• Sell
  • Buy
  • Buy & Sell
Sign In

Phoenix, AZ homebuyer’s guide

Soak up city life, sunny days, and a slightly lower cost of living.


Becca Stanek



Sharon MeyerLocal Authority


7 min read

Curious what your home is worth?

Get an offer in minutes, sell in a matter of days.

Find out


Mesa, AZ homebuyer's guide

Becca Stanek

As the capital of Arizona and the fifth-largest city in the U.S., Phoenix has a lot to offer. The cost of living is a little below the national average, and growth in high-paying jobs is booming. There’s also a range of things to do in Phoenix, whether you’re an outdoors aficionado or a fan of the arts. 

Like many areas in the country right now, Phoenix is very much a seller’s market, with home prices steadily increasing and the majority of homes selling for over the asking price. Even if the housing market shifts in the future, what’s not going anywhere are the blisteringly hot summers in Phoenix — make sure you’re ready for the heat if you’re considering a move.

Latest homes for sale in Phoenix

  • Listing main image


    • 2 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1420 sqft
    5100 E Rancho Paloma Dr #2069, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
  • Listing main image


    • 4 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1512 sqft
    4115 W Medlock Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85019
  • Listing main image
  • Listing main image


    • 4 br
    • 3 ba
    • 2558 sqft
    906 W Carlise Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85086
  • Listing main image


    • 3 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1599 sqft
    1729 E Questa Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85024
  • Listing main image
  • Listing main image


    • 2 br
    • 2 ba
    • 1091 sqft
    4916 W Wahalla Ln, Glendale, AZ 85308
  • Listing main image
  • Listing main image

Local look & feel

The Phoenix housing market



Median Home Price



Median Price per Sq. Ft



Average Monthly Home Sales

It’s a seller’s market in Phoenix

The housing market in Phoenix is competitive for buyers, with median home prices rapidly ticking upward. As of April 2022, the median listing price hit $502,000, according to data. If you see something you like, be sure to act fast, as the number of days that homes stay on the market in Phoenix continues to trend downward. Property value

Property value

Show your appreciation 

What’s tough for buyers may be good for property owners. Home price appreciation in Maricopa County is up about 43% over the last three years, according to personal finance site MoneyGeek.  

Cost of living


Housing Median Rent


Rent Affordability Index

The cost of living in Phoenix is a little below average

Despite the recent rise in home prices, Phoenix still has a cost of living that’s 5% lower than the national average. That trend holds across all categories: housing (5% below average), utilities (4% below average), and groceries at 3% below average. Notably, transportation is a whopping 8% below the national average.

The Phoenix job market


Unemployment Rate


Average Salary per Year

Ahead of the curve in Arizona’s burgeoning job market

Arizona’s unemployment rate recently fell to the lowest level in 15 years — and Phoenix’s rate was notably even lower. The unemployment rate in the state of Arizona was 3.6% as of February 2022, while the Phoenix metro area boasted an unemployment rate of 3.1%. Both figures were lower than the national unemployment rate, which sat at 3.8% in February 2022.

More jobs likely

Phoenix saw the second-largest increase in high-paying jobs in the country from 2015 to 2020, behind only Nashville, Tennessee, according to a report by real estate software company Stessa based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The largest employers in the Phoenix area are in health care and retail. Occupations poised for growth in Maricopa County, where Phoenix is situated, include transportation and materials moving, health care, office and administrative support, and business and financial operations.

Public transportation

Services offered in Phoenix


Bus: Valley Metro


Light Rail: Valley Metro


EV Charging: ChargeHub

The city’s grid makes it easy to navigate

Phoenix is relatively easy to navigate thanks to the fact that the city is organized on a grid, with most streets running either north-south or east-west and Central Avenue dividing the city down the middle. But like any major city, watch out for sometimes heavy traffic — especially on the major freeways during rush hours — as well as some one-way streets and reversible lanes. Skip the car and take the Valley Metro, which cuts through Phoenix and connects to some suburbs. One ride comes in at $2 (or $4 for a full day). Children 5 and under ride free.





Median Age


Family Median Income

Neighborhood guide 

Phoenix is a sprawling metropolitan area with a plethora of neighborhoods to choose from. Here are a handful of the most popular, according to locals.

Arcadia - Worth the hype

About 10 miles northeast of downtown Phoenix near Scottsdale, Arcadia is nestled in the base of Camelback Mountain, a prime spot for hiking. It’s part of Camelback East, one of 15 urban villages in Phoenix. Aside from the picturesque views, Arcadia also offers plenty of shopping and dining options. Just keep in mind that because this is an in-demand neighborhood, home prices can get pricey quickly.

North Central Phoenix - For those who want to shorten their commute

This family-friendly neighborhood is known for its historic charm and is home to some of the city’s most highly-regarded schools. Plus, it’s just a 10-minute commute to downtown. Phoenix is known for its stark desert beauty, which makes the lush landscaping in the North Central area particularly unusual — check out the historic Murphy Bridle Path Trail, designed for the neighborhood’s horseback riders in the late 1800s.

Midtown 24th Street Corridor - Lower prices in an up-and-coming area

The Midtown 24th Street Corridor snagged the title of the valley’s No. 1 best neighborhood in 2021 in a ranking by Phoenix Magazine. The magazine names the neighborhood a good fit for first-time homeowners, foodies, and GenZers. It describes this culturally diverse corridor as more affordable than other areas, with a mix of fixer-uppers and charmingly revamped historical abodes.

Ahwatukee Foothills - Cul-de-sac of the city

If you can handle a 20-minute commute to downtown, Ahwatukee Foothills offers quiet and nature tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Part of the neighborhood is within the South Mountain Park and Preserve, and there’s also access to amenities like an outlet mall and high-end shopping. The village is made up of multiple planned community districts with a mix of neighborhoods, golf courses, and open space and parks, including a whopping 146 miles of walking trails and bike lanes. 

The top 4 things to do in Phoenix

1. Hear (and see) the music at the Musical Instrument Museum

Ranked among the top 12 museums in the U.S. by Tripadvisor, the Musical Instrument Museum boasts a collection of over 8,000 instruments from more than 200 countries — some of which guests can play. If you have kids with you, they can enjoy the museum’s range of musical classes, with programs offered for all ages. You could also catch a concert — the museum’s musical theater has over 300 per year

2. Enjoy the desert’s flora and fauna at the Desert Botanical Garden

The desert is far more than just sand and heat, and the Desert Botanical Garden is here to prove it with its impressive displays of colorful cacti and desert flowers. Located amid the red rocks of the Sonoran Desert, the botanical gardens span 140 acres, and there are nearly 4,500 species in the living collection. One local calls it the “perfect place to get away while in the city” as well as a notable spot to take visitors.

3. Take a hike in Papago Park

Get a view of the red rock buttes by taking a hike up one of the many trail options in Papago Park. There are trails for a range of skill levels and intensities, including one leading to the iconic Hole-in-the-Rock landmark. Even better, all of these outdoor opportunities are just minutes from downtown Phoenix and the airport. While you’re there, Papago Park is also home to the Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Garden, golf courses, museums, and more.

4. Walk through Roosevelt Row, Phoenix’s arts district

If you’re into street art, then Roosevelt Row is a must-see in Phoenix. The arts district is home to countless murals done by an array of local artists. And if you happen to be around on the first Friday of the month, be sure to catch the First Friday Art Walk, a self-guided art tour complete with food trucks and live music. After seeing the street art, Roosevelt Row also offers a number of restaurants, bars, and boutique shops.

Explore all our guides for the Phoenix area

Article cover fallback image


Becca StanekAuthor

Becca Stanek has worked as an editor and writer in the personal finance space since 2017. She previously served as the managing editor for investing and savings content at LendingTree and an editor at SmartAsset. Prior to that, she was a staff writer at The Week. She's freelanced for publications including SoFi, Forbes, LendingTree, Finance of America Mortgage, and Policygenius while she earns her MFA in creative writing from Queens University in Charlotte. She currently lives in Valatie, NY.


Sharon MeyerReviewer

Sharon Meyer is the writer/editor of Phoenix on the Cheap. As a veteran educator, sharing accurate, timely, and meaningful connections to community events and attractions with families on a budget is her passion. Sharon is also a freelance writer who’s covered topics ranging from antiques and collectables to shopping and travel. Sharon and her family have called the Valley of the Sun home for 34 years and currently live in the Paradise Valley Village neighborhood.