Fueled in part by low interest rates and an influx of pandemic relief funds, demand for housing surged in the United States over the last two years. Inventory could not keep pace, as new construction was hobbled by rising commodity prices and supply constraints. As a result, home values rose at an unprecedented rate.
Soaring by over 36% since mid-2020, the median home sale price in the United States now stands at an all-time high of $440,300, well beyond the means of a typical working American. Although home prices are up nationwide, there are parts of the country where home values have been historically low – and homeownership is likely still affordable for most Americans. (Here is a look at the big city with the cheapest rent in every state.)
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 cities with the least expensive housing markets. Cities – defined as places with populations of at least 25,000 – are ranked by their median home value.
Among the cities on this list, median home values range from about $85,000 to less than $40,000. The majority of these places are located in the Midwest, including 14 in Ohio alone.
Many of these cities are in the Rust Belt and have been hit hard by the decline of American manufacturing. These places include Dayton, Ohio; Gary, Indiana; and Flint Michigan; as well as larger cities like Cleveland and Detroit.
Home prices are often a reflection of what local residents can afford, and just as home values are lower than average in the cities on this list, so too are incomes. In every city on this list, the median household income is at least $11,000 below the national median of $64,994 – and in 21 of these cities, most households earn less than $35,000 annually. (Here is a look at the poorest town in every state.)
Click here to see the cities with the cheapest housing.
Click here to see our detailed methodology
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