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Least expensive metros to buy a home | Home & Garden

Across the country, the demand for housing is increasing, driving housing prices to exorbitant levels in many metro markets. The housing shortage has been a major problem across the US since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent migration into the suburbs. With burgeoning remote work options during the pandemic, some people weren’t tied to their downtown offices anymore; many chose to leave expensive cities in favor of rural and suburban areas. Buyers searched for homes that provided more space and a lower cost of living.

In June 2022, the median home price for active listings in the US reached $450,000—a new record and an increase of 17% over 2021—according to listing data from Realtor.com. Price increases, however, are beginning to slow as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. More homeowners are listing their homes for sale, causing an increased supply in many markets. Some potential buyers also aren’t able to afford these high prices, lowering demand.

According to Realtor.com, sellers are also implementing the strategy of reducing listing prices to lure buyers in some parts of the country. Price reductions are also growing in all but one of the 50 largest metro areas.

Midwestern states—particularly the so-called Rust Belt states of Illinois, Ohio, and West Virginia, which were once home to thriving manufacturing communities—are home to the leading affordable cities on the list. Investors, however, are already privy to the low housing prices in Rust Belt cities and as a result, these locations could see house price increases in the near future.

Stacker examined listings data on Realtor.com to find the least expensive places to buy a home in June 2022, the latest data available. Analysis was limited to the 250 largest metropolitan areas. Metros include the central city as well as its surrounding towns and suburbs. The data accounts for all houses—including single-family homes, condos, and town homes.

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