Special Report

America’s 20 Cheapest Cities Where Everyone Wants to Live Right Now


To identify America’s cheapest cities where everyone wants to live, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed cost of living, housing affordability, and population growth from migration for 110 U.S. metro areas. We ranked cities based on the net incoming searches relative to outgoing searches for homes in each metro area among prospective buyers on Redfin.com, a national real estate brokerage, during the first three quarters of 2020 (January through September) as a percentage of the 2019 population. Population data came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population and Housing Unit Estimates program. Redfin’s net population inflow data is based on search activity among the site’s over 2 million users. 

We only considered cities where the housing affordability ratio — the ratio of median home value to median household income — is less than the average across all metro areas of 4.25, and where the regional price parity — or cost of living — is below the national figure. Data on regional price parity is from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and is for 2018. Data on median household income and median home value came from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and are for 2019.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.