Metro Phoenix Apt. Sales Soar As Investors Buy Up Rentals

By Catherine Reagor | Arizona Republic

Metro Phoenix renters, brace yourselves for more tough times.

The Valley’s apartment market is drawing big investors paying record prices for complexes, and that is a sure sign rents will keep climbing.

Phoenix-area apartment complexes are selling almost daily for more than $100 million each, and the price per apartment is beginning to rival the cost of the typical Valley house in a growing number of complexes.

During 2021, the average rent climbed fast, and asking rents jumped.

Rents on small Gilbert apartments climbed higher than anywhere else in the U.S. last year, according to one national apartment researcher.

Renters are competing with more than a dozen others to sign a lease.

And the metro Phoenix’s apartment vacancy rate is near a 50-year low.

“It’s been a tough year for renters in Phoenix,” said analyst Lily Medeiros with national rental listing service Dwellsy.

Metro Phoenix rental market update

ABI Multifamily Research Manager Drew Ricciardi expects the average monthly rent in the Valley to reach about $1,750 by the end of 2022, up about 18% from the average for 2021.

The average rent for a Valley apartment climbed 18.4%, or $230, to hit $1,480 in 2021, according to ABI.

The median asking rent in the Phoenix area jumped 60% to $1,900 last year, reports Dwellsy.

“That’s an extra $715 that hard working renters in Phoenix have to shell out every month to make rent,” said Medeiros. “That’s truly crazy.”

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