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Although median home price growth has slowed from its once-maniacal pace, purchasing a home is still an expensive feat as existing-home prices reached $375,700 in March.
Inflation and elevated mortgage rates have created additional financial pressure and placed homebuyers on precarious hunts for affordable homes — even if they have to switch their area codes.
California-based boutique brokerage RubyHome crunched Zillow median home price and median household income data for all 50 states and revealed Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, West Virginia, New York and Alabama offer the best income-to-sale-price ratios.
“House prices across America have seen a significant increase as market turbulence continues,” RubyHome founder and CEO Tony Mariotti said in a prepared statement on Friday. “However, this study offers useful information on the most affordable locations alongside the yearly median household income, which makes it a helpful guide for those looking to relocate as well as for those who are currently looking to buy their first home.”
Illinois secured the top spot on the list with a median sale price of $133,750 in 2022. Unsurprisingly, Chicago was the most expensive city with a median home sale price of $282,750. However, three hours southeast of Chicago is Galesburg — the state’s most affordable city with a median sale price of $90,000.
Matched with a top-ranking median household income of $79,253, Illinois had an income-to-sale price ratio of 1.69, meaning homebuyers only spend 1.69 times their annual salary on a home.
Ohio secured second place with a median sale price of $155,000 and median household income of $62,689, which works out to an income-to-sale price ratio of 2.47 — well within the often-recommended ratio of 2.5. Northeastern Ohio collegiate oasis Wooster had the highest median home price at $355,000, while Ohio River landmark Portsmouth had the lowest median sale price at $120,000.
Oklahoma rounded out the top three, with a median sale price of $173,063 and a median household income of $60,096, equaling an income-to-sale price ratio of 2.91. The state’s capitol, Oklahoma City, had a median sale price of $236,000 — the highest in the state. Meanwhile, northern Oklahoma pioneer town Ponca City had the lowest median home price in the state, clocking in at $126,000.
Michigan (2.78), Indiana (2.63), Missouri (2.86), Alabama (3.51) and Arkansas (3.72) also had some of the lowest income-to-sale price ratios in the nation, with statewide median home sale prices under $200,000.
New York was a surprising top-10 contender with a median sale price of $192,500 and a median household income of $72,920. New York City is the state’s most expensive market with a median sale price of $535,500. Meanwhile, Olean, which is near the Allegheny National Forest, has the lowest median sale price in the state, clocking in at $132,125.
Based on the income-to-sale price ratio, New York is actually more affordable than West Virginia, the state that closed out the top 10. New York’s ratio is 2.64, while West Virginia’s is 4.06 — the result of a below-average median household income of $46,836 and a statewide median sale price of $191,500.