Not all housing markets are equal. While the majority of markets across the country are strong, some are a lot more competitive than others. That also means some markets are a lot more affordable than others, but that’s based on more than just home prices alone.
A new report from NerdWallet reveals the most and least affordable markets in the nation of 173 metropolitan areas. The results are based on data from the National Association of Realtors, the U.S. Census Bureau and NerdWallet’s own surveys.
The least and most affordable markets were determined based on median annual household income and the monthly principal-and-interest payment for a median-priced single-family home in each market.
The Five Most Affordable Housing Markets
1-Cumberland, Maryland-West Virginia
Cumberland, Maryland is located in Western Maryland and has spectacular views of the Allegheny Mountains. Though housing is affordable in this city with the median home price coming at $84,600, this market does not move inventory very quickly. The average single-family home stayed on the market an average of 146 days before selling this February, 62 days more than the national average.
Once a successful steel town, steel manufacturing still plays a role in Youngston’s economy, as does automobile assembly and manufacturing. The median home price in this market, situated half-way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, is $90,200.
Peoria, Illinois has the highest median home price — $120,400 – of the five most affordable markets. Yet it is still affordable because the city also has the highest average household income among the top five most-affordable markets. The median household income is $57,090.
4-Binghamton, New York
Binghamton is known for having a large number of high-tech firms and is also evolving as a city focused on education and health care. It is home to one of the top public universities in the U.S., Binghamton University. The median home price is $108,900.
Known for its industrial and agricultural processing, Decatur is located three hours Southwest of Chicago and is in the heart of corn country. The median home price is exactly $100k, and the median household income is $46,198.
Least Affordable Housing Markets in the U.S.
The five least-affordable metro areas to buy a home are all located in the Western and Midwestern regions of the country. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California tops the list with a median home price of $1.27 million. It is followed by San-Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California; Honolulu, Hawaii; San Diego-Carlsbad, California; and Boulder, Colorado.
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