Report ranks Arizona 36th in nation in prosperity

Feb 9, 2018, 10:39 AM
The housing bubble that shook builiders also hit many homeowners who bought at the peak of the boom...
The housing bubble that shook builiders also hit many homeowners who bought at the peak of the boom and found themselves quickly "underwater" on their mortgages. (Photo by BasicGov/Creative Commons)

PHOENIX – Arizona ranked 36 out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for its residents’ “ability to save and build wealth,” according to Prosperity Now’s 2018 scorecard released earlier this week.

This is the state’s best ranking in the study, which became an annual occurrence in 2012.

Prosperity Now – formerly the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. – developed its scorecard based on five areas: Financial assets and income; businesses and jobs; homeownership and housing; health care and education.

Arizona’s highest grade was a “B” for prosperity in the homeownership and housing category, placing the state 16th overall.

Jeff Sibbach, leader of the Sibbach Team, a real-estate agency in Scottsdale, said the Arizona housing market still is battling the effects of the downturn from 2008 to 2012.

“We’re still on the road to recovery,” Sibbach said. “But the market is very healthy for the majority of people.”

Despite its overall health, Sibbach said the lower end of the marketplace is still recovering because it is suffering from a low supply.

“As the average (home) price in Arizona continues to rise, there’s hyper demand for the lower end of the marketplace,” Sibbach said. “We’re at a four-year low for inventory.”

Arizona’s scores in the homeownership and housing category represent both the best and worst rankings in any of the report’s five areas.

For example, Arizona ranked third-lowest in foreclosure rates and 50th-highest in high-cost mortgage loans.

In the other areas, Arizona received a “C” for financial assets and income, a “D” for businesses and jobs, a “D” for education and an “F” for health care.

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Report ranks Arizona 36th in nation in prosperity