The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Arizona For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Arizona that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Arizona.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Arizona does this very well. Families love the Grand Canyon State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Arizona that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Arizona for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Arizona? That would be Sedona.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 57 places in Arizona with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Arizona for 2021:

  1. Sedona
  2. Flagstaff
  3. Litchfield Park
  4. Tempe
  5. Cottonwood
  6. Payson
  7. Cave Creek
  8. Prescott
  9. Prescott Valley
  10. Phoenix

What's the most expensive place to live in Arizona? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Sedona is the most expensive place to live in Arizona.

So hopefully Holbrook (the cheapest place to live in Arizona) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Arizona and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Arizona For 2021

1. SedonaSedona, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,322
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 8.3x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.3x (6th most expensive)
More on Sedona: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Sedona comes in at $61,470 and the median home value is $507,400 for 2021.

2. FlagstaffFlagstaff, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 72,402
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.0x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.4x (5th most expensive)
More on Flagstaff: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Flagstaff comes in at $58,748 and the median home value is $351,600 for 2021.

3. Litchfield ParkLitchfield Park, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,073
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 14)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (2most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.5x (3rd most expensive)
More on Litchfield Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Litchfield Park comes in at $83,156 and the median home value is $318,000 for 2021.

4. TempeTempe, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 187,454
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 49.8x (11th most expensive)
More on Tempe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Tempe comes in at $57,994 and the median home value is $272,900 for 2021.

5. CottonwoodCottonwood, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,959
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (14th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.6x (4th most expensive)
More on Cottonwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Cottonwood comes in at $42,500 and the median home value is $189,400 for 2021.

6. PaysonPayson, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,545
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.1x (19th most expensive)
More on Payson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Payson comes in at $51,280 and the median home value is $236,300 for 2021.

7. Cave CreekCave Creek, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,670
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.8x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.8x (44th most expensive)
More on Cave Creek: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Cave Creek comes in at $83,787 and the median home value is $482,600 for 2021.

8. PrescottPrescott, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 42,785
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.2x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.4x (43rd most expensive)
More on Prescott: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Prescott comes in at $55,734 and the median home value is $347,700 for 2021.

9. Prescott ValleyPrescott Valley, AZ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 44,311
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (15th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.3x (17th most expensive)
More on Prescott Valley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Prescott Valley comes in at $51,909 and the median home value is $228,700 for 2021.

10. PhoenixPhoenix, AZ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,633,017
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.1x (16th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.6x (22nd most expensive)
More on Phoenix: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Phoenix comes in at $57,459 and the median home value is $235,400 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Grand Canyon State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Arizona
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Arizona to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 57 places in Arizona that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Arizona according to the data is Sedona. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Arizona For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Arizona that have the highest cost of living, with Sedona ranking as the most expensive city in the Grand Canyon State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Arizona according to the data:

  1. Holbrook
  2. Coolidge
  3. Guadalupe

For more Arizona reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Arizona

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Sedona 3.0 10,322 8.3x 47.3x
2 Flagstaff 5.0 72,402 6.0x 46.4x
3 Litchfield Park 11.33 6,073 3.8x 45.5x
4 Tempe 11.67 187,454 4.7x 49.8x
5 Cottonwood 16.0 11,959 4.5x 45.6x
6 Payson 17.0 15,545 4.6x 53.1x
7 Cave Creek 17.33 5,670 5.8x 62.8x
8 Prescott 18.0 42,785 6.2x 62.4x
9 Prescott Valley 18.0 44,311 4.4x 52.3x
10 Phoenix 19.33 1,633,017 4.1x 54.6x
11 Scottsdale 19.67 250,602 5.4x 64.6x
12 Youn 20.33 6,802 3.8x 42.6x
13 Paradise Valley 20.33 14,362 7.2x 83.0x
14 Surprise 21.0 135,450 3.5x 51.2x
15 Lake Havasu City 21.33 54,495 4.6x 58.3x
16 Camp Verde 21.33 11,196 4.9x 55.9x
17 Chino Valley 21.33 11,670 4.6x 56.7x
18 Glendale 22.33 247,813 3.9x 55.2x
19 Fountain Hills 22.67 24,729 4.7x 67.7x
20 Tolleson 23.0 7,246 3.8x 51.6x
21 Show Low 23.0 11,130 3.7x 49.8x
22 Mesa 23.0 499,720 3.9x 55.7x
23 Avondale 23.33 84,736 3.5x 52.2x
24 Bisbee 24.33 5,203 3.8x 48.9x
25 Nogales 24.67 20,201 4.1x 49.7x
26 Tucson 26.33 541,482 3.6x 51.3x
27 Peoria 27.33 168,196 3.5x 60.0x
28 Chandler 27.67 252,692 3.6x 63.2x
29 Goodyear 28.67 80,371 3.5x 61.0x
30 Oro Valley 29.0 44,630 3.7x 67.4x
31 Gilbert 29.67 243,254 3.4x 63.8x
32 Wickenburg 29.67 7,495 4.7x 78.0x
33 El Mirage 30.33 35,333 2.8x 47.4x
34 South Tucson 31.0 5,667 3.4x 39.6x
35 Somerton 31.33 16,146 3.3x 51.1x
36 Queen Creek 31.67 43,129 3.3x 66.5x
37 Bullhead City 32.0 40,252 3.4x 52.9x
38 Maricopa 32.33 48,629 2.7x 53.8x
39 Yuma 35.33 96,349 3.0x 53.9x
40 Kingman 36.0 29,726 3.1x 56.0x
41 Sahuarita 37.0 29,905 2.7x 57.8x
42 Casa Grande 37.0 55,653 2.8x 55.2x
43 San Luis 37.67 32,985 3.2x 55.5x
44 Marana 38.33 45,279 2.9x 70.8x
45 Snowflake 38.33 5,811 3.5x 65.8x
46 Florence 40.0 26,420 3.1x 60.1x
47 Sierra Vista 41.0 43,398 2.9x 63.5x
48 Thatcher 43.67 5,047 2.8x 67.5x
49 Eloy 43.83 18,666 2.5x 55.5x
50 Globe 44.0 7,348 2.5x 57.7x
51 Douglas 44.67 16,307 2.8x 58.0x
52 Apache Junction 45.33 40,592 2.3x 56.1x
53 Safford 45.67 9,749 3.0x 70.5x
54 Winslow 47.33 9,476 2.4x 57.5x
55 Guadalupe 47.5 6,482 2.6x 59.6x
56 Coolidge 47.67 12,685 2.3x 58.5x
57 Holbrook 53.33 5,037 2.1x 64.6x

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About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.