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, and despite rising housing costs, in many major metropolitan areas, families are paying thousands less than the estimated national average.
Using data from the EPI’s Family Budget Calculator, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 metro areas 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.
Among the metro areas on this list, housing costs for a family of four range from about $9,500 to less than $8,200. Most of the metro areas on this list are in the South, including five in Alabama and five in Georgia. Lower housing costs in these places are often a reflection of what residents can afford. Every metro area on this list has a lower median family income than the national average of $80,069. Here is a look at the income needed to be middle class in each state.
Home values also tend to be lower in areas with low housing costs, making homeownership more affordable for larger shares of the population. This may help explain why homeownership rates are higher than the 64.4% national rate in most of the metro areas on this list. Here is a look at the mortgage rate in America every year since 1972.
Click here to see metros where families pay the least for housing
Click here to see our detailed methodology
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