Arizona also home to two popular universities, multiple national parks (ever heard of the Grand Canyon?) and thriving cities with plenty of opportunities. And did we mention the weather? That hot desert climate means plenty of sunshine and shorts all year-round. With so much to offer, the cheapest places to live in Arizona consist of picturesque and popular cities, so no matter your budget, you’ll find the perfect home.
Arizona’s average rent prices
From the upscale city of Scottsdale to the college town of Tempe, rents throughout the state sit on the more affordable side. For example, a one-bedroom apartment will cost you $1,322 on average per month.
While that number is up by almost 8 percent over last year, it’s still close to the median rent for the entire U.S.
The cheapest cities in Arizona for renters
You don’t have to live in Phoenix to experience what makes Arizona such a great place to live. Although this big, capital city has a lot going on, you do have alternatives that keep you close by, but at a more affordable price. Opting for a smaller city can improve your cost of living without sacrificing access to activities and fun.
Give your monthly budget a break. Consider one of the cheapest places to live in Arizona as your new home.
10. Queen Creek
- One-bedroom average rent price: $1,189
- Average rent price change: -8.18%
With an easy commute to Phoenix, Queen Creek gives you the benefits of small-town living without being far from an urban center. This laid-back community offers horseback riding, more than one mountain range to explore and four 18-hole golf courses. Its proximity to the airport also makes it an affordable place to live even if you spend a large amount of time traveling.
This family-friendly, innovative city continues to grow without losing its reputation as one of the best-kept secrets in Arizona.
- One-bedroom average rent price: $1,152
- Average rent price change: -13%
Dotted with palm and orange trees, the unique appearance of Litchfield Park only cements its reputation as another local gem within Arizona. Full of beautiful homes, sidewalk cafes and casual and comfortable public spaces, you can find a cozy feel at the right price.
When it’s time for a little luxury, you won’t have to go far. The Wigwam, located in Litchfield Park, has served as an elegant retreat for more than a century. With more than 400 acres of amenities, restaurants, golf courses and more, it’s a definite bonus to have somewhere to pamper yourself within such an affordable area to live.
- One-bedroom average rent price: $1,118
- Average rent price change: 7.22%
Known as one of the primary suburbs of Phoenix, Avondale is a quickly growing city with plenty of open space, recreational amenities and employment opportunities. Located where the Sierra Estrella Mountains and Agua Fria and Gila rivers meet, the city continues to develop. A new city center is currently underway to bring even more to this affordable town.
- One-bedroom average rent price: $1,097
- Average rent price change: 0.98%
With a downtown labeled as one of the best shopping districts in the country, Glendale has a diverse history that residents treasure. One of the four largest cities in Arizona, it offers something for everyone from annual music festivals to a water park to the University of Phoenix Stadium, which hosted the 2015 Super Bowl.
Giving off a modern vibe and providing a lot of entertainment options, it’s no wonder this is one of Phoenix’s most popular suburbs to call home.
- One-bedroom average rent price: $1,078
- Average rent price change: 45.33%
More than 20,000 acres of recreational parks, 47 miles of trails and more than 100 miles of paved bike routes all make Goodyear a perfect city for those who prefer an active lifestyle. It’s also home to the Goodyear Ballpark where you can catch the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians during spring training.
Named for the well-known tire company, the city offers a safe, small-town feel, with affordable housing, only 20 minutes from Phoenix.
- One-bedroom average rent price: $1,052
- Average rent price change: 0.29%
For a dose of natural history, Mesa is an ideal place to live. Home to the Mesa Grande Cultural Park, you can see a centuries-old ceremonial mound and learn more about the native Hohokam people. You’ll also find the Arizona Museum of Natural History and the i.d.e.a Museum here.
This nicely-priced town sits alongside the Tonto National Forest, the fifth-largest forest in the United States. This desert oasis keeps you active and outdoors as you enjoy living in some of the best weather in the country.
4. Casa Grande
Source: Rent.com / Courtyard Apartments
- One-bedroom average rent price: $914
- Average rent price change: -6.17%
Situated halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, Casa Grande provides a relaxing atmosphere for those who want to live in Arizona without the bustle of a big city. Residents golf year-round when they’re not walking through the historic downtown area, hiking, biking or enjoying local community-wide events.
With historic charm and a lot of amenities, Casa Grande looks to create an ideal quality of life for residents at a price everyone can afford.
- One-bedroom average rent price: $835
- Average rent price change: 5.50%
The biggest Arizona city on the list, Tucson encompasses a huge amount of space in the southern part of the state. Nestled in the Sonoran Desert, there’s a good chance you’ll see a giant saguaro cactus from your own apartment window.
With all the amenities of a large city — like resorts, golf and amazing shopping and restaurants — and the beauty of mountain ranges and desert landscapes, you get the best of both worlds without having to break the bank.
- One-bedroom average rent price: $759
- Average rent price change: -4.18%
Overlooking the Colorado River, Yuma is home to the Marine Corps Air Station and thousands of Marines and their families. It’s also a popular destination for snowbirds, residents who spend only the cold winter months living comfortably in the Arizona sun. They double the city’s population during the first few months of each year.
No matter the population size, Yuma strives to preserve its culture and heritage alongside its wide array of outdoor activities. The city is also close to Mexico and San Diego, offering opportunities for easy getaways you won’t find everywhere in the state.
1. Sierra Vista
- One-bedroom average rent price: $663
- Average rent price change: 17.87%
Living in Sierra Vista gives you a perfect balance between an active, engaged lifestyle and affordability, and that’s why it’s No. 1 among the cheapest places to live in Arizona. Mixing a smaller population with big-city amenities, Sierra Vista is also a popular spot for those interested in technology. This is, in part, thanks to the tech-forward missions at Fort Huachuca.
The city supports a healthy mix of young professionals and those looking for a slower pace of life. It has received distinctions as both a best place to retire and a best place to live, work and play. And, that’s all for less than what you’d pay in many other cities around the country.
Rent prices are based on a rolling weighted average from Apartment Guide and Rent.com’s multifamily rental property inventory of one-bedroom apartments. We pulled our data in December 2020, and it goes back for one year. Our team uses a weighted average formula that more accurately represents price availability for each individual unit type and reduces the influence of seasonality on rent prices in specific markets.
We excluded cities with insufficient inventory from this report.
The rent information included in this article about the cheapest places to live is used for illustrative purposes only. The data contained herein do not constitute financial advice or a pricing guarantee for any apartment.