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Top Ten Most Affordable Large Cities to Buy Houses in the US

Finding an affordable city to buy a house can be challenging. Getting a good deal is key to my investing strategy. To help you find the best investment opportunities, here’s a list of the top ten most affordable large cities to buy houses in the US. These cities offer not only affordable housing but also promising growth prospects and quality of life.

To measure, we’ll look at housing prices and wages.

Overview

Of course, a low price doesn’t necessarily mean a great deal. To learn more about finding great deals, check out my Master the Deal course.

This data is from May 2024 and comes from National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Zillow Home Value Index, U.S. Census Bureau, Local Economic Development Reports, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

There are many smaller towns that are even more affordable in many areas of the country. It may surprise many people but people making lower wages actuallty have a better shot of buying a house than many who make much more in expensive areas.

Top Ten Most Affordable Cities (Wages and House Prices)

1. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit has been making a remarkable comeback over the past decade. The city is known for its affordable housing market, with the median home price around $70,000.

The median wage in Detroit is approximately $36,000.

With ongoing revitalization projects and a growing tech scene, Detroit is becoming an attractive option for first-time homebuyers and investors alike.

2. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland offers a blend of affordable housing and vibrant cultural life. The median home price in Cleveland is approximately $85,000.

The median wage in Cleveland is around $38,000.

The city’s diverse economy, driven by healthcare, education, and manufacturing sectors, makes it a target for real estate investment.

3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh is another city where affordability meets opportunity, with a median home price of about $150,000.

The median wage in Pittsburgh is approximately $42,000.

Pittsburgh provides a strong job market, particularly in technology, healthcare, and education. The city’s rich history and growing infrastructure add to its appeal.

4. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis combines affordability with a high quality of life. The median home price is around $175,000.

The median wage in Indianapolis is about $44,000.

The city is known for its strong job market, excellent schools, and vibrant cultural scene. Indianapolis may be ideal for families and investors seeking long-term growth.

5. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo is experiencing a resurgence, with a median home price of approximately $130,000.

The median wage in Buffalo is around $40,000.

The city’s affordable cost of living, coupled with its robust job market in healthcare and education, makes it an attractive place for homebuyers.

6. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis offers an affordable housing market with a median home price of about $120,000.

The median wage in Memphis is approximately $37,000.

Known for its rich musical heritage and vibrant culture, Memphis also boasts a strong economy driven by transportation, healthcare, and education sectors.

7. Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham combines affordability with economic growth. The median home price is around $160,000.

The median wage in Birmingham is about $38,000.

The city’s economy is diverse, with strong sectors in finance, healthcare, and manufacturing. Birmingham’s southern charm and historical significance make it a desirable place to live.

8. Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City offers affordable housing with a median home price of approximately $190,000.

The median wage in Kansas City is around $45,000.

The city is known for its robust job market, particularly in the finance, healthcare, and engineering sectors. Kansas City’s thriving arts scene and friendly community add to its appeal.

9. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City provides affordable housing with a median home price of about $160,000.

The median wage in Oklahoma City is approximately $40,000.

The city has a growing economy driven by energy, aerospace, and biotechnology industries. Oklahoma City’s low cost of living and family-friendly environment make it an excellent place to buy a home.

10. St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis rounds out our list with a median home price of around $150,000.

The median wage in St. Louis is about $41,000.

The city offers a diverse economy with strong healthcare, education, and manufacturing sectors. St. Louis’ rich history, cultural attractions, and affordable housing market make it an interesting place to invest.

Table of Median Home Price, Wages, and Affordability

This table summarizes the information here. The Affordability Ratio is the wages divided by home price. The higher the Affordability Ratio, the more affordable.

CityMedian Home PriceMedian WageAffordability Ratio
Detroit, Michigan$70,000$36,0000.51
Cleveland, Ohio$85,000$38,0000.45
Buffalo, New York$130,000$40,0000.31
Memphis, Tennessee$120,000$37,0000.31
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania$150,000$42,0000.28
St. Louis, Missouri$150,000$41,0000.27
Indianapolis, Indiana$175,000$44,0000.25
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma$160,000$40,0000.25
Birmingham, Alabama$160,000$38,0000.24
Kansas City, Missouri$190,000$45,0000.24

Conclusion

These ten cities offer some of the most affordable housing markets in the US, each with its unique blend of economic opportunities, cultural attractions, and quality of life. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an investor looking for promising real estate markets, these cities provide a great starting point.

What do you think of this list? Let me know in the comments below.

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