Special Report

Cheapest Cities to Buy a Home

Home prices surged 14.6% in April, the largest increase in more than three decades, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller property value index. It was the 11th straight month home prices had increased. The increase was partly the result of Americans seeking to move after experiencing the COVID-19 lockdowns.

However, there are some parts of the country that are so economically depressed that the national spike in home prices has barely reached them and where homes remain valued at just a fraction of the national figure.

To determine the least expensive places to buy a home in the nation, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of median owner-occupied home values from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

In the five-year period through 2019, the most recent five-year period for which census data is available, the typical U.S. home was valued at $217,500. In the 50 places on this list, the median home value ranges from $83,500 to as low as $29,500. Many of the places on this list — including Detroit and East St. Louis — are known as some of the places hit hardest by the decline of manufacturing in America.

Most of these places are relatively poor, and the median annual household income in all 50 cities is lower than the U.S. median of $62,843. Homeownership rates are also lower in all the cities on this list compared to the national value of 64%.

Click here to see the least expensive cities to buy a home.
Click here to see the methodology.