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What first-time homebuyers need to know about Arizona’s housing market

A "For Sale" sign
A "For Sale" sign(Will Thomas)
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 5:50 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- First-time homebuyers are growing increasingly frustrated with the market around the Valley. Realtors say some people are putting 15 to 20 offers down for a home but aren’t able to lock any down. So what can you do to try and put yourself at the front of the line?

It’s no secret there is a lot of competition trying to buy a home right now in Arizona. The median home price in the Phoenix area has risen 216 percent since 2000, but the median salary only increased 48 percent. One woman told Arizona’s Family that she offered at least $50,000 over the asking price and still isn’t getting anywhere.

Valley realtor Joshua Riddle says he has a client who has made 20 offers and still hasn’t gotten a house. He says competition is at an all-time high right now. First-time homebuyers could usually get a place with no problem with $250,000 in the past few years. Now, you won’t likely get any house under $300,000. Riddle recommends looking at areas away from Phoenix. The city has neighborhoods with some of the biggest concentrations of investor-owned homes, driving up costs.

While it’s a phenomenon seen in the Valley, Phoenix is not alone. Rents in the top 50 U.S. metro areas increased nearly 20% between late 2020 and 2021, according to a Realtor.com report. CNN reports that home costs are up around the same amount.

“It just depends on where you are looking. Affordable housing is still being built in the Phoenix metro; [The] area is extremely populated and popular, and in high demand,” said Riddle. “The further you go, the cheaper the houses get. That’s just how it goes.”

Riddle says to try and find new builds because those developments have the most options. Remember, it’s just a starter home, and it’s a stepping stone to eventually getting your dream house, so your first home doesn’t have to be perfect.

The home buying process can take a long time, and it can take months of offers or even a year before a buyer finalizes a deal. It can be discouraging, but experts say to keep at it because it will eventually pay off.