The Most Affordable Cities in the U.S. for Millennials (Ranked)

Philadelphia skyline
Philadelphia skyline | © chrisinphilly5448/Flickr
Photo of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor1 December 2017

After four long years (maybe more), you finally have your college diploma in hand. Maybe you have massive student loans to accompany that degree, but the point is, you’ve made it through. Now it’s time to embark out in the working world—you know, in order to pay off all that debt—but how do you figure out which city to call home?

Buying a home is part of the American Dream. But in 2017, affordable housing in the United States, particularly in major cities, is hard to come by. Even if you’ve found your perfect career, finding (or buying) an affordable home is still a struggle. Some cities around the U.S. of A. are much better than others at providing a balance between how much you spend on a house and your actual earnings.

Researchers at Point2Homes looked at 50 of the most populated cities in North America to figure out which are the most affordable, according to the median multiple. (What’s “median multiple,” you may ask? In simple terms, it’s “the ratio of the median house price by the median gross [before tax] annual household income.” Basically it’s the calculation of the gap between what you make and what you spend on property).

Point2Homes rates any city with a median multiple of 5.1 and over as “severely unaffordable,” and any city with a 3 or lower as “affordable.” The top five most unaffordable cities in the U.S. aren’t entirely surprising, with Manhattan coming in at number one, followed by San Francisco, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and all five of NYC’s boroughs (combined) coming in at number five. But what about the most affordable? The top city may surprise you: its median home sale price is a shocking $45,000.

10. Charlotte, NC

Median home sale price: $236,000; Median Family Income: $53,919

Charlotte skyline | © James Willamor/Flickr

9. Fort Worth, TX

Median home sale price: $210,900; Median Family Income: $53,214

Forth Worth, TX | © Lars Plougmann/Flickr

8. Oklahoma City, OK

Median home sale price: $190,500; Median Family Income: $50,739

Oklahoma City | © Paul L. McCord Jr./Flickr

7. Memphis, TN

Median home sale price: $140,000; Median Family Income: $36,908

Memphis | © Nicholas Henderson/Flickr

6. Philadelphia, PA

Median home sale price: $158,000; Median Family Income: $41,233

Philadelphia | © Jamesy Pena/Flickr

5. Columbus, OH

Median home sale price: $160,000; Median Family Income: $47,401

Colombus | © John Mueller/Flickr

4. Indianapolis, IN

Median home sale price: $136,000; Median Family Income: $41,278

Indianapolis | © Serge Melki/Flickr

3. El Paso, TX

Median home sale price: $149,975; Median Family Income: $45,069

El Paso | © formulanone/Flickr

2. Jacksonville, FL

Median home sale price: $155,000; Median Family Income: $48,239

Jacksonville | © James Willamor/Flickr

1. Detroit, MI

Median home sale price: $48,000; Median Family Income: $25,980

Detroit | © James/Flickr

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