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Phoenix continues to plunge on U.S. News Best Places to Retire list

Metro Phoenix
Posted at 3:26 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 18:26:27-04

PHOENIX — In just two years, Phoenix has gone from being one of the top 20 places to retire to one of the bottom 20 in U.S. News’ prestigious annual rankings.

The metro tumbled to No. 140 on this year’s list [realestate.usnews.com], which includes a total of 150 cities nationwide. That’s down from No. 59 last year [bizjournals.com] and No. 17 the year before [bizjournals.com]. It’s the third straight drop for Phoenix — and the biggest one in recent years.

The reasons for Phoenix’s freefall weren’t explained in the report, which still mentioned Arizona as “one of the go-to spots for retirees,” but one partial factor is likely that U.S. News last year increased the size of its lists from 125 to 150 metros, saying that doing so better reflected the actual possibilities Americans have.

The change in status also could have something to do with rising housing costs in the Valley.

The report, using median home sale data from Zillow, showed Phoenix housing prices surpassing costs nationally, and rising at a steeper rate since 2019. The national housing cost average in 2020 was $315,743, while Phoenix’s was $383,750. Phoenix got a score of 6.4 out of 10 for housing affordability.

The report gave Phoenix a value index score of 6.6 out of 10, saying the Valley was still a better value than similarly sized metro areas when housing costs are compared with median household income.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.