Special Report

The Least Expensive Zip Code in Every State

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Rhode Island: ZIP 02889
> Location: Warwick
> Metro area: Providence-Warwick, RI-MA
> Median home sales price: $243,000 (state: $295,000)
> Median household income: $77,783 (state: $67,167)
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 67.4% (state: 61.4%)

Geographically, Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, and its 02889 ZIP code, located just south of Providence, is the only part of the state with a sample size of home sale data sufficient for analysis. Though the 02889 postal code ranks as the least expensive in the state by default, the local median home sale price of $243,000 is still below the comparable median home sale price across the state as a whole of $295,000.

The area’s low home values make it a relatively affordable part of the state to buy a home. The local median home sale price is only 3.1 times higher than the local median household income of $77,783. Across Rhode Island, the median home sale price is 4.4 times higher than the median income of $67,167.

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South Carolina: ZIP 29841
> Location: North Augusta
> Metro area: Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC
> Median home sales price: $145,000 (state: $219,000)
> Median household income: $52,516 (state: $53,199)
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 38.0% (state: 22.6%)

South Carolina’s 29841 ZIP code, located across the Georgia state border, just north of Augusta, has the least expensive single-family homes in the state. The typical area home sold for just $145,000 in 2020, well below the statewide median of $219,000.

Due to low home sale prices, the area is far more affordable than average across the state. The local median home sale price is only 2.8 times higher than the local median household income of $52,516. Across South Carolina, the median home sale price is 4.1 times higher than the median income of $53,199.

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Tennessee: ZIP 38127
> Location: Memphis
> Metro area: Memphis, TN-MS-AR
> Median home sales price: $45,000 (state: $191,900)
> Median household income: $29,798 (state: $53,320)
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 62.8% (state: 29.4%)

The 38127 ZIP code in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of several in the broader Memphis metro area to report some of the lowest median home sale prices 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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Texas: ZIP 78521
> Location: Brownsville
> Metro area: Brownsville-Harlingen, TX
> Median home sales price: $97,375 (state: $253,489)
> Median household income: $32,169 (state: $61,874)
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 13.3% (state: 23.7%)

The 78521 ZIP code extends east from Brownsville, Texas, to the Gulf Coast. Based on 2020 home sale data, the typical area home is worth just $97,375, making it the only ZIP code in the Lone Star state where most homes sold for less than $100,000 in 2020.

Home values in a given area are typically a reflection of what residents can afford — and Texas’ 78521 ZIP code is a low-income area. Nearly 35% of local residents live below the poverty line, well more than double the 13.4% national poverty rate. Pervasive financial hardship in the area has given way to overcrowding. Over 15% of homes in the Brownsville area have an average of more than one occupant for every room. Nationwide, only 3.4% of housing units are similarly crowded.

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Utah: ZIP 84404
> Location: Ogden
> Metro area: Ogden-Clearfield, UT
> Median home sales price: $274,724 (state: $360,000)
> Median household income: $62,732 (state: $71,621)
> Homes that are at least 50 years old: 33.7% (state: 24.2%)

Utah is one of the fastest growing states in the country, population wise, and growing demand for housing has led to a relatively pricey real estate market. Nearly 44,000 single-family homes were bought and sold in the state in 2020, and the median sale price among them was $360,000, more than in all but half a dozen other states.

Even in Utah’s 84404 ZIP code, which had the lowest median home sale price in the state, the typical home sold for $274,724 in 2020 — about $10,000 more than the national median. The postal code, which is located north of Salt Lake City on the east side of the Great Salt Lake, reported 13.7% population growth between 2010 and 2019, more than double the comparable 6.8% national population growth.