The cost of living in Arizona is going to vary greatly depending on where in the state you are moving. Obviously the larger markets will be much more expensive than those that are smaller.
In Phoenix, Arizona's largest market, health care and general goods and services tend to run a little higher than the national average, but the overall cost of living is still on the lower side (relatively). The cost of living index for Phoenix is 95 based on the national average of 100 and a gallon of gas is 10% lower than the national average. In Phoenix, average rent for an apartment is $1,027 (national average is $799) and the median home value is just over $258,720 (national average is $192,591).
Like Phoenix, the cost of living in Tucson and the surrounding areas, Arizona's second-largest market, is 95 based on the national average of 100. A gallon of gas in Tucson is 10% lower than the national average, and household utilities range up to 22% lower. Average rent for an apartment is $777 and the median home value is just over $103,000. New homes are available under $100,000. (Prices based on December 2011 listings via Zillow.com.)
Despite Phoenix home values being above the national average, the current listing prices are significantly lower. (With the exception of surrounding areas like Scottsdale, which will be much more expensive than the numbers listed above.) Tucson is very much a buyer's market for homes (including townhouses and condos), with the average listing price significantly lower than home values in most areas.
To compare these larger markets with home prices across the state, refer to these average listing price ranges by county (numbers as of May 2012 via Trulia.com). As a reference, Phoenix is located in Maricopa County and Tucson is in Pima County.
- Apache County $213K-$260K
- Cochise County $177K-$213K
- Coconino County $331K and up
- Gila County $260K-$296K
- Graham County $142K-$177K
- Greenlee County $142K and below
- La Paz County $177K-$213K
- Maricopa County $331K and up
- Mohave County $177K-$213K
- Navajo County $213K-$260K
- Pima County $260K-$296K
- Pinal County $142K-$177K
- Santa Cruz County $260K-$296K
- Yavapai County $260K-$296K
- Yuma County $142K-$177K