Neighborhoods and Communities
Phoenix is the sixth most populous city in the United States and one of the nation’s largest cities in terms of land area. Phoenix has seen explosive growth in the last decade with around 400 people moving into the Phoenix area daily. Its current population is around 1.5 million, which represents a more than 10-percent increase from 2000. The population will continue to grow; experts predict an increase of more than 40 percent by 2020, which will raise the Phoenix population to approximately 2,202,000. The Phoenix Metropolitan Area ranks as the 14th largest metro area by population in the country with more than 4.26 million people. On a regional level, Pinal County more than doubled in size during the past decade, but most counties showed far more modest growth rates. Maricopa County added nearly 68,000 residents between 2010 and 2011 alone, a 1.7-percent boost, while Pima County grew nearly 1 percent in the same timeframe.

Phoenix offers a vast selection of both multifamily and single-family residential housing. According to NAI Horizon, the average rental rate per unit for multifamily housing in Phoenix is $703 for a one-bedroom apartment and $836 for a two-bedroom apartment. The average residence occupancy is 87.2 percent. Furthermore, approximately 21 percent of Phoenix housing units are leased to renters, compared to the 32 percent of households that are renter occupied on a national level.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), homebuyers paid a median price of $132,000 for a house in Phoenix during the fourth quarter of 2012, an increase of 49.2 percent from the same period in 2011. The U.S. Census Bureau reported 79.7 percent of owners with mortgages, 20.3 percent of owners without mortgages, and 43 percent of renters in Phoenix spent 30 percent or more of their household income on housing. The city’s median household income remains around $48,596.

COMMUNITY COMPOSITION

The average household size in Phoenix is 2.78people. The percentage of family households is 63.9 percent, while married-couple families occupy only 43.3 percent of these households. Of the population aged 25 years and over, 79.7 percent earned a high school degree or higher, 25.4 percent earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and 8.8 percent earned a graduate or professional degree. The median age for residents in greater Phoenix is 31.8, which makes it the fifth youngest metro region in the country.

According to the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans comprised 77.7 percent of the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale Metro Division’s population. African Americans comprised 6.3 percent. American Indians comprised 1.9 percent. Asian Americans comprised 3.1 percent. Pacific Islander Americans comprised 0.3 percent of the city’s population while individuals from an “other” race comprised 9.2 percent. Individuals from multiple races comprised 2.3 percent of the city’s population.

HOME-FINDING RESOURCES
Once you have decided to purchase a home or rent a property in Phoenix, there are many resources available to assist in the process. The Arizona Association of REALTORS® (AAR), the largest professional trade association in the state, supports individuals involved in the real estate industry, allied industries and firms. AAR’s 38,000 members represent more than half of the real estate licensees in Arizona. For information about the AAR, including home buying and selling tips for consumers, go online to www.AARonline.com.

On a local level, the Phoenix Association of REALTORS® (PAR) is one of more than 1,800 local boards as well as 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS® nationwide that forms the National Association of REALTORS®, representing 700,000 real estate professionals around the country. The PAR website offers a free and easy access to connect you with any one of its REALTOR® members. Visit www.paronline.com.

If you are in the market for a new home, a good resource is the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona (HBACA). HBACA is a trade association representing almost 1,000 firms and more than 50,000 employees involved in home building, remodeling, design, housing finance, building product manufacturing and other segments of residential construction. To help you locate the perfect builder or remodeler, HBACA’s website (www.hbaca.org) offers a “Go With a Pro” feature, which provides you with a directory of all members’ contact information along with search tools to limit your results.

The Phoenix Business Journal reported that Phoenix’s Top 10 homebuilders in 2011 include the following, ranked by homes sold from 2010 to 2011:
  1. Pulte Homes
  2. D.R. Horton
  3. Meritage Homes
  4. Shea Homes
  5. Blandford Homes
  6. Fulton Homes
  7. Taylor Morrison
  8. K. Hovnanian Homes
  9. Richmond American Homes
  10. KB Homes

Almost all of these homebuilders are national companies with easily accessible websites that can help you navigate through specific communities, floor plans and price ranges. Having insight into what each respective builder offers prior to contacting the local office will help streamline the homebuying process.

LOCATION
It is often the case that location will dictate where you choose to purchase or rent a home. Perhaps it is a particular school district that attracts you to an area or maybe being in close proximity to your job is important. Also consider whether you are the type who prefers the hustle and bustle of city life or the quiet of a suburban atmosphere. Whatever the case may be, when determining where to live, location is paramount.

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