Cost Of Living In Prescott, Arizona (Taxes, Housing & More)

Mary Newman
by Mary Newman

North of Phoenix and southwest of Flagstaff sits Prescott, a town of nearly 40,000 people incorporated in 1881. This desert town has a rich history and was once the capital of the territory of Arizona, until 1967 when it was moved to Tucson.

With a cost of living index at 115.7, Prescott is a little more expensive than the average US city. The housing cost of living is by far the hardest to swallow, which sits at 158.6, but utilities and groceries are also higher than the national average. The unemployment rate in Prescott is 3.9%, less than the national average.

Thinking about making the move to the hot, dry climate of Prescott? It might make sense for you and your family – but be sure you understand the costs involved, because it isn’t cheap!

Related Guide: What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In Prescott, Arizona?

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Cost Of Homeownership in Prescott Arizona

LocationMedian Home ValueHomeownership Rates
United States$320,00065.8%

It’s easy to see why the housing cost of living index in Prescott is at 158.6 – the median values are much higher than the state’s average, and the national average.

Homeownership rates are just below the national average, however, but they are relatively high when you consider the median household income and the median home value. 66.5% of homes in Prescott are single-family homes.

Median Home Prices In Prescott

Home PricesPercentage of Homes
$982,000 and Above4.3%
Sub $65,0007.5%

Prescott does have quite a variety of home price ranges, which is unusual. For so many cities of this size, prices are clustered in one or two sections. 29.9% of homes in Prescott are relatively new, having been built in the last 20 years. 53.4% of homes were built between 1970 and 1999, while just 11.9% of homes were built between 1940 and 1969.

The majority of housing in Prescott, or 43.1%, has 3 bedrooms. 30.9% have 2 bedrooms, and just 8.6% have 1 bedroom.

Cost of Property Taxes

Great news if you’re considering purchasing a home in Prescott – property taxes in Yavapai County are very low. The average county tax rate is just 0.580%, less than the Arizona average of 0.620% and the national average, which sits at 1.070%.

This means for a home purchased at the median price of $412,146, the average homeowner would spend just $2,390 annually on their property taxes. This is over $2,000 less than what is the national average – that adds up!

Cost Of Renting A Home

Housing SizePrescottPrescott MetroArizonaUnited States
1 Bedroom$703$724$806$930
2 Bedroom$928$958$1011$1148
3 Bedroom$1315$1358$1454$1537
4 Bedroom$1335$1381$1668$1791

Despite the high housing costs, rent in Prescott is actually lower than the national average by quite a bit. It is also just slightly lower than the state’s average. 11.2% of housing in Prescott is large apartment complexes, and 9.2% of housing is smaller apartment buildings. 37.7% of residents in Prescott chooses to rent.

This is great news if you’re not interested in owning your own home, but instead renting for a while. With these rental prices, many families find Prescott much more reasonable to afford.

Utility Rates In Prescott

Utility prices run high in Prescott, with the utility cost of living index at 102.3. For an average resident who rents a 915 square foot apartment, they can expect to pay $220/month for all their basic utilities, like water, heating, and cooling. The average high-speed internet bill in Prescott is $82/month.

The average rate of residential electricity is about average with the US average – in Prescott, residents can expect to pay 11.96¢/kWh. For the national average, it is 11.88¢/kWh. This is however much more expensive than the state’s average, which comes in at 11.29¢/kWh.

Child Care Costs

There are 19 daycares in the Prescott area, with all of them being daycare centers. There are no home-based daycare options in the city. The average cost of full-time daycare for one child is $1,291 per month, per child. Just 1 daycare in the area offers part-time or drop-in care, while the rest only offer full-time service.

Grocery Costs In Prescott, Arizona

Item of Food in Prescott, ArizonaPrice
Average Meal for 1$16
Mid-Range Meal for 2$65
Gallon of Milk$3.25
Loaf of Fresh Bread$2.50
12 Eggs$3.25-$3.50
1lb of Chicken$6.50
1lb of Bananas$1

Groceries tend to run very close to the national average in Prescott, with the grocery cost of living index at 100.1. The best-rated restaurants in Prescott include mid-range pizza restaurants, Italian restaurants, and food with a heavily southwestern influence.

The median household income in Prescott is $54,037, less than the national average of $68,400. If you trust budgeting gurus, households should be spending 11% of their annual income on groceries and food.

This leaves the average Prescott resident with $5,944 annually, or $495/month. This is a pretty standard grocery budget for many American’s, so it shouldn’t be a struggle for most.

Transportation Costs In Prescott Arizona

The average resident spends just 18 minutes one-way on their daily commute, less than the national average of 26.4 minutes. 74.2% take their own vehicles, while 9.7% carpool with coworkers.

Just 0.3% take mass transit options. The transportation cost of living index in Prescott is 82.9, making it significantly cheaper than the national average.

Cost Of Gallon Gas Per Gallon

LocationPrice Per Gallon
United States$2.62

Public Transportation in Prescott, Arizona

It may not be very popular, but Prescott does have a public transportation system. The Yavapai Regional Transit connects Chino Valley, Prescott, and the Prescott Valley area with 4 different bus routes.

It is just $2 for a one-way ticket for a standard adult, or $1 for seniors, youth, or those with a qualifying disability. For a 10-punch ride pass, it is $16, or $8 for seniors and those with a qualifying disability. All veterans ride free, and most transfers are also free.

Entertainment Costs

If you love being outside, Prescott is the place for you. Watson Lake Reservoir is a beautiful recreation area for hiking, and the Lynx Lake Recreation Area is 55 acres of man-made park in the desert.

Heritage Park Zoo is a non-profit zoo sanctuary in Prescott, and admission is just $12 for adults, $10 for seniors or members of the military, $8 for students, or $6 for kids 2-12 years of age.

Sharlot Hall Museum is an open-air history museum that shares the history of the state in an engaging way, with cycling exhibits. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and members of the military, $6 for students with an ID, or $5 for kids 13-17. Children under the age of 12 get in free.

Education In Prescott

There are 18 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, and 10 high schools in Prescott, with 12 of them being public district schools. There are 7 public charter schools and 25 total private schools.

The Prescott Public School System handles nearly 6,000 students each year. Prescot public schools regularly rank in the top 20% of Arizona public schools, with a student: teacher ratio of 20:1. This is higher than the Arizona average of 19:1 and the national average of 16:1.

There are several higher educational institutes in Prescott, including the Prescott College, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Yavapai College.

School NameAverage Cost After AidAcceptance RateGraduation Rate
Prescott College$21,00097%67%
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University$32,00066%62%
Yavapai College, 2-Year$6,888100%13.4%

Clothing Costs In Prescott

Item of ClothingPrice
1 Pair of Name-Brand Jeans$52
1 Summer Dress (From a Chain Retail Store)$59
1 Pair of Name-Brand Shoes$87
1 Pair of Dress Shoes$120

Clothing and household goods in Prescott are a little higher than the national average, which can be an issue for some homes.

There are a wide variety of shopping malls for residents to choose from, though, including Prescott Gateway Mall, Bashford Courts, and Frontier Village Center.

What Else Should You Know About Prescott?

The median household income in Prescott is $54,307, lower than the national average of $68,400. The largest industry in Prescott is health care and social assistance, with nearly 3,000 people working in that field. Retail trade and educational services are also top employers. The highest earners in Prescott work in utilities, agriculture, and forestry.

Prescott is 2 hours north of Phoenix, 1 and a half hours southwest of Sedona, and nearly 2 hours southwest of Flagstaff. It’s surrounded by the Prescott National Forest.

Fun fact: Virgil Earp (brother of Wyatt Earp) and Doc Holiday both lived in Prescott before the O.K. Corral made them famous!

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Is Prescott Arizona Right For You?

With a high housing cost of living and a lower than average median household income, Prescott can be difficult to afford to live in for some. But if you can swing the housing costs, or have no desire to buy, Prescott makes a very attractive Arizona city to live in.

Whether you’ve moving for one of the schools in Prescott or you like the idea of living in a historic west town, Prescott has a lot to offer. It’s also known as a popular retirement town for Arizona residents. If you’re looking to spend your golden years in sunshine and heat, this might just be the spot for you!

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Mary Newman
Mary Newman

Mary Newman thought that home improvement was all painting and putting down throw rugs... until she bought a fixer upper, and realized it's so much more. With a passion for helping others NOT make the mistakes she did, Mary seeks to always improve her home - and yours, too!

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