(Source: AZCentral) – Catherine Reagor: Arizona evictions are up, a larger share of renters are ousted from their apartments in the Phoenix area than in any other major U.S. metro area except for one. Only Memphis ranks higher in rental evictions, according to the national research firm Apartment List.
“We estimate an eviction rate of 5.9 percent for the Phoenix metro,” said Chris Salviati, housing economist for Apartment List. “We have found that evictions are most prevalent in metros that were hit hard by the foreclosure crisis and have high rates of poverty.” The eviction rate for Memphis was 6.1 percent, according to the report that polled 41,000 U.S. renters asking if they had been evicted from 2015 to 2017.
The Phoenix area was hit harder by the housing boom and bust than most other cities on the list, except Las Vegas, which ranks No. 6 for the highest rate of evictions.
How Phoenix compares
Census data put the Valley’s poverty rate at 15 percent of the area’s population in 2016. Memphis’ rate was more than 19 percent. Las Vegas’ poverty rate was 14.2 percent.
Atlanta had the third-highest eviction rate. Indianapolis ranked No. 4, and Dallas was No. 5.
“I am surprised the Valley’s apartment eviction rate ranks so high,” said real estate analyst Mark Stapp, director of the Master of Real Estate Development program at Arizona State University. “It could be due to the area having a highly transient population or even different landlord-tenant laws than states with lower eviction rates, like California.”
Connection between evictions and homelessness
More expensive cities, particularly in California, had lower eviction rates. San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles all had eviction rates of 2 percent or lower.The Apartment List research attributes lower rates of renters being turned out in those areas to stronger job markets and higher wages.
The Arizona Multihousing Association declined to comment on metro Phoenix’s ranking on the eviction survey. Many studies, including this one from Apartment List, show evictions are the leading cause of homelessness.
Rapidly rising rents in the Valley during the past few years has made it more difficult for many renters.
Nationwide, one in five renters was unable to pay the rent in full for at least one of the past three months, according to the survey.