Increasing population density could ease rising rents in Arizona, ASU professor says

Mar 1, 2022, 4:25 AM
(Pexels Photo)...
(Pexels Photo)
(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — An Arizona State University professor said an increase in housing density could help ease rising rent in the state, but negative public perception would be an obstacle.

While rents are on the rise in Arizona, with some reports finding they rose as much as 19% on average last year, an increase in the density of housing, for some people, conjures images of crowded streets and less privacy.

Public sentiment has also influenced policy on the issue, according to Arizona State University real estate professor Mark Stapp.

“Just the prospect of having higher density is bothersome to certain residents,” Stapp said. “It puts a lot of pressure on public officials.”

That’s resulted in legislation banning things like rent control and inclusionary zoning that could increase the amount of affordable housing stock.

Stapp explains that rising rent prices are part of a chain reaction.

“We’re a very diverse economy, we’ve been growing rapidly and that employment growth drives population growth,” he said.

“That population growth drives housing demand… you’re going to get upward pressure on pricing.”

Despite the legal barriers to building specifically affordable housing, building more units could keep prices from rising simply because it will make the supply match the demand.

Stapp said density, when done right, can actually have a lot of positive outcomes.

He used traffic as an example, saying while people might assume a higher population density would lead to worse traffic, that doesn’t have to be the case.

“Densities in the right places, near employment centers, can reduce traffic because you don’t have people who have to commute from farther distances,” Stapp said.

He adds pushing development to the outskirts instead of building up city centers makes things more difficult for workers who are looking for a place to call home.

“We’re talking about building community when we’re talking about apartment rents and employment, wages and transportation.”

Stapp stresses the end goal – to build more units and bring down the cost of rent – is imperative for Arizona’s future.

“The employers are going to have a hard time getting those employees,” he says, discussing high rent prices. “That’s when it really becomes an economic development problem. We become less competitive.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(City of Chandler Photo)...
SuElen Rivera

Chandler grants construction company $5.8M to rebuild city’s busiest fire station

The Chandler City Council on Wednesday approved nearly $5.8 million in funding for a construction company to rebuild the city's busiest fire station. 
8 hours ago
A customer displays some marijuana he just purchased at a RISE dispensary in Bloomfield, N.J., Thur...

Curaleaf Dispensary workers become first in Arizona to vote yes for union

"Budtenders" at a Curaleaf Dispensary voted 13-to-6 in favor of unionizing on Thursday, the first in Arizona to join Cannabis Workers Rising.
8 hours ago
(The Lion King Broadway Musical Photo)...

Broadway musical ‘The Lion King’ comes to ASU Gammage for July

This month, Broadway musical and Disney fans alike will get the chance to see "The Lion King" at ASU Gammage in Tempe.
8 hours ago
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images, File)...

Maricopa County offers bonuses to temporary election workers

Maricopa County announced last week it would offer temporary election workers a bonus as a way to help ensure enough staffing for the upcoming elections.
8 hours ago
A bartender at Hops & Barley brewpub pours a pint of beer on November 12, 2013 in Berlin, Germa...

‘Real Wild and Woody’ festival hits Bell Bank Park in August

Beer enthusiasts can celebrate 30 years of craft beer in Arizona with the "Real Wild and Woody" beer festival coming to Bell Bank Park on Aug. 6.
1 day ago
(Twitter Photo/@GlendaleFire)...

Glendale fire personnel respond to 3 blazes believed to be firework-related

Glendale firefighters responded to three fires, all of which are believed to be firework-related in a span of 12 hours, authorities said.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Increasing population density could ease rising rents in Arizona, ASU professor says