 people to permit backyard casitas and "middle housing" — such as duplexes, triplexes and townhomes — on lots zoned for single-family homes.

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