Cities with the Lowest Prices per Square Foot
10. Atlanta, Ga.
> Price per sq. ft.: $74.19
> Median list price: $154,900 (40th lowest)
> Median square feet: 2,088 (14th highest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 7
Atlanta is a key example of a metropolitan region that has started to reverse the direction of its housing market in just a few short months. Homes in the region were the seventh most-searched for in the country in February. Between February 2010 and February 2011, home prices in the area fell 13.89%, the eighth-biggest decline among the 146 metropolitan regions examined. In the past month alone, however, the median list price has jumped 3.27%, the seventh-largest increase. Housing inventory in the region has fallen by nearly 40% in the past year. Still, Atlanta has among the cheapest real estate in the country, with a median price of $74.19 per square foot.
9. Macon, Ga.
> Price per sq. ft.: $72.77
> Median list price: $134,625 (14th lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,850 (38th highest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 126th
The median price per square foot of $72.77 in Macon is the ninth-cheapest among the 146 major metropolitan regions examined. The median home size in the area is 1,850 square feet, which is larger than most. Unlike Atlanta, however, the city is not a popular destination. Macon is one of the poorest major metropolitan regions in the country, with 23.2% of residents living below the poverty line. Exports fell by more than 60% between 2005 and 2010, and the region’s 9.9% unemployment rate in January was amongst the highest in the country. Real estate in the region was the 20th least-searched-for in the U.S. in February. Median list prices fell slightly during the past year, while the number of properties on the market increased by 1.49%.
8. Las Vegas, Nev.
> Price per sq. ft.: $71.75
> Median list price: $122,900 (6th lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,713 (61st lowest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 10th
Before the housing crisis hit, property values in Las Vegas skyrocketed as the city experienced a period of rapid growth. However, when the real estate market collapsed, home values plummeted an astounding 60.4% — the second-biggest decline in the U.S. As a result, listed properties in the region are among the cheapest in the country. The median list price of $122,900 is the sixth-lowest in the country. The Las Vegas metropolitan region was the 10th-most popular destination for those searching online for property, perhaps indicative of possible turn around for the area. Median list price increased by 1.15% between January and February of this year.
7. Dayton-Springfield, Ohio
> Price per sq. ft.: $71.07
> Median list price: $104,900 (5th lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,476 (11th lowest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 69th
Dayton was once a major American hub of innovation and manufacturing, generating more patents per capita than any other American city. Unfortunately, manufacturing decline has hurt the city’s fortunes. Several of the big auto manufacturing plants that drove the region’s economy have left. In the past year, the value of exports produced in the region has fallen by nearly 60%, while unemployment remains above the national average. Home prices have continued to suffer in the region. The Dayton-Springfield region has a median list price of just $104,900, the fifth-lowest among the 146 areas examined by Realtor.com. However, people are searching for property in the region, as prices increased by more than 5% in the past year.
6. South Bend, Ind.
> Price per sq. ft.: $69.17
> Median list price: $98,500 (2nd lowest)
> Median square feet: 1,424 (6th lowest)
> Search rank (out of 146): 134th
South Bend has the second lowest median list price in the country of the 146 metropolitan regions. However, living space is also very small, with the average property measuring just 1,424 square feet. South Bend remains an undesirable location to live. The northern Indiana metro region has the 22nd-highest unemployment rate in the country among the same regions. Export values fell by nearly 50% between 2005 and 2010, and median income is the 14th lowest in the country. The undesirable environment has left South Bend real estate largely untouched. It was is the 13th least-searched-for city on Realtor.com’s list, and one of just 24 to experience a decline in median list prices in the past year.