Special Report

Most Affordable Housing Markets in California

We’ve all heard the horror stories about real estate in the tech capital of San Francisco. These stories tell of skyrocketing housing costs that have priced out of the market to teachers, firefighters, and service industry workers, never mind people with janitorial and home care salaries. Even tech workers with six-figure salaries can’t afford to buy homes there, according to Vox.

In the past three months, the Golden State’s overheated housing market has shown signs of cooling as the market normalizes from the pandemic-induced buying frenzy and buyers are jumping ship in response to the state’s previously unrealistic housing prices. Where would they be going? Perhaps to the hottest city for home buyers.

In July of 2021, the California Association of Realtors reported that following four consecutive months of record highs, California’s median home price had fallen 1% month over month to $811,170. That was down from $819,630 in June but up 21.7% from $666,320 in July of last year. It’s not surprising that many California cities are among the most expensive metros to buy homes nationally.

Still,California is a large, geographically diverse state with the nation’s biggest economy. So despite being generally expensive, there are still affordable homes to be had. 

To identify the 50 most affordable housing markets in California, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey five-year estimates, ranking only the 650 census-designated places, cities, and towns in California with at least 5,000 residents. (All other data came from the ACS. We calculated population changes.)

Clearly, it’s not that easy to find a good deal in California when the median home price is in the $800,000 range.  But buyers willing to put in the effort and consider a variety of markets can still find something that fits their budget. 

The markets on this list have median home prices that range from just over $110,000 to over $180,000, at least four and half times lower than the state median. And no doubt at least to some degree, the lower home prices are attracting new residents to some of the markets on this list as evidenced by the five-year population change.

Click here to see the most affordable housing markets in California

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