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Is Arizona's growth forcing some residents out of the state?

Arizona flag AP
Posted at 5:00 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 07:33:18-05

PHOENIX — It's no secret that Arizona's population is booming and has been for years! New communities, new schools, and new freeways are popping up all over our state. In fact, Arizona is consistently ranked in the top ten for states people are moving to, but could some of that growth be forcing other people out?

"That's going to be the hard part - going through my Christmas stuff."

Packing up decades of memories isn't easy — take it from Debi Davis.

"We lived here for a year or two when daddy was in Vietnam," says Davis. As a child, her grandparents lived in Arizona, so State 48 has always held a special place in her heart --so special in fact, after graduating high school, she moved to Glendale and has been here for 40 years.

And now, Davis is packing up and seriously considering leaving the state she's called home her entire adult life.

"It's expensive to live here now. And people are not nice like they used to be. The city has grown too big."

Davis says she misses the days when the Valley felt like a small town, but now..."It's huge. And it's not just Phoenix. You got Glendale. Tempe. Scottsdale. Surprise. Litchfield. It's all one place now."

So instead, Davis has her sights set on Kentucky, hoping to reconnect with the small town, laid-back, peaceful escape she says the Valley used to be.

"I want to get to a smaller place where there isn't so many people."

According to an analysis from the US Census Bureau and the Phoenix Business Journal, between 2010 and 2018, 2.2 million people moved to Arizona from other states.

But in that same time period, 1.7 million people moved to another state from Arizona.

If you crunch the numbers, Arizona still gained an impressive 500,000 from other states in those eight years, which many say is a sign of Arizona's prosperity. Others see it as a reason to go, like Krendi Ford, who feels Phoenix has gotten too big too fast. She and her husband left for Michigan last summer.

"We were missing family and friends and the food and culture of Detroit," explains Ford.

But that wasn't the only reason.

"We've never purchased a home, so we'd be first-time home buyers, but just looking in Phoenix right now, that doesn't seem like an option for us."

In fact, prices are pushing a lot of prospective buyers out of the market. According to Zillow, between November 2020 and November 2021, home prices soared almost 32%.

According to another estimate from Zillow, prices are expected to jump another 20% across the Valley over the next year. But despite those increases, the experts say Arizona's population will continue to grow. In fact, Phoenix is still ranked in the top ten for hottest housing markets, according to Zillow.