Real estate prices in America have posted an unprecedented rise this year. One reason for this is unusually low mortgage rates that make homes more affordable than in the past. Another is that the COVID-19 pandemic had little effect on middle-class and upper-class incomes overall. In fact, an increase in home equity and the stock market have helped incomes in these groups rise. Also, the “work from home” culture has allowed many Americans to relocate from expensive cities on the coasts to less expensive ones that are perceived to have better lifestyles.
The rise in real estate prices has been uneven, and there are still markets where home prices are affordable, according to a recent analysis from Realtor.com. These prices are in contrast to America’s expensive cities. According to says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for real estate data firm CoreLogic: “If you’re working for a company in L.A. or San Francisco, where prices are sky-high, you might feel like you’re locked out of homeownership.” The affordable metropolitan statistical areas prove that this is not always the case.
The cities screened to find the most affordable one were mostly America’s old industrial cities, where populations have been static over the past half a century, or they have even fallen. Although some of the downtowns of these metros have been resurrected, many of the neighborhoods have not recovered or have gotten worse. Cites that fall into this category include Detroit, Youngstown, Baltimore and Buffalo.
To pick the metro with the most affordable housing, Realtor.com screened 300 metros. It searched for the metro with the lowest median home price in July 2021. Additionally, the methodology states, “To ensure geographic diversity, we limited our list to just one metro per state.”
The metro with the most affordable housing turns out to be Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The median home price there is $109,900, about a third of the national number. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Pottsville had a population of 13,475 in 2019. That was down 5% from 2010. Ninety-one percent of the population is white. The median household income is $42,083, more than $20,000 below the national. The property rate of 16.5% is well above the national number.
These are the median home prices of the 10 most affordable metros in America:
- Pottsville, Penn.: $109,900
- Peoria, Ill.: $119,900
- Terre Haute, Ind.: $120,000
- Youngstown, Ohio: $135,000
- Huntington, W.V.: $139,900
- Saginaw, Mich.: $142,500
- Davenport, Iowa: $144,000
- Albany, Ga.: $145,000
- Wichita Falls, Texas: $159,900
- Joplin, Mo.: $175,000
Click here to see the cities where buying a home is cheapest.
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