Arizona boasts plenty of sunshine, golf and impressive deserts, along with affordable places to buy or rent a home -- if you know where to search. At the time of publication, the median home value in Arizona was higher than the national median home value, but real estate surveys indicate that Arizona offers cheap housing for homebuyers, as indicated by low listing and sale prices. Although rental housing is relatively cheap throughout the state, the cheapest rentals are concentrated in certain parts of the state.
Arizona Rental Housing Lower Than National Median
In general, Arizona housing is more affordable for renters than homebuyers, when compared to the rest of the country. According to real estate tracking website Zillow, the state had a median home value of $191,300, while the U.S. median home value was $178,400, as of the time of publication. However, the median rent price in Arizona was $1,195, whereas the national median rental price was $1,550.
Most Affordable Arizona Counties to Buy and Rent
The most affordable counties in Arizona for homebuyers border California on the west side of the state and the New Mexico border along the east side. As of the time of publication, real estate website Trulia reported that Greenlee County had a median listing price of $73,450. Trulia tracks housing list-price, sales data and rental activity nationwide. Greenlee County also had the lowest median sale price at $49,755.
The cheapest place for renters is located between the state capitol of Phoenix and the U.S.-Mexico border in Pinal County. Pinal had the lowest median monthly rent price at $266 per bedroom.
Cheapest Cities Compared to the Country
Although no Arizona city is considered the cheapest place to live in the U.S., the state had two relatively cheap cities for housing at the time of publication. A survey by SmartAsset, a financial website, ranked Tuba City 17th and Holbrook 18th in housing affordability among U.S. cities, reported the Phoenix Business Journal. Tuba City is the Navajo Nation's largest city and is located in Cococino County in the north-central part of the state. Holbrook is located just east of Cococino County in Navajo County, AZ.
The remaining cities to round out the state's top five most affordable places when compared to the country, included:
- Coolidge, 47th
- Winslow, 93rd
- Maricopa, 140th
Considerations When Deciding Where to Move
Low house and rent prices may be top factors when considering a move or real estate investment in Arizona. However, price alone doesn't determine affordability. The cheapest place may not be the best place to live if low employment, high crime rates, poverty and a lack of social services impact prices. The best place to find affordable housing usually has a healthy economy.