The most affordable housing markets of 2014

As housing inventory continues to tighten, finding the most affordable places to live is no easy task. That’s why ZipRealty set out to find the Most Affordable Housing Markets of 2014. To create the list, we analyzed median home sales price data in 30 metropolitan areas as well as the latest family income data from the Department of Housing & Urban Development. Among the areas surveyed, regions east of the Rocky Mountains are the best places to find real estate bargains!

Chicago staked its claim as the most affordable metro, but several East Coast metros also made the list. The Windy City’s February 2014 median home sales price was $160,000, compared to the median home sales price of $265,000 in the 30 markets surveyed by ZipRealty. In Chicago, the average home sells for 2.2 times the local estimated family income.

The average Philadelphia home, where the February 2014 median price is $190,000, is the second-most affordable metro. Families can purchase a home for 2.4 times their average income, truly earning the city its moniker as the City of Brotherly Love (at least among home buyers)!

Heading further south, encounter plenty of sunshine − and inexpensive homes − in Orlando, which is No. 3 on the list of the most affordable metros. With a median home price of $140,000, buyers can purchase a home for 2.6 times the average family income in this area.  

Richmond, Va. ranks fourth in this year’s study as the most affordable housing metro, with a median home price of $187,750, 2.6 times the average family income for that region.

Dallas came in fifth as the most affordable housing market. As of February 2014, the median home sales price in the DFW Metroplex was $180,000, 2.7 times higher than the area’s average family income.

Rounding out the remainder of the list were Raleigh, N.C.; Baltimore, Houston, Tucson and Nashville. Below are the 10 most affordable housing markets, along with their affordability and median home sales prices:

Metro Area  Affordability Index  Feb. 2014 Home Price  2014 Family Income 
1) Chicago 2.2x $160,000 $72,400
2) Philadelphia 2.4x $190,000 $78,800
3) Orlando 2.6x $140,000 $54,800
4) Richmond, Va. 2.6x $187,750 $72,900
5) Dallas 2.7x $180,000 $67,900
6) Raleigh, N.C. 2.7x $203,000 $75,800
7) Baltimore 2.7x $229,000 $83,500
8) Houston 2.8x $185,000 $66,000
9) Tucson 2.8x $157,000 $56,300
10) Nashville 2.9x $187,000 $64,000

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