As Phoenix‘s population continues to surge, with over 30,000 newcomers in the last three years, the demand for housing is reaching critical levels. Phoenix is in a unique position to solve its own housing crisis, considering it ranks third nationally for undeveloped and vacant land.

LEARN MORE: 5 ways watching land use and zoning shows us where we’ll be in 2 years

A groundbreaking report from RentCafe sheds light on this powerful, untapped resource of vacant land in Phoenix. More precisely, our analysis shows that a staggering 36 million square feet of empty land could be turned into rental communities and lead to a slowdown in rent growth.

More interesting findings about Phoenix’s untapped housing potential:

  • Phoenix could start building 32,500 apartments as of tomorrow. Scattered around the city, the 363 plots of vacant land already zoned for multifamily total more than 36 million square feet.
  • These new apartments could house no fewer than 93,000 renters, about 3 times more than the number of residents Phoenix added after the pandemic.
  • Stepping up development of rentals would also temper rent increases in the next 10 years, from an estimated 88% with the current pace of construction and growing migration trends to 77% by delivering 3,250 new units each year.
  • A slowdown in apartment construction to 1,000 units per year would lead to rents doubling in the next 10 years. This means that, in the context of the new development restrictions due to Arizona’s evaporating water supply, it’s even more important for Phoenix to tap into its great housing potential.
  • The top 5 zip codes for vacant land suitable for construction could house 65,000 renters. With 19 vacant parcels of land in Phoenix, zip code 85003, running across downtown, is Phoenix’s most promising area. The nearly 6,700 new apartments that could be built here could welcome around 19,000 renters. Other zip codes primed for development are 85050, 85004, 85040 and 85020. Check the complete list in the report.