Arizona home prices rose 6.3% between the fourth quarter of 2021 and fourth quarter of 2022. This was below the U.S. price gain of 8.4% for the same time period and well below price gains of the previous year. Back in the fourth quarter of 2021, house price gains were focused on the Mountain region with a 23.4% 12-month increase.

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Arizona, Utah and Idaho had the largest one-year price increases out of all states at that time. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Mountain region had a 6.1% price increase and the three Mountain states that had been at the top are now ranked 37th, 46th, and 49th, respectively. The U.S. one-year price change went from 17.9% in the last quarter of 2021 to 8.4% in the last quarter of 2022 on a seasonally adjusted basis. The biggest price gains shifted to the South Atlantic region, which increased 12.4% over the year in the fourth quarter of 2022 and the state with the highest appreciation was Florida at 15.2% followed by North Carolina (13.4%) and South Carolina (12.9%). All states had positive price changes over the year in the fourth quarter of 2022 according to the February 28 Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) release, while the District of Columbia dipped into negative price changes.

State level data provided in the press release are based on a purchase-only index while data for all metropolitan areas are available on the FHFA website with an all-transactions index which includes both purchase and refinance mortgages. One-year price changes in Arizona home prices for the fourth quarter of 2022 all-transactions index were 11.7% in Flagstaff, 10.3% in Lake Havasu City-Kingman, 10.8% in Phoenix, 9.0% in Prescott Valley-Prescott, 13.8% in Sierra Vista-Douglas, 13.7% in Tucson, and 16.0% in Yuma. All-transactions price gains were 11.8% for the U.S. and 11.1% for Arizona for the fourth quarter of 2022.

U.S. real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2022 based on an updated estimate released February 23 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This was lower than the 2.9% advance estimate released a month earlier, reflecting revisions in consumer spending (lower) and imports (higher). Real GDP increased 3.2% in the third quarter of 2022.

Phoenix house prices trended down again in December. The 12-month change in house prices for Phoenix was at 2.9% compared to 6.3% in November based on the February 28 S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices release. Phoenix price gains were lower than the national average of 5.8% and the 20-city composite of 4.6%. All 20 cities in the index had prices decline November to December, with Phoenix house prices declining by 1.9%. The top three cities were the only ones to still have double-digit increases over the year. These included Miami, Tampa and Atlanta at 15.9%, 13.9%, and 10.4%, respectively. Seattle and San Francisco recorded declines in the one-year change at -1.8% and -4.2%. 

The U.S. trade deficit for goods and services was $68.3 billion in January. This was up $1.1 billion from the revised December figure of $67.2 billion according to the joint U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis March 8 release. Both exports and imports increased over the month with January exports moving to $257.5 billion, an increase of $8.5 billion and imports were up $9.6 billion at $325.8 billion for January. Year-over-year the deficit was down 21.9% from January 2022.  

Arizona nonfarm employment decreased by 32,600 in January 2023, not seasonally adjusted. January typically has a loss of employment though this was smaller than the pre-pandemic average of 51,000 jobs lost based on the March 9 Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity release. Arizona jobs increased 3.2% over the year in January, however, with all sectors reporting increased employment.  Year-over-year employment changes for Arizona metropolitan areas in January were 4.5% in Flagstaff, 4.1% in Prescott, 3.5% in Phoenix, 2.4% in Tucson, 1.3% in Lake Havasu City-Kingman, and 0.3% in both Yuma and Sierra Vista-Douglas. The seasonally adjusted Arizona unemployment rate for January 2023 was 3.8%. With the January release, employment data were revised back based on annual benchmarking along with revisions reflecting new population controls.

In January 2023, Arizona total building permits decreased statewide by 65.1% over the year. Single family permits were down 60.7% over the year. Comparing January to the prior month’s data, housing permits statewide were down by 56.3%. The seasonally adjusted figure of 2,081 units in January 2023, is the lowest amount since late 2014. The Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler MSA and Tucson MSA were a similar story, both down over the year by 68.6% and 60.2%, respectively. Single family permits dropped even further in Tucson moving down 66.5% while in Phoenix it was 63.1%. Total housing permits have been on a downward trend since March 2022 and though this represents the largest drop on a year-over-year basis since 2009, these data will be revised in May.

Authors: Valorie H. Rice is the Senior Business Information Specialist at the Economic and Business Research Center (EBRC) in the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. Research Assistant Shaw Zeider and Undergraduate Research Assistant Prarthana Magon contributed to this report.