Special Report

The 10 Most Affordable Housing Markets in America

7. Lamar County, Ga.
> Affordability rate: 6.92%
> Historical avg. affordability: 11.4%
> Household median income: $33,661
> Population density: 99.1 per sq. mile

Lamar County homes are exceptionally affordable even when compared to other relatively low-income areas. A typical Lamar household earned just $33,661 between 2008 and 2012, considerably lower than the national median household income of $53,046. Over the last 14 years, as homes have become less affordable in the United States, they have become more affordable in Lamar. While residents today need to only earn 7% of a typical income, they historically needed an average of 11.4% to afford a median-priced home. Affordable housing in Lamar may be connected to a recent housing boom in the greater Atlanta metro area, where construction projects and home purchases have risen dramatically in recent years. While increasing demand nearby may lead to higher demand for homes in the county, the increases in supply may be keeping prices low for the time being.

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6. Obion County, Tenn.
> Affordability rate: 6.88%
> Historical avg. affordability: 9.7%
> Household median income: $45,919
> Population density: 58.4 per sq. mile

While average home prices in Obion County have been quite low, they have also remained relatively flat since 2012, at just around $50,000. Between 2008 and 2012, a typical Obion household earned $45,919 annually, considerably less than the national median of $53,046. Since January 2012, the affordability rate has changed very little as well, rising less than one percentage point. Additionally, homes in Obion are more affordable today compared to the area’s historical affordability rate. Since January 2000, only 9.74% of income was needed to make payments on a median-priced home, on average. Even at their least affordable, Obion homes were among the most affordable reviewed.

5. Barnwell County, S.C.
> Affordability rate: 6.81%
> Historical avg. affordability: 7.9%
> Household median income: $35,219
> Population density: 40.8 per sq. mile

Barnwell residents needed 6.8% of the area’s household median income to afford a median-priced home, nearly double the rate in January 2013, when homes were most affordable. While the area’s housing market has become less affordable, prices have fallen each year since 2010, when an average home cost $58,666. The average home price was just $36,918 last year, among the lowest home prices in the country. A typical household earned $35,219 annually between 2008 and 2012, also among the lowest nationwide.

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