Special Report

The Least Expensive Zip Codes In America

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10. ZIP: 38127
> Location: Memphis, Tennessee
> Metro area: Memphis, TN-MS-AR
> Median home sales price: $45,000
> Median household income: $29,798
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 62.8%

The 38127 ZIP code in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of several in the broader Memphis metro area to report some of the lowest-price home sale deals in the last year. A total of 871 area homes were bought and sold in 2020, and the median sale price was just $45,000.

Home values are often a reflection of what area residents can afford — and just as home values are low in the area, so are incomes. The typical household in the 38127 ZIP code earns just $29,798 a year, less than half the national median income of $62,843. Both incomes and home values are also affected by the local job market to some degree. Over the last five years, 11.0% of area workers were unemployed, more than double the comparable 5.3% national unemployment rate.

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9. ZIP: 48224
> Location: Detroit, Michigan
> Metro area: Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
> Median home sales price: $45,000
> Median household income: $35,429
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 91.8%

Detroit’s 48224 postal code is one of several in the broader metro area to report some of the lowest-price home sale deals in the last year. A total of 771 area homes were sold in 2020, and the median sale price was just $45,000. The area’s home prices are among the lowest likely due in part to reduced demand, precipitated by population decline. Over the last five years, the number of people living in the area contracted by 7.6%.

Many parts of the country with low home values are in areas where demand for housing has not climbed much in recent decades and development has stalled. In Detroit’s 48224 ZIP code, nearly 92% of homes were built before 1970, compared to just 38.4% of homes nationwide.

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8. ZIP: 21213
> Location: Baltimore, Maryland
> Metro area: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
> Median home sales price: $45,000
> Median household income: $39,648
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 91.3%

Some of the least expensive real estate being sold in the United States is in Baltimore’s 21213 ZIP code, located just northeast of the city’s Inner Harbor area. Of the nearly 600 area housing units sold last year, the median price was just $45,000 — less than one-fifth the national median home sale price in 2020.

Low home prices make the area one of the most affordable in the country. The typical home sale price in the area is just 1.1 times higher than the local median household income of $39,648. Nationwide, the median home sale price is 4.2 times higher than the median income of $62,843.

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7. ZIP: 21216
> Location: Baltimore, Maryland
> Metro area: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
> Median home sales price: $45,000
> Median household income: $40,178
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 89.9%

The 21216 ZIP code, located northwest of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor area, has some of the least expensive and most affordable housing in the United States. The median home sale price in the area was just $45,000 last year, only 1.1 times higher than the local median household income area of $40,178. For context, the median home sale price nationwide is 4.2 times higher than the national median household income of $62,843.

Many parts of the country with low home values are in areas where demand for housing has not climbed much in recent decades and development has stalled. In Baltimore’s 21216 postal code, nine in every 10 homes were built before 1970, compared to just 38.4% of homes nationwide.

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6. ZIP: 48227
> Location: Detroit, Michigan
> Metro area: Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
> Median home sales price: $44,850
> Median household income: $29,197
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 94.0%

Detroit’s economic conditions have declined with the American manufacturing sector — and that decline is evident in its 48227 ZIP code. Located northwest of downtown Detroit, the 48227 ZIP code’s median home sale price in the last year was just $44,850, a fraction of the median nationwide.

Parts of the country with low home values are often home to relatively large populations that are struggling financially. In the 48227 ZIP code, more than one in every three residents live below the poverty line, and 22.5% of households earn $10,000 or less a year. Nationwide, 13.4% of the population live below the poverty line, and 6.0% of households earn less than $10,000 annually.