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As the Valley grows, where are the starter homes?

The Maricopa Association of Governments projects we will grow by more than a million people in the next few decades, but where will they live?

ARIZONA, USA — Housing prices have been rising rapidly, leaving some families looking for their first home without viable options.

Nationwide, what once was considered a starter home, is disappearing.

Back in the early 2000s, the average new home sold for around $200,000. More homes sold for less than $200,000 than over that price.

However, in 2022, the average new home sells for more than a half million dollars, and less than 3% of new homes are under the $200,000 mark.

“We need to zone more land for housing and housing of all types.” Courtney Levinus, CEO of the Arizona Multihousing Association, said. “We have not adequately planned for the population growth we are currently experiencing.”

RELATED: What will the Valley look like in 2040? The answer may surprise you

The AMA wants less regulation from cities and more buildings across the Valley.
According to Levinus and projections from Real Estate Consultant Elliot Pollock and Co., the Valley needs more than 40,000 units to keep up with current demand.

That's not including the projected growth of more than a million people in the next few decades.

RELATED: Will the Valley be habitable in 2050? An environmental scientist says yes, but with these changes

Levinus said cities have prioritized bigger homes in recent years, which has helped lead to the housing shortage.

“They wanted large homes on large lots. But that’s not affordable for everyone, and it’s not sustainable.“ Levinus said.


In our “Boomtown” series, 12News takes a look at the Valley’s explosive growth over the past few decades, the consequences that came with it and a look at what it all means for our future as more than 1.5 million people are expected to move to the Valley by 2040.

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