Real Estate

In this July 30 file photo, a realty sign hangs in front of a home for sale in Gilbert, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Matt York

It's probably no surprise to those living here, but several of Arizona's largest cities are among the worst in the nation in recovering from the recession.

A new study by Wallet Hub, a finance-advisory firm targeting small businesses, ranks Tucson as 143 out of the Top 150 communities for getting back to normal following the recession.

But Glendale did little better at 142, with Tempe just a notch above that.

Among all Arizona communities ranked, Chandler fared better than all the others, but that still placed it only 91st on the list, followed by Gilbert at 92 and Scottsdale at 96.

Peoria came in at 123, with Mesa at 135 and Phoenix at 138.

The rankings are based on a scoring system the company crafted.

For example, the company analyzed employment and earning opportunities using things like decreases in the unemployment rate, increases in median household income and even how many more college-educated workers had moved into the area.

The study considered the overall economic environment of each community. Higher home prices and decreases in foreclosure rates helped.

But the company also looked at things like whether the rate of violent crime went down, and how much. Also factored in are population growth, increases in the number of business and even how much the average credit score went up.

Based on all that, Wallet Hub listed Laredo, Tex., as the most recovered, with five other Texas cities in the Top 10.

By contrast, three California cities shared that Bottom 10 list with Tucson, Glendale and Tempe, with San Bernardino coming in dead last.

The study's authors said this is more than a static ranking.

“Whenever a city is left behind in a recovery, collateral effects are bound to afflict already struggling economies,” the report reads, with possible ripple effects like higher crime, lower property values and businesses shutting down.

“If and when that happens, skilled workers are forced to seek better opportunities in more thriving communities,” it says.

But as bad as things may be in Arizona, the report notes that none of these cities have followed down the path of 13 communities which have filed for bankruptcy since 2008.

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