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12 Most Affordable Cities for U.S. Homebuyers

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Related: 12 Least Affordable Cities for U.S. Homebuyers

The latest edition of Demographia International Housing Affordability from the Urban Reform Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy rates middle-income housing affordability in 92 housing markets in the U.S. and seven other countries.

Demographia International Housing Affordability uses the “median multiple” to rate middle-income housing affordability. This is a price-to-income ratio, which is the median house price divided by the gross median household income (before taxes). 

Researchers rate middle-income housing affordability in four categories:

  • Affordable: median multiple, 3.0 and under
  • Moderately unaffordable: 3.1 to 4.0
  • Seriously unaffordable: 4.1 to 5.0
  • Severely unaffordable: 5.1 and over

The new study found that housing affordability across the world in 2021 grew considerably worse, with the number of severely unaffordable markets increasing by 60% compared with 2019, the last pre-pandemic year.

The study examined 56 markets in the U.S., which had a median unaffordability rating of 5.0, the lowest in the world. The least affordable U.S. cities had median multiples ranging from 7.0 to 12.0.

In 2021, only one market in the U.S. sample fell into the affordable category, down from 10 in 2019, as the changing demand of the pandemic pushed many markets into less affordable ratings. 

See the gallery for the 12 most affordable cities for U.S. homebuyers.