Special Report

The Least Expensive Zip Codes In America

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40. ZIP: 21218
> Location: Baltimore, Maryland
> Metro area: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD
> Median home sales price: $94,100
> Median household income: $47,029
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 87.0%

Of the 586 homes sold in Baltimore’s 21218 ZIP code in 2020, most were bought for $94,100 or less. The area, located in the northern part of the city, almost entirely above Route 40, has mostly older construction homes. Only about 13% of all housing units in the area were built since 1970.

Like most areas with low home values, the 21218 ZIP code has high unemployment and multi-year population decline. Over the last five years, an average of 10.2% of the local labor force have been unemployed, nearly double the comparable 5.3% national jobless rate. Additionally, since 2015, the number of people living in the area has fallen by 4.0%.

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39. ZIP: 48146
> Location: Lincoln Park, Michigan
> Metro area: Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI
> Median home sales price: $92,000
> Median household income: $44,554
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 87.9%

Michigan’s 48146 ZIP code is located about 10 miles southwest of downtown Detroit, covering the city of Lincoln Park. Like much of the greater Detroit area, Lincoln Park has been economically decimated by the decline of American manufacturing. In the 1960s, the area was home to over 54,000 people. Today it is home to less than 38,000. Of the nearly 550 homes sold in the area in 2020, half went for just $92,000 or less.

Like many areas with long-term population decline and low home values, Lincoln Park has had little in the way of new residential construction in the last several decades. About 88% of area homes were built before 1970, and less than 2% of homes were built since 2000. Nationwide, only 38.4% of housing units were built before 1970, and 19.1% have gone up since 2000.

38. ZIP: 52601
> Location: Burlington, Iowa
> Metro area: Burlington, IA-IL
> Median home sales price: $89,250
> Median household income: $49,613
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 69.1%

The typical home sold in 2020 in Iowa’s 52601 ZIP code, located in the southeastern corner of the state along the Mississippi River, went for just $89,250. The area’s low home values are due in part to lack of demand. Over the last five years, the number of people living in the area declined by 4.5%.

The area’s low home values make it one of the most affordable in the United States. The local median home sale price is only 1.8 times the local median household income of $49,613. Nationwide, the median home sale price is 4.2 times the median income of $62,843.

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37. ZIP: 49442
> Location: Muskegon, Michigan
> Metro area: Muskegon, MI
> Median home sales price: $88,500
> Median household income: $39,362
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 60.3%

Michigan’s 49442 ZIP code extends eastward from Muskegon towards the center of the state. Over 630 local homes were bought and sold in 2020, and the median sale price was just $88,500.

Home values in a given area are typically a reflection of what residents can afford. In the 49442 ZIP code, most households earn less than $40,000 a year, and 22.5% of the population live below the poverty line. Nationwide, the typical household earns $62,843, and 13.4% of the population live in poverty.

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36. ZIP: 61554
> Location: Pekin, Illinois
> Metro area: Peoria, IL
> Median home sales price: $88,500
> Median household income: $53,369
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 62.6%

The 61554 ZIP code in Illinois, which covers the city of Pekin, just south of Peoria, has some of the least expensive homes in the United States. At least half of the 735 homes sold in the area in 2020 went for $88,500 or less. Home prices are low in the area 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 4.8%.

The area’s low home prices make it one of the most affordable in the country. The typical home sale price in the 61554 ZIP code is just 1.7 times higher than the area’s median household income of $53,369. Nationwide, the median home sale price is 4.2 times higher than the median income of $62,843.