Pandemic boomtowns — including Phoenix — hit hardest by inflation

by Patrick Regan

Panoramic aerial view of the Phoenix, Arizona skyline against the day's blue sky.

The four U.S. metro areas with the highest inflation rates in the third quarter of the year are also four of the hottest migration areas, a new Redfin report found.

Phoenix, Atlanta, Tampa and Miami saw double-digit consumer price index percentage growth year over year, and all four ranked near the top of Redfin’s most popular destinations for relocating homebuyers.

The price of goods and services rose 13% in Phoenix year over year, the highest inflation rate among metro areas measured by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Phoenix was the sixth-most popular relocation destination among Redfin users in the third quarter, the company said.

Atlanta had the second-highest inflation rate at 11.7%, followed by Tampa at 10.9% and Miami at 10.7%.

Housing costs in Phoenix rose 19% year over year in August, and food rose 14.1%, both driving the overall inflation rate.

“The pandemic triggered a great rebalancing of affordability,” Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr said in the report. “Americans left pricey coastal job centers and moved to more affordable places in the Sun Belt, but now those more affordable places are seeing affordability erode faster than anywhere else in the country. Some of these areas may lose their titles as top migration destinations in 2023 as a result.”

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