Despite numerous surveys carried out by financial institutions and real estate corporations comparing property prices in different countries and proclaiming the U.S. as the country with the most favorable major market housing affordability, every American, who’s ever thought about buying a house or purchased their own place, knows that the U.S. housing market is not typically known for affordability.
After its post-recession recovery, the market stepped back onto its habitual affordability decline trail. The prices are continuously going up while the inventory keeps on falling and the mortgage rates, according to the expert presumptions and thanks to new administration’s policy, are expected to rise during the next few years. At the same time, Americans face another complication related to the renting affordability.
Daren Blomquist, who’s a senior vice president at one of the largest real estate companies, explained that the growing real estate prices provoked a rise in demand for rental accommodations, which subsequently led to vicious increase of renting rates. That made renting just as expensive as buying, if not pricier. Therefore, more and more people found buying more reasonable and decided to commit to mortgage and invest in their own roofs over the head instead of throwing monthly rent payments down the drain.
As these real estate market development trends are accompanied by the relatively insignificant growth of the potential homebuyer’s purchasing power, Americans, who’re more or less confident in their financial stability and feel ready to settle down, look for affordable locations and properties to do so. Unfortunately, most American housing markets remain moderately unfavorable while 1/3 of them range from seriously to severely unfavorable. The fact that a lot of general contractors haven’t restored their confidence in the market and remain quite hesitant when it comes to building more ready-to-buy homes contributes to the aforementioned low inventory, one of the driving factors of rising housing prices. Consequently, affordable housing choice opportunities are not that wide, and the towns/neighborhoods homebuyers on a budget may target aren’t always the most comfortable and desirable areas to live. The quality of construction, the jobs’ availability, the level of infrastructure development, the absence of family-friendly attractions or career perspectives, the cost of living and many other factors may also ruin the taste of the housing affordability cake certain towns/cities are able to offer.
Thus, prospective homebuyers searching for budget-friendly properties should aim at locations, which are commonly recognized as the ones that managed to maintain a steady balance between reasonable cost of living, relatively inexpensive housing, substantial wages, neat neighborhoods and appealing level of job availability. These are the most affordable housing markets and most inexpensive places to live out of last year’s 100 Best places to live Ranking. Get ready to pack your bags and call the movers, as these are definitely dream cities/towns for those who’re willing to fulfill their home ownership mission without breaking the budget and falling into the mortgage bondage.
5 most affordable American housing markets that double as the best places to live
5. Charlotte, North Carolina
Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 15
Average home price: $184,600
Average annual salary: $48,290
While being the least affordable housing market on this list, Charlotte definitely scores an extra point for being one of the rapidly growing metropolitan area with the lowest cost of living (residents spend about 29% of their incomes on housing/living), highly developed infrastructure and affordable services (like house cleaning or remodelling). Charlotte is the second largest banking center in the U.S., the home to the major energy-oriented businesses, one of the best places for business and careers according to Forbes’s ratings.
Due to the fact that Charlotte attracts a lot of those who’re willing to combine living in one of the U.S. major cities with house affordability and seek new job opportunities, Charlotte’s housing market, as most affordable real estate markets discovered by interested audience, is expected to experience a rise in home prices.
4. Omaha, Nebraska
Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 18
Average home price: $139,000
Average annual salary: $43,330
Omaha’s housing market is one of the most affordable metropolitan real estate markets, as average homes are sold for $80,000 less than nationwide. A steadily growing job market with decent wages and surprisingly low cost of living (residents spend less than 28% of their income on living expenses), exclusive location and technologically-oriented economy turn Omaha into one of the best and least expensive cities to live.
Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 43
Average home price: $130,200
Average annual salary: $45,580
While affordable housing, low cost of living (average citizens manage to keep up to 73% of their income after paying their living expenses), advanced transportation system, busy cultural life and favorable business environment make Indianapolis sound like a decent Midwest city to move to, the 7% sales tax rate destroys the whole picture.
2. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 13
Average home price: $149,475
Average annual salary: $41,350
Low utilities, affordable rent and low mortgage costs make Grand Rapids one of the most affordable megacities in the U.S. Residents spend about 28% of their income on housing and living needs, as well as enjoy the benefits of short and comfortable commutes, the high quality of life, the overall safety proven by low crime rates, stunning landmarks. Grand Rapids, also Known as Gerald Ford’s hometown, is an economically diverse metro area, as it hosts the offices of leading American furniture companies and health care institutions. The city features well-developed consumer goods manufacturing, automotive and information technology industries.
Position on the Best Places to Live Ranking: 3
Average home price: $177,200
Average annual salary: $42,410
Fayetteville made it to the pedestal of the Best Places to Live Ranking while remaining a relatively inexpensive city to live. Its citizens enjoy the benefits of living in a moderately large metro area, as well as better homeownership opportunities and lower cost of living (if compared with the nationwide rates) due to the inexpensive utilities and low rent. It’s reported that average individuals spend less than 24% of their income on housing and living costs.
Fayetteville is also the home to the state’s largest university, the University of Arkansas, the city that features a free bus system developed to connect the University’s campus with the major city’s destinations, the 24th-best American city for business and careers (according to Forbes) and one of the best places to visit in the South.
Being one of the most affordable and the most comfortable areas to live, the city turned into the fastest growing one in the state, thus the housing prices are expected to go up.