Housing

The Most Affordable Housing Market in Each State

For sale sign hanging in front of house
Stockbyte / Stockbyte via Getty Images

The common lending guideline, or the 28% mortgage rule, stipulates that homeowners should spend 28% or less of their monthly gross income on major housing expenses — including mortgage principal, interest, taxes, and insurance. Nationwide, however, such expenses on median-priced homes accounted for 32.3% of the average national wage in the first quarter, according to real estate data company ATTOM.

That is not to say that some housing markets are considerably more affordable than the national average and are well within the rule. In fact, nationwide, these are the most affordable housing markets. In each state, too, there are more and less affordable housing markets.

To find the most affordable housing markets in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from real estate data company ATTOM’s 2024 U.S. Home Affordability Report. ATTOM analyzed median home prices and average wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 590 U.S. counties to find the percentage of average wages needed to pay for major expenses on a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and a 20% downpayment. 24/7 Wall St. listed here the county in each state where the lowest percentage of wages is required to afford a median-priced home. States are ordered alphabetically.

Just because a housing market is the most affordable in its state does not mean it is actually affordable. In 21 states, the most affordable housing market does not adhere to the 28% mortgage rule, including  16 states where the most affordable housing market is less affordable than the national average. In eight of those, homeowners would have to spend over 40% of their income on major housing expenses.

For example, in Hawaii, the most affordable housing market is Hawaii County, which encompasses the Big Island. The median sales price of housing in the county was $515,000 in the first quarter (only for single-family homes and condos). The median local annualized wage, meanwhile, is just $54,561, meaning homeowners housing expenses amount to nearly 61% of their annualized wage. To adhere to the 28% rule, the required annual wage would be about $118,000. (Also see: This City Has the Most Expensive Houses in America.)

Of course, there are states where the most affordable housing market is considerably more affordable than is required. Of the 29 states where the most affordable housing market adheres to the 28% mortgage rule, in 19, homeowners would need to spend less than 20% of their wages on housing expenses. For example, in Macon County, Illinois, housing expenses amount to just 11.9% of wages.

Why This Matters

Source: Bet_Noire / Getty Images
Home affordability has been a sore subject for some time, as housing prices growth has far outpaced wage growth in recent years. With interest rates near highs not seen in decades, affordability has further worsened. The good news is that in the past two quarters, home affordability has improved, according to real estate data company ATTOM. The bad news is that affordability remains near the worst levels in 15 years as home prices stay close to all-time highs. Here we aim to find the most affordable housing market in each state.

Alabama: Jefferson

  • County seat: Birmingham
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 12.50%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $129,000 (#14 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $68,510 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $30,664
  • County population: 672,265

Alaska: Anchorage

  • County seat: Anchorage
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 39.40%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $375,000 (#401 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $70,265 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $98,874
  • County population: 290,674

Arizona: Cochise

Source: miroslav_1 / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Bisbee
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 28.90%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $249,990 (#201 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $56,680 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $58,453
  • County population: 125,504

Arkansas: Sebastian

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Fort Smith
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 20.20%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $162,000 (#55 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $53,014 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $38,339
  • County population: 128,184

California: Kings

Source: kenlund / Flickr

  • County seat: Hanford
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 39.90%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $310,000 (#305 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $53,014 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $75,480
  • County population: 152,515

Colorado: Pueblo

  • County seat: Pueblo
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 30.30%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $253,862 (#212 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $54,132 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $58,667
  • County population: 168,135

Connecticut: Hartford

  • County seat: Hartford
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 29.20%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $299,000 (#290 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $80,275 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $83,646
  • County population: 897,512

Delaware: New Castle

Source: Robert Kirk / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Wilmington
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 26.70%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $303,747 (#301 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $76,180 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $72,667
  • County population: 570,567

Florida: Duval

Source: Paulbr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Jacksonville
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 26.90%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $260,813 (#219 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $67,886 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $65,322
  • County population: 995,708

Georgia: Richmond

Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

  • County seat: Augusta
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 15.50%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $128,304 (#12 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $56,381 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $31,192
  • County population: 206,153

Hawaii: Hawaii

Aerial View of Downtown Hilo, Hawaii during Summer
Source: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.com
  • County seat: Hilo
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 60.80%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $515,000 (#520 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $54,561 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $118,454
  • County population: 202,163

Idaho: Ada

Source: Seibel Photography LLC / iStock via Getty Images

  • County seat: Boise
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 47.70%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $473,347 (#488 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $64,974 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $110,793
  • County population: 497,494

Illinois: Macon

Source: Jon Kraft / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Decatur
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 11.90%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $99,000 (#4 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $67,327 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $28,685
  • County population: 103,542

Indiana: Delaware

Source: Roberto Galan / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • County seat: Muncie
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 17.70%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $128,847 (#13 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $49,660 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $31,446
  • County population: 112,156

Iowa: Woodbury

Source: dustin77a / iStock via Getty Images

  • County seat: Sioux City
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 25.40%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $180,000 (#77 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $51,558 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $46,804
  • County population: 105,526

Kansas: Sedgwick

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Wichita
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 21.30%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $175,331 (#72 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $58,370 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $44,367
  • County population: 522,700

Kentucky (20% down, 28% expenses): Kenton

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

  • County seat: Independence
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 20.00%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $207,125 (#121 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $70,616 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $50,446
  • County population: 169,066

Louisiana: Caddo

Source: BOB WESTON / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Shreveport
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 16.80%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $132,500 (#15 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $55,900 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $33,610
  • County population: 236,259

Maine: Penobscot

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Bangor
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 32.70%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $245,643 (#193 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $53,144 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $62,049
  • County population: 152,640

Maryland: Baltimore City

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Baltimore (indepedent city)
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 18.30%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $195,000 (#95 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $79,989 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $52,167
  • County population: 584,548

Massachusetts: Hampden

Source: cmh2315fl / Flickr
  • County seat: Springfield
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 35.10%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $281,900 (#260 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $59,488 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $74,530
  • County population: 464,575

Michigan: Wayne

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Detroit
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 13.30%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $135,000 (#21 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $73,203 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $34,825
  • County population: 1,781,641

Minnesota: Saint Louis

Source: JodiJacobson / E+ via Getty Images

  • County seat: Duluth
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 21.50%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $179,000 (#75 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $57,577 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $44,219
  • County population: 200,122

Mississippi: Jackson

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

  • County seat: Pascagoula
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 23.00%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $199,900 (#103 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $57,772 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $47,386
  • County population: 143,721

Missouri: Saint Louis City

Source: f11photo / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: St. Louis (indepedent city)
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 15.00%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $162,000 (#55 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $75,400 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $40,519
  • County population: 298,018

Montana: Yellowstone

  • County seat: Billings
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 41.50%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $358,497 (#382 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $59,124 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $87,727
  • County population: 165,524

Nebraska: Douglas

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Omaha
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 30.50%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $265,000 (#225 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $66,274 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $72,144
  • County population: 582,638

Nevada: Clark

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Las Vegas
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 45.20%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $428,000 (#462 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $61,503 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $99,270
  • County population: 2,265,926

New Hampshire: Hillsborough

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Nashua
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 45.80%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $467,336 (#485 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $76,427 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $125,048
  • County population: 422,733

New Jersey (20% down, 28% expenses): Cumberland

  • County seat: Bridgeton
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 27.80%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $193,300 (#93 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $55,354 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $55,053
  • County population: 153,588

New Mexico: San Juan

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
  • County seat: Aztec
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 27.10%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $223,521 (#157 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $53,638 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $51,881
  • County population: 121,798

New York: Oswego

Source: pumppump / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Oswego
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 14.70%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $124,250 (#9 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $59,579 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $31,301
  • County population: 118,037

North Carolina: Robeson

  • County seat: Lumberton
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 14.50%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $96,020 (#3 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $43,979 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $22,747
  • County population: 117,573

North Dakota: Cass

  • County seat: Fargo
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 31.20%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $275,000 (#240 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $63,869 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $71,124
  • County population: 186,328

Ohio: Lucas

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock Editorial via Getty Images
  • County seat: Toledo
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 16.90%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $133,000 (#16 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $59,384 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $35,753
  • County population: 430,014

Oklahoma: Comanche

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Lawton
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 18.00%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $124,000 (#8 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $47,970 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $30,767
  • County population: 121,777

Oregon: Douglas

Source: Manuela Durson / Shutterstock.com

  • County seat: Roseburg
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 38.60%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $295,000 (#282 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $50,830 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $70,163
  • County population: 111,322

Pennsylvania: Schuylkill

Source: jasonparis / Flickr

  • County seat: Pottsville
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 12.10%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $86,000 (#2 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $52,052 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $22,448
  • County population: 143,201

Rhode Island: Providence

  • County seat: Providence
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 41.60%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $380,000 (#408 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $66,417 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $98,641
  • County population: 657,984

South Carolina: Sumter

Source: ovidiuhrubaru / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Sumter
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 18.40%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $141,500 (#28 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $50,063 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $32,859
  • County population: 105,199

Tennessee: Shelby

  • County seat: Memphis
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 17.30%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $166,666 (#60 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $68,614 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $42,314
  • County population: 926,440

Texas: Jefferson

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

  • County seat: Beaumont
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 18.50%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $161,250 (#54 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $65,611 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $43,264
  • County population: 254,942

Utah: Salt Lake

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Salt Lake City
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 45.00%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $501,470 (#514 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $72,813 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $116,898
  • County population: 1,180,643

Vermont: Chittenden

  • County seat: Burlington
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 45.60%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $434,900 (#466 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $69,615 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $113,383
  • County population: 168,309

Virginia: Richmond City

Source: Ultima_Gaina / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Richmond (independent city)
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 23.90%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $280,000 (#252 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $79,040 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $67,415
  • County population: 227,171

Washington: Cowlitz

Longview, Washington marked by a blue map tack. The City of Longview is the county seat of Cowlitz County, WA.
Source: OJUP / Shutterstock.com

  • County seat: Kelso
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 38.60%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $360,000 (#385 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $63,271 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $87,135
  • County population: 110,621

West Virginia: Kanawha

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Charleston
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 16.20%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $140,500 (#27 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $57,915 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $33,575
  • County population: 179,895

Wisconsin: Fond Du Lac

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Fond du Lac
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 25.10%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $200,000 (#104 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $56,576 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $50,773
  • County population: 104,027

Wyoming: Laramie

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock via Getty Images
  • County seat: Cheyenne
  • Pct. of annualized wage needed to buy a median priced home: 37.70%
  • Median home sales price, Q1 2024: $330,000 (#347 lowest of 590 counties)
  • Annualized weekly wages: $57,811 vs.
  • Annual income needed to buy (20% down, 28% expenses): $77,771
  • County population: 100,316

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