The COVID-19 pandemic had devastating economic consequences in the United States, grinding entire industries to a halt. One sector that did not suffer, however, was real estate. Driven by the pandemic, existing home sales in 2020 hit their highest level in nearly a decade and a half.
The median home sale price in the United States was $265,000 in 2020 — $30,000 more than in the previous year. Buying a house for a quarter of a million dollars, however, is not affordable for many Americans. And for those on a tight budget, there are many parts of the country where most homes are selling for far less.
Using median home sale prices provided by ATTOM Data Solutions, a real estate and property data company, 24/7 Wall St. identified the least expensive ZIP code in each state. ZIP codes were ranked based on median sales price of condos and single-family homes in 2020. Only ZIP codes with at least 1,000 single-family homes and condos and where at least 500 of housing units were sold in 2020 were considered. Due to a lack of sufficient data, no postal codes in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, South Dakota, or Vermont were considered.
Local home prices are subject to a number of factors. Demand for housing, often indicated by population change, and economic factors like job market strength each plays a role. Perhaps the most influential factor, however, is income. Incomes determine what area residents can afford, and as a result, postal codes with lower than average incomes also often have lower than average home sale prices. Here is a look at the poorest county in every state.
Despite the low incomes in many of the postal codes on this list, housing is still relatively affordable. In the majority of the ZIP codes on this list, the ratio of median home sale price to median income is more favorable than the comparable national ratio. Here is a look at America’s 25 most affordable housing markets.