Top 5 Residential Real Estate Investment Markets in Arizona

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By Trent Seigfried Updated May 24, 2024
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Edited by Michael Yessis

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Maricopa is home to the best residential real estate investment market in Arizona.

The 85139 zip code in Maricopa presents the greatest opportunity for investors among the 880 individual real estate markets in Arizona we evaluated. We looked at property values, population trends, and six other metrics for each market. We used that data to calculate each market's InvestScore.

Top 5 Arizona residential real estate markets

RankCity InvestScore Affordability Property value appreciation
1Maricopa1004.468.81%
2Rio Rico1004.170.20%
3Tucson99.24.468.44%
4Buckeye98.74.669.90%
5Tolleson97.74.974.51%
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1. Maricopa

We've identified the 85139 zip code in Maricopa as Arizona's best real estate investment market. Here's why.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Maricopa

Data pointValueRank in state (of 880 markets)
Zip code85139N/A
InvestScore 100Highest
Typical property value $355,896[1]59th lowest
Five-year appreciation 68.81%[2]52nd highest
Household income $81,605[3]77th highest
Affordability ratio 4.419th most affordable
Five-year population growth 5.3%[4]94th highest
Unemployment rate 3.4%[5]37th lowest
Property taxes $1,680[6]104th lowest
Educational attainment 20.3%[7]153rd highest
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Maricopa (zip code 85139) is the best residential real estate investment market in Arizona. It has the 52nd highest property value appreciation among markets we evaluated, with a 68.81% appreciation of the typical property over the last five years.

Maricopa is the 19th most affordable market among the 880 Arizona markets we evaluated, with an affordability ratio of 4.4.

2. Rio Rico

The 85648 zip code in Rio Rico is Arizona's second-best residential real estate investment market.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Rio Rico

Data pointValueRank in state (of 880 markets)
Zip code85648N/A
InvestScore 1002nd highest
Typical property value $258,710[8]17th lowest
Five-year appreciation 70.20%[9]40th highest
Household income $62,461[10]147th highest
Affordability ratio 4.112th most affordable
Five-year population growth 13.3%[11]41st highest
Unemployment rate 7.7%[12]189th lowest
Property taxes $1,303[13]63rd lowest
Educational attainment 23.9%[14]134th highest
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The 85648 zip code in Rio Rico features a typical property value of $258,710, the 17th lowest in the state.

Property values have appreciated 70.20% over the past five years, the 40th highest increase among evaluated markets in the state. Rio Rico homes have an affordability ratio of 4.1, the 12th most affordable in the state.

3. Tucson

The 85746 zip code in Tucson comes in at No. 3 in our ranking of residential real estate investment markets in Arizona.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Tucson

Data pointValueRank in state (of 880 markets)
Zip code85746N/A
InvestScore 99.23rd highest
Typical property value $286,865[15]25th lowest
Five-year appreciation 68.44%[16]56th highest
Household income $65,611[17]129th highest
Affordability ratio 4.420th most affordable
Five-year population growth 6.3%[18]89th highest
Unemployment rate 4%[19]67th lowest
Property taxes $1,457[20]83rd lowest
Educational attainment 15.4%[21]182nd highest
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With a typical property value of $286,865, Tucson's 85746 zip code features the 25th lowest property values in the state.

Tucson homes have an affordability ratio of 4.4, the 20th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

4. Buckeye

The 85326 zip code in Buckeye ranks No. 4 among Arizona's residential real estate investment markets.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Buckeye

Data pointValueRank in state (of 880 markets)
Zip code85326N/A
InvestScore 98.74th highest
Typical property value $378,059[22]79th lowest
Five-year appreciation 69.90%[23]44th highest
Household income $82,456[24]44th highest
Affordability ratio 4.628th most affordable
Five-year population growth 26.3%[25]15th highest
Unemployment rate 4.9%[26]101st lowest
Property taxes $1,582[27]93rd lowest
Educational attainment 16.5%[28]179th highest
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Property values in Buckeye's 85326 zip code have seen the 44th highest increase among evaluated markets in the state, with an appreciation of 69.90% over the past five years.

Buckeye's affordability ratio of 4.6 makes it the 28th most affordable among the 880 markets we evaluated.

5. Tolleson

The 85353 zip code in Tolleson rounds out our top five residential real estate investment markets in Arizona.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Tolleson

Data pointValueRank in state (of 880 markets)
Zip code85353N/A
InvestScore 97.75th highest
Typical property value $400,330[29]100th lowest
Five-year appreciation 74.51%[30]27th highest
Household income $82,271[31]27th highest
Affordability ratio 4.949th most affordable
Five-year population growth 11.7%[32]46th highest
Unemployment rate 3.4%[33]37th lowest
Property taxes $1,573[34]89th lowest
Educational attainment 11.9%[35]202nd highest
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Property values in Tolleson's 85353 zip code rose 74.51% over the last five years, ranking the city 27th highest among evaluated markets in Arizona.

Tolleson homes have an affordability ratio of 4.9, the 49th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

How we rank residential real estate markets in Arizona

We evaluated 880 markets on eight metrics, and then assigned an InvestScore based on their weighted and combined rankings. Each market corresponds to a specific zip code in Arizona.

What is InvestScore?

InvestScore is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the residential real estate investment potential of a given market. It takes into account a suite of key data points for each city.

  • Typical property value: This measures the typical home value in this zip code, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. It reflects the typical value for homes in the 35th to 65th percentile range, including all homes, with the numbers smoothed and seasonally adjusted. We prefer lower property values, which indicate both more room for growth and a greater ease of purchase. We assign a weight of 20% to typical property values.
  • Property value appreciation: This measures how much property values have increased in the area over the past five years, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. We prefer a higher appreciation, as it indicates better returns on housing. However, past performance isn't indicative of future results. We assign a weight of 20% to property value appreciation.
  • Median household income: This is the inflation-adjusted median household income in the zip code, according to U.S. Census American Community Survey data. We prefer a higher household income, as it indicates local residents have more income to spend on housing. We assign a weight of 10% to median household income. We assign a weight of 10% to median household income.
  • Affordability ratio: This is the ratio of the typical home value to the median household income in the area. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home, which indicates higher demand. We assign a weight of 15% to the affordability ratio.
  • Population growth: This is how much the area's population has grown over the past five years, according to U.S. Census estimates. Higher is better, as it indicates residents are moving into the area at a rapid clip. We assign a weight of 10% to population growth.
  • Unemployment rate: This is the unemployment rate in the area, according to U.S. Census data. We prefer a lower rate, as it indicates the availability of steady employment in the area, meaning residents will find it much easier to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to unemployment rate.
  • Property tax: This is the median real estate property tax paid in the area, according to U.S. Census estimates. We assign a weight of 10% to property tax.
  • Educational attainment: This is the percentage of residents in the area that have obtained a bachelor's degree or better, according to U.S. Census estimates. We prefer a higher rate because it indicates  local residents who have higher earning potential and thus should be able to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to educational attainment.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article isn't intended as, and shall not be understood or constituted as, financial advice. The information in this article isn't a substitute for financial advice from an investment professional or real estate agent who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your financial situation or the specifics of any individual property.

Article Sources

[1] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[2] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[7] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[8] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[9] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[14] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[15] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[16] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[21] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[22] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[23] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[28] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[29] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[30] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[35] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.

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