Cost of Living Index
The housing category of the cost-of-living index is of particular importance in relocation decisions and accounts for nearly 30 percent of the composite index. The annual housing indexes are volatile and account for most of the cyclicality in the composite index.
From 1997 through 2013, housing costs in the Phoenix metropolitan area have followed a strong cycle, from as much as 13 percent below average following the 2001 recession to 7 percent above average at the end of the housing boom in 2006 to 13 percent below average in 2011. In 2013, housing costs were only 3 percent below average. Housing costs also have followed a cycle in the Tucson metro area, but have been below the national average in every year, ranging from 20 percent less in 2003 to 2 percent less in 2006 to 17 percent less in 2013.