Tucson ranked world’s worst for property affordability, study finds

Updated: Mar. 21, 2021 at 11:25 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson is being ranked for having the worst change in property affordability in the world, according to research from Online Mortgage Advisors.

Out of 200 cities, two in Arizona made the top ten list for becoming less affordable over the past five years. Tucson came in first and Phoenix was in seventh place. The survey finds where house prices have quickly become unaffordable for workers making average wages for their specific city.

Tucson’s median household income is around $45,000, according to the most recent Census data. Realtor.com shows Tucson’s housing price is trending up 10% year-to-year with $260,000 as the median listing price this month.

“We are seeing people that are trying to keep up with these home prices and keep up with affordability especially in our price point under $300,000,” said Eddie Watters, a realtor in Tucson.

He said the rise in home prices is abnormal for Tucson which was typically thought of as a very affordable place to live. The survey found that the average Tucsonan could afford 135 square feet more space in 2016.

“Since our previous pricing was a lot lower, we are increasing from our usual price quite a bit right now,” Watters said.

He said recently homes at much higher price points are being built in Tucson which could be impacting housing affordability overall.

“There’s more new construction than there probably has been historically and a lot of those homes are selling very quickly,” he said.

Some home buyers are noticing the speed at which homes are selling.

“We’ve heard of people not even posting the house on like realtor.com and people just selling them. Before they even hit the market they’re gone in an hour,” said Christina Landavosa, a woman house hunting in Tucson.

The survey looked at what cities have become less affordable for renters making the average salary. Yet again Tucson made the list, this time coming in as number eight for least affordable in the United States. Nearly half of the cities in the survey have become less affordable for the average person to rent.

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