Looking at how much Phoenix, AZ, has to offer in terms of weather, natural beauty, tourist attractions and fine living, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many people choose to relocate to Arizona’s capital city. In 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the metro area received 300 new residents every day. Last year marked a considerable spike in the number of people moving to Phoenix and Maricopa County was named the fastest-growing county in the US.
Need-to-know facts about the Phoenix housing market before making the move
As the area is trying to accommodate more residents, Phoenix homes have been getting smaller. The city’s average house size lost 167 square feet in one decade, according to a StorageCafe study on home size trends in the US. That is the biggest decrease in home size out of the 20 biggest US cities, apart from San Diego and Denver, which have seen somewhat larger decreases in size.
The strong demand correlated with a limited inventory has created a highly competitive real estate market for Phoenix homebuyers. The median sale price in Phoenix is now $390K, a 23% increase from 2020, while the median listing price per square foot is around $250. Moreover, houses that are for sale in Phoenix do not spend more than 25 days on the market, as reported by Zillow.
The favorable weather, the variety of recreational and educational opportunities and the reasonable cost of living will most likely continue to draw people from out of state to Phoenix.
The self storage market, which can be a huge help when relocating, is rather diverse in Phoenix and will allow you to enjoy a moving experience that’s substantially less stressful and more efficient. On the plus side, Phoenix storage units are quite affordable, with rates hovering around $160 per month.
Where to live in Phoenix: 8 best neighborhoods in 2021
Whether you’re relocating to Phoenix or you’re simply looking to upgrade your living situation, we’ve selected a few “top-rated” places to live in the Valley of the Sun that are worth considering. Homes in these neighborhoods go for a bit more than the average sale price, but you’ll be getting your money’s worth, as they will put you in a prime position to enjoy all that PHX has to offer.
We have sorted the list according to median home listing prices in each neighborhood, so let’s start with the more affordable options and then gradually move on to the most luxurious ones.
1. Deer Valley ($400K)
This evolving residential area is 20 minutes away from downtown Phoenix and is home to almost 200 thousand people, most of whom are homeowners. Public schools are highly rated and the crime rate is 20% lower than the Phoenix average. Additionally, Deer Valley boasts an impressive number of parks and water parks, sports complexes, restaurants, sports bars and other options for spending your free time. Here, you can take a hot air balloon ride in the morning, then hop in your car and arrive downtown in less than half an hour.
2. Paradise Valley ($500K)
Arizona’s wealthiest municipality borders the town of Scottsdale and is known for its many golf courses, along with the vibrant restaurant and shopping scene.
The area is not just a premier tourist destination, but it is also home to young professionals – the median age is 41. Paradise Valley also has more people who work in computers and math than 95% of the places in the US, and around 20% of the workforce permanently works from home. Even if you’re not a golfing enthusiast, the neighborhood’s trails, parks, bars and country clubs will keep you busy.
3. Ahwatukee Foothills Village ($500K)
This cozy urban village occupies the southernmost part of Phoenix. Here, outdoor fun opportunities are endless, due to the proximity of South Mountain Park and Preserve, both private and public schools have good ratings, and entertainment options are plentiful. Locals can enjoy popular brunch spots such as Snooze A.M. Eatery, Japanese restaurants like RA Sushi Bar, the AMC movie theatre or the well-known Wild Horse Pass Casino and Hotel. You can enjoy all these while still being only 20 minutes away from downtown Phoenix.
4. Desert Ridge – High Street ($542K)
Desert Ridge is not just a popular shopping area with fashionable boutiques and well-known brands, but also a neighborhood replete with live music events and diverse dining joints. Just like any other upscale Phoenix neighborhood, Desert Ridge would not have made a name for itself, had it not been for the golf clubs, spas and vibrant central marketplace. You can also burn your calories at the large Reach 11 Sports Complex and then enjoy the variety of entertainment options offered by High Street.
5. Roosevelt Row District ($545K)
If you’re into arts and culture, this is the place you want to be. A couple of blocks north of downtown Phoenix is the city’s walkable arts district, welcoming visitors with an impressive array of art galleries, boutique shops and street art pieces. Roosevelt Row could be regarded as the city’s most diverse and eclectic neighborhood, and the music festivals, exhibitions and cultural events blend well with the museums and live music venues here to make “RoRo” an art lover’s paradise. Join the fun on First Fridays (of every month), as that is when the area truly comes to life.
6. Biltmore – Biltmore Estates – Biltmore Gates ($695K)
The Biltmore area of Phoenix fosters luxurious golf courses, spa resorts and high-end shopping centers, along with being close to the famous Camelback Mountain which overlooks the city. Hikers, joggers, cyclists and nature enthusiasts in general can enjoy the trails and the natural wonders, while admiring the panoramic views from Camelback Mountain.
Biltmore is considered one of the most coveted residential areas in Phoenix, attracting people thanks to its beautiful homes, bustling shopping center, bubbling fountains, beautiful gardens and green spaces.
7. Paradise Gardens and Paradise Foothills (~$800K)
While it’s not easy to find a home in this area, settling in this upscale part of Paradise Valley will reward you with beautiful mid-sized houses and plenty of green spaces and vivid gardens in one of the safest Phoenix neighborhoods – the crime rate is 41% lower here compared to the city average.
Getting a place here will mean that you will only be 5 minutes away from the Paradise Valley Mall (a primary shopping destination at the regional level). Nature lovers can also enjoy the proximity to the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and Piestewa Peak Park.
8. Clearwater Hills – Heritage Hills – Marion Estates (over $1M)
Between the Biltmore Area and Paradise Valley, there are a couple of neighborhoods fostering some of the most beautiful and high-end homes you can find in Phoenix.
Clearwater Hills is situated on the eastern slopes of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve and offers breathtaking views, along with spacious homes. A 5-minute drive to the south will let you see the natural beauty and housing comforts of the adjoining Heritage Hills and Marion Estates. Located outside the city limits when initially developed in the 50s, these pricey residential developments offer large lot sizes, jaw-dropping views and gorgeous open-concept home layouts.