In 2021, nearly 100,000 people moved to Phoenix. As a whole, Arizona saw a growth of 1.4 percent in 12 months, adding about 270 people every single day.
Why are so many people coming to The Grand Canyon State? Part of the reason is that the cost of living in Arizona is more affordable than in other nearby states, like California, Oregon and Washington. And Arizona is only slightly higher (3.5 percent) than the national average. Plus, the rental rate of the cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix is considerably more affordable than the overall national average.
What is the average rent in Phoenix?
In the past 12 months, the average rental rate in Phoenix rose by 15.44 percent to $1,687 per month. While no one likes to see the cost of living increase, overall, this is a pretty average increase. Of course, some states saw lower increased rates – some even saw a bit of a decline – but for the most part, many cities had substantial increases. For instance, Mesa, AZ, had a 32.09 percent increase, Tempe, AZ, had a 24.22 percent increase and Chandler, AZ, had a 24.04 percent increase. Scottsdale had a decrease of just more than 10 percent.
Thankfully, despite the increases, there are still plenty of affordable apartments to rent in the area. In fact, the 10 cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix fall well under the $1,687 per month mark.
The 10 most affordable neighborhoods in Phoenix
If you’re interested in moving to Phoenix but are on a tight budget, we’re here to help! We understand that finding the right apartment is just one piece of the puzzle. The other important part is finding the right neighborhood. Therefore, our list of the cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix examines the price, as well as the vibe of the community as a whole.
10. South Phoenix
Source: Rent./Proximity 16th St.
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,354
- Rent change since 2021: -8.62%
The neighborhood of South Phoenix is just a few minutes from the Downtown area. Because of this, it surprises many new renters to find out that this is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Phoenix. And not only that, but this area had one of the most significant 12-month price decreases of all the neighborhoods we evaluated.
South Phoenix has an abundance of quaint shops, amenities, restaurants, services and attractions – most within walking distance. You’ll find comfort foods like pizza and beer, as well as more posh options if you’re in the mood for some wining and dining.
9. Casa Nueva
Source: Rent./The Met
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,310
- Rent change since 2021: 0%
Located just over two miles northeast of Downtown Phoenix is the neighborhood of Casa Nueva. The majority of residents are in their 30s and are singles or couples without children. Though the walkability score isn’t that high (54), the bike score is a bit higher (63), so you can get around fairly easily on two wheels.
Because this neighborhood is so close to the city, you’ll have your fair share of excellent restaurants, grocery stores and retail shops, as well as coffee shops, bars and entertainment venues.
However, it’s important to note that there are several green spaces in the area, so you can enjoy the natural beauty of Phoenix.
8. North Mountain
Source: Rent./Fairways on Thunderbird
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,220
- Rent change since 2021: +1.89%
Of the cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix, North Mountain was the community that had the lowest 12-month increase on our list. In addition to the affordability, North Mountain is one of the top-rated neighborhoods in Phoenix because of the diversity and outdoor activities.
Residents of the area love that nature surrounds them – there’s North Mountain Park on one side and a nature reserve on the other. Though you’re only about 20-30 minutes away from the city, it feels like you’re living in the rural countryside. Just a few miles drive, though, and you have great shopping and dining options.
7. West Phoenix
Source: Rent./Encore 202
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,219
- Rent change since 2021: +3.35%
Just because you need to look for an apartment in one of the cheapest places in Phoenix doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat it, too! If urban amenities are high on your must-have list, you need to check out the West Phoenix neighborhood.
As a resident of West Phoenix, you’ll be close to shopping centers, restaurants and entertainment venues.
If you like to get outside as much as possible – or prefer outdoor exercise to indoor options – you’ll be happy to know that there are several places to walk, jog, hike and go on bike rides in this area.
Source: Rent./Elevation on Central
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,218
- Rent change since 2021: +13.23%
Alhambra is one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods in Phoenix. It has the highest population of Mexican and Native American Phoenicians of any city in Arizona.
If you’re looking for a neighborhood with exciting nightlife activities, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of options along the 7th Street Golden Mile Corridor.
Though this neighborhood attracts a lot of young professionals, it’s very much a generational neighborhood. Generation after generation of families grow up in the area, many of them living in the same home where they grew up.
Despite having the highest 12-month increase on our list of the most affordable neighborhoods in Phoenix, Alhambra is still one of the cheapest neighborhoods.
5. Papago Gardens
Source: Rent./Papago Gardens
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,159
- Rent change since 2021: +4.86%
Papago Gardens is a family-friendly neighborhood that’s committed to historic preservation. The neighborhood has a unique character, and the community wants to make sure they keep it intact. To that end, the Sherwood Heights community convinced the local city council in 2003 to limit the height of new construction. They wanted to keep the aesthetic of existing homes in the area, many of which are from the 1960s.
When you visit the Papago Gardens to look for rentals, you’ll notice tree-lined, winding streets and homes with lush, beautiful landscaping. The stunning mountain range backdrop enhances the beauty of the area.
4. Krall’s Homesites
Source: Rent./Las Ventanas
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,121
- Rent change since 2021: +11.62%
About 10 miles north of Phoenix is the neighborhood of Krall’s Homesites, one of the cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix. Most of the people who live in the area say the price is what initially drew them to the area.
Another thing residents like about the area is that they have easy access to grocery stores, places of worship and shopping malls. Getting to Downtown Phoenix takes residents an average of 15-30 minutes, depending on traffic.
Residents also say they enjoy the restaurants in the area and appreciate the abundance of parks and green spaces. It’s a nice change of pace from the bustle of the Downtown area.
3. South Mountain
Source: Rent./Agave Court
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,117
- Rent change since 2021: -7.76%
The South Mountain neighborhood is one that’s popular with many families. They appreciate that this is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Phoenix and that most of the public schools in the area have above-average ratings from their fellow parents. They also appreciate that just about all of life’s necessities are within a short distance from home.
New restaurants, homes and businesses are popping up in recent years, which is exciting because it means the community is growing.
There’s a very diverse population, and you’ll find that your neighbors in South Mountain are friendly and helpful. There’s a strong sense of community here.
South Mountain is a nice, quiet neighborhood. Locals like to head to the nearby mountains to explore, hike and experience the fantastic views and sunsets.
2. Melrose Woodlea
Source: Rent./DUO Apartments
- Average 2-BR rent: $1,101
- Rent change since 2021: 0%
The Melrose Woodlea neighborhood is a community nestled in the Melrose District in the heart of Phoenix. It’s a quiet cottage community with a ton of character. Homes in the area have distinctive 1930s-1940s design features, and residents often say they feel at home as soon as they move into their Melrose Woodlea apartment.
Residents describe the neighborhood as hip and fun, with a strong vintage aesthetic and multiple locally-owned shops peppered throughout the area. Within the neighborhood are several restaurants serving some of the best cuisines you’ll ever taste, including Melrose Kitchen, which has excellent breakfasts and brunch cuisine and a fun ambiance.
1. Lake Biltmore Village
Source: Rent./Union on 28th
- Average 2-BR rent: $948
- Rent change since 2021: -11.01%
The Lake Biltmore Village had the highest price decrease on our list of the cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix. That’s not to say, though, that this neighborhood had the highest price decrease of all the communities in Phoenix – including the expensive ones. That honor goes to the community of Arcadia (-13.19 percent).
Lake Biltmore Village is about 35 minutes north of Phoenix, just past the suburb of Glendale. It’s an urban neighborhood that’s somewhat walkable, though it has a better bike score than transit or walkability scores. The community is just off the freeway, making commuting to home or work super easy.
Residents say the area has ample shopping, that their community is quiet and peaceful and that their neighbors are friendly and are there for each other whenever someone needs help.
The most expensive neighborhood in Phoenix
After reviewing our list of the cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix, some might feel that a pricier community is actually within their budget. If this is how you think, we’ll give you an idea of what it’s like to live in a more expensive area.
The most expensive neighborhood in Phoenix is Kierland, where rent averages approximately $4,254 per month. Kierland is in Scottsdale, which is just over 12 miles from Phoenix.
If you need easy access to great shopping opportunities, this is the neighborhood for you. The Kierland Commons is a mall with plenty of high-end brands. In addition to the excellent shopping, you’ll find multiple casual and fine dining choices throughout the area, including steakhouses, Italian and French restaurants and even fantastic seafood options.
The neighborhood is easily walkable, so you can do some shopping, eat out and enjoy some live entertainment, all without the need for a car. There are also several office spaces in the area, which means you don’t need to commute to Downtown Phoenix for work if you like the idea of working closer to home.
Find an affordable neighborhood for your next apartment
Do the communities on our list of the cheapest neighborhoods in Phoenix sound like a good fit for you? If so, your next step is to find your dream apartment! We can help you with that, too.
Check out our search feature to locate apartments for rent in Phoenix in your ideal neighborhood. Then, use the filters to narrow your search. You can enter the best price range for your budget, as well as your must-have amenities. Then, you’ll get a list of apartments — one of which might be your new home-sweet-home.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Rent.’s multifamily rental property inventory as of January 2022. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets. The rent information included in this article is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.