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Hidden Treasures: Uncovering U.S. Cities Offering Affordable Single-Family Homes

Navigating the Shifting Real Estate Landscape: Affordable Housing Markets Amidst Rising Prices and Mortgage Rates


As median home prices in the U.S. approach half a million dollars and mortgage rates surge beyond 7%, both homebuyers and investors are finding themselves squeezed out of the market. While some cities in the Midwest and South still offer homes for $100,000, they are increasingly rare exceptions rather than the norm.


However, despite the housing shortage, identifies several markets where quality homes in desirable neighborhoods can still be found for under $300,000. Among them are Birmingham, Alabama; Buffalo, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Rochester, New York; and St. Louis, Missouri.


Nevertheless, with rents on the rise and mortgage approvals becoming stricter, moderately priced homes in these markets may struggle to break even at current interest rates, even with a 20% down payment. This situation may necessitate cash purchases or significant down payments, with potential refinancing when rates decrease.


Yet, seizing the opportunity to buy now and ride an upward price cycle could position investors ahead of a future buying frenzy when rates eventually drop. Additionally, considering purchasing a primary residence in these affordable cities could help manage debt-to-income ratios while making long-term investments.


Let's delve into three of these identified markets:


Birmingham, Alabama: With median house prices rising annually to $290,000 and a diverse economy anchored by the University of Alabama, Birmingham presents a promising real estate market. Despite its fast appreciation, Birmingham offers relatively low purchase prices, making it an attractive investment destination.


Buffalo, New York: Witnessing an economic turnaround fueled by significant investments in public projects, Buffalo offers fully renovated homes at a median list price of $270,000. With a thriving job market and competitive rental market, Buffalo remains a compelling option for both homebuyers and investors.


Cleveland, Ohio: Boasting a robust economy driven by industries like healthcare and technology, Cleveland offers affordable homes with a median list price of $227,000. Despite rising rents, Cleveland's attractive housing prices and diverse economic base continue to draw investors seeking long-term returns.


In conclusion, these cities present viable options for affordable housing amidst economic growth, making them appealing destinations for both homebuyers and investors alike.

In previous post: "What is a Preferred Return?"

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