U.S. home sales skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic – hitting a 15-year high of 6.1 million in 2021. The spike in demand, coupled with declining inventory, have put upward pressure on housing prices. Renters have not been spared, as housing has become one of the key drivers of surging U.S. inflation.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank, a family of four – two adults and two children – can expect to pay an estimated $15,031 on housing in 2022. This amount varies across the country, however, from state to state and city to city.
Using data from the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, 24/7 Wall St. identified the metro area in each state where families pay the least for housing. Metro areas are ranked on 2022 estimates of housing and utility costs for a modest two-bedroom rental.
It is important to note that four states – Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont – each have only one metro area. As a result, the metro area in these places ranks as having the lowest housing costs by default only.
Among the metro areas on this list, housing costs for a family of four range from about $8,100 to nearly $21,300. In all but seven metro areas on this list, housing costs are lower than they are across the state as a whole – and in most cases, by $1,500 or more. Here is a look at the cities where the middle class can no longer afford housing. Lower housing costs in these places are often a reflection of what residents can afford. Most metro areas on this list have a lower median family income than the comparable statewide median. Here is a look at the income needed to be middle class in each state.
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