Report: Phoenix metro a top real estate market during pandemic

Attracted largest number of movers from West Coast


National Association of Realtors named the Valley of the Sun a top 10 real estate market during and in a post-COVID-19 environment.

Part of this growth comes from people relocating from expensive West Coast cities, particularly technology workers, many of whom are from organizations with very flexible, and in some cases permanent, work-from-home policies.

NAR found the Phoenix metro area is the third largest destination of movers, next to Dallas and Atlanta, and overall, attracted the largest number of movers from West Coast metro areas.

Other top 10 markets included:

•Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, Georgia
•Boise City, Idaho
•Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
•Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
•Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
•Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana
•Madison, Wisconsin
•Provo-Orem, Utah

•Spokane-Spokane Valley, Washington

NAR said these10 markets have shown resilience during the pandemic period and are expected to perform well in a post-COVID-19 environment in the next two years, according to a news release.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist and senior vice president of research, said it is an understatement to say the year 2020 has been filled with challenges and full of surprises.

“Yet, one astonishing development has been the hot housing market as consumers eyed record-low mortgage rates and reconsidered what a home should be in a new economy with flexible work-from-home schedules,” he said.

In 2020, home sales will reach 5.52 million, the highest annual mark since 2006, with the median home price setting a record high of $293,000, according to NAR.

“Some markets have been performing exceptionally well throughout the pandemic and they’ll likely carry that momentum well into 2021 and beyond because of strong in-migration of new residents, faster local job market recoveries and environments conducive to work-from-home arrangements and other factors,” Mr. Yun said.

NAR identified the top 10 metro areas by considering a variety of indicators that it views to be influential to a metro area’s recovery and growth prospects in a post-pandemic environment over the next two years, including: unemployment rate; net domestic migration, including movers from expensive West Coast areas; share of workers in retail trade, leisure and hospitality industries; mobility to retail and leisure places; and the fraction of the workforce working from home, among others.

“As we look towards 2021 and beyond, expect these 10 markets to perform strongly with potential buyers finding conditions particularly favorable to purchase a home,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said in the release. “Overall, residential real estate will continue to be an important driver of our nation’s economic recovery and the activity in these markets will help lead the way.”

Low unemployment rates compared to the national average signaled strong employment environments for residents of these areas. At 4.2%, Provo-Orem boasts the lowest unemployment rate among those listed, followed by Madison at 4.3%, Charleston at 4.7% and Des Moines at 5%. Phoenix metro has an unemployment rate of 6.3%.

Atlanta had the highest share of workers working from home at 8.8%, compared to the national share of 5.6%. Spokane also had a high fraction of the workforce work from home at 7.2%.

To view the report, visit

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697,, or on Twitter @philiphaldiman.