With the addition of approximately 217,000 new residents, the state of Arizona is one of the country’s fastest growing states. The new growth has resulted from an enormous economic turnaround, specifically the opening of the Apple plant in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa. There are an estimated 10,000 places available for new residents and homeowners, making the silicon Desert the place to be.
Are homes available? What you want to look for when analyzing areas for relocation and availability of homes, check ownership rates. A high ownership rate leads to a higher overall score, whereas a lower one shows high competition and more options for renters over buyers.
Can you afford to live there? To determine whether a place is affordable you want to use monthly homeowner costs and median home values. The higher score in our report go to high median homes with low coasts of living.
Is the area growing? To answer this, population growth will tell you if an area is attracting new residents. A thriving local economy will usually bring in more home buyers.
Using the above measures, the best places to live in Arizona are provided below. Each of these towns are ideal if you are looking for a place to buy a home. Evaluate what you are looking for regarding incomes, median house values and area growth you can determine which town is a better suit your needs.
With a population jump of 19.6%, this area located in the Gila River Valley is a top spot for relocation. More that 805 of homes are owned versus rented, and the median cost for a house is $132,000. Hosting the popular Harrah’s Ak-Chin hotel and casino, the town features a great historical collection of the Ak-Chin people. The casino is the largest employer in the area. The community additionally offers the Ak-Chin-Him-Dak Eco Museum which showcases stone tools, arts and crafts and jewelry.
2. San Tan Valley
This suburb in the Greater Phoenix Area had the highest population spike has not yet been incorporated as its own town, but did get its own postal code in 2009. With a median home value of $126,300 and an ownership rate of 74%, this area is quickly becoming a popular place. There is potential for growth here and the low cost of living makes it ideal for first time home owners.
3. New River
The residents here earn a monthly income close to $7,185 with 28% of that going towards home ownership costs. Situated to the north of Phoenix, the average home value is $312,200 and it has the highest ownership rates (90.7%). Overall the town has seen 11.23% in population growth. The attraction to this area comes largely from the low numbers of rentals, showing this is a preferred place for those looking to settle and purchase a home.
A more technologically advanced area located south of Tucson; Sahuarita has median incomes around $5,700 and a relatively low cost of living. The majority of homes in the area are owned rather than rented. Most employment stems from the huge organizations located there such as Raytheon which is an international defense and aerospace company and the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park.
5. Queen Creek
Thanks to local festivals such as the Roots n’ Boots Rodeo and the American Heritage Festival, this area saw a boost in population numbers of 12.1%. One of the highest household incomes of the places on the list, averages for the area is close to $7,343 a month. Most homes are owned and cost of living is higher than other places on this list, but is still relatively low. Residents can enjoy an amazing Parks and Recreation department, with programs and activities for all ages and coming soon will be a new 14 screen movie theater.
Buckeye is located in the Maricopa Valley and supports slightly higher number of renters than the previous location; however it is still primarily homeowners. This suburb of Phoenix has not had as large of population increases either, but has a very decent median household income and low cost of living. The town is famous for its old times western theme and annual Buckeye Days festival and the Helzapoppin’ Rodeo.
A relatively young city, when compared to most of Arizona towns, the population soared by 2012 to reach a little over 34,000, which is a big jump from its previous 1977 count of 1,500. Although the city is not very big, it has its own airport and a decent monthly income close to $6,000. There is definitely room for growth here and the cost of living is low, which makes a potentially ideal spot to settle and buy a home.
A relatively small town of 23,000 residents, this community is still a very busy one and offers a lot to its members. The cost of living here is slightly higher than others on the list, but monthly median incomes are also a little higher. You can enjoy the veterans’ memorial, Liberty Bell Park and the Splash Pad as well as the beautiful 64-acre community park hosted by the Community Council Parks and Facilities.
9. Green Valley
30 miles south of Tucson, there has not been a lot of growth here in regards to population and the median monthly income is significantly lower than the other places listed. Most of the residents are employed in the local copper mines or the Smithsonian Institution’s Whipple Observatory (located in the nearby town of Amado). The lower growth rates, incomes and home values ($182,000 on average) are most likely due to this largely being a retirement community.
The original land for this town was bought by Paul Lichfield (Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company). Affordable to live there with decent incomes and steady growth rates, the town has an excellent economic standing for potential homeowners. Jobs are provided mostly by Macy’s and Amazon fulfillment centers as well as the popular food production companies of Snyder’s of Hanover, Del Monte and Poore Brothers. This town is great for baseball fans, as it hosts both the Cincinnati and the Cleveland Indians spring training camps.