The U.S. housing market has exploded. Over the last two years, home prices have risen as much as 20% a month, year over the previous year. Home prices have moved out of range for many families. The median price of an existing home in America has risen above $350,000 for the first time.
Several factors have pushed home prices higher. One is that mortgage rates dropped below 3% (they are now over 5%). Tens of thousands of Americans relocated from large and expensive cities like New York and San Francisco to less expensive cities inland. Ironically, the rush to these smaller cities has caused their home prices to skyrocket.
Another factor that has made Americans more mobile is the “work from home” opportunities many people have due to the COVID-19 virus.
Like almost all demographic yardsticks in America, the cost to own or rent a home varies widely from city to city and state to state.
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 metro area where families pay the least for housing. Metro areas were considered based on housing costs for a family of four range from about $9,500 to less than $8,200. Most of the metro areas we reviewed 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 we considered has a lower median family income than the national average of $80,069.
Home values also tend to be lower in areas with low housing costs, making homeownership more affordable for larger shares of the population.
The metro where families are paying the least for housing is Jefferson City, MO. Here are the details:
> Est. annual housing costs: $8,136
> Median family income: $75,505 — 165th highest of 376 metros
> Homeownership rate: 71.7% — 55th highest of 376 metros
> Median home value: $162,100 — 145th lowest of 376 metros
Click here to read Metro Areas Where Families Pay the Least for Housing
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