Least Expensive Metros to Buy a Home in July was written by Leesa Davis. It was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio. It has been republished with permission. Please note that contributing opinions are that of the author. They are not always in strict alignment with my own opinions.
The U.S. housing market frenzy that sparked an unexpected demand for homes during the height of COVID-19 pandemic now appears to be cooling off.
While the housing boom has been beneficial for many U.S. homeowners—with 62% seeing major equity increases since the beginning of 2021—some Americans feel they may never be able to afford being a homeowner.
The median list price of a home in the U.S. was $449,000 in July 2022. The month prior saw an average of $450,000, when prices reached an all-time high. The data accounts for all houses, including single-family homes, condos, and town houses.
For potential homeowners, the good news is there are plenty of areas that are still affordable to buy a home, particularly in the Midwest and Rust Belt states. These homes are in metros that include the central city as well as the surrounding towns and suburbs.
Stacker examined listings data on Realtor.com to find the least expensive places to buy a home in July 2022, the latest data available. Analysis was limited to the 300 largest metropolitan areas. In the event of a tie, the year-over-year price change was used to determine rankings.
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The Rust Belt leads in the least expensive metros
The Rust Belt states—which include Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia—were once places with thriving communities where many residents worked in manufacturing. In the 1970s, more people began to pursue higher education for higher paying jobs, as outsourcing and automation reduced the manufacturing positions, causing a decline in employment among Rust Belt cities.
Fast forward to today. With more affordable housing in these Midwest states and more businesses looking to settle in these areas, some Rust Belt cities are seeing a small revival. The population of Rust Belt cities hasn't seen a huge increase, but this may soon change as Americans seek affordable homeownership.
#10. Toledo, Ohio
– Median listing price: $169,900
— Change from a year ago: -4.5%
#9. Springfield, Illinois
– Median listing price: $169,000
— Change from a year ago: 35.3%
#8. Ottawa, Illinois
– Median listing price: $167,500
— Change from a year ago: 18.0%
#7. Wheeling, West Virginia
– Median listing price: $159,900
— Change from a year ago: 7.0%
#6. Peoria, Illinois
– Median listing price: $159,000
— Change from a year ago: 32.6%
#5. Charleston, West Virginia
– Median listing price: $154,000
— Change from a year ago: 5.5%
#4. Terre Haute, Indiana
– Median listing price: $145,000
— Change from a year ago: 19.3%
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#3. Youngstown, Ohio
– Median listing price: $145,000
— Change from a year ago: 4.9%
#2. Pottsville, Pennsylvania
– Median listing price: $130,000
— Change from a year ago: 15.6%
#1. Johnstown, Pennsylvania
– Median listing price: $105,000
— Change from a year ago: -3.4%