Peoria, Ill. skyline
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Peoria, Illinois skyline

Cheapest U.S. Cities for Homeowners Based on the Median Home Price

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Mar. 28 2022, Published 11:58 a.m. ET

Many homeowners are still waiting for home prices to quell, but a 17 percent boost in the median sale price of a home in 2021 didn’t deter everyone. For those seeking to escape the competition and move somewhere they can afford, the cheapest U.S. cities may be the answer.

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Some homeowners may be about to say goodbye to San Francisco and New York City and say hello to a new set of metros—with home prices well below what they’re used to. According to Realtor.com, these U.S. cities have the lowest median home prices in the U.S.

The cheapest U.S. city, according to median home prices, is Peoria, Ill.

According to Realtor.com data from February, the cheapest U.S. city to buy a house right now is Peoria, Ill. The median home price in Peoria is $98,000, which is less than a third of the nation’s median home price.

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Peoria is about 150 miles southwest of Chicago and is home to 113,532 people within the city limits. Job growth in Peoria is projected to hit 17.4 percent in the next decade. This is below the U.S. job growth projection of 33.5 percent during the same period. However, for the remote workforce of America (which represents around a quarter of the working population), that may not matter.

The cheapest U.S. city runner up is Terre Haute, Ind.

In second place is Terre Haute, Ind., which has a median home price of $104,900. Terre Haute is located about 80 miles southwest of Indianapolis and is a historical hub. The city’s unemployment rate is below the national average and has sales and income tax rates that are slightly lower than the national average.

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The low home prices are attributed to lower wages for working residents, especially in West Terre Haute where the average income is just $14,850 per year.

There are other cheap U.S. cities to move to based on median home prices.

In addition to Peoria, Ill. and Terre Haute, Ind., here are eight other U.S. cities with low median home prices:

  • Saginaw, Mich. has a median home price of $112,200

  • Youngstown, Ohio has a median home price of $118,000

  • Davenport, Iowa has a median home price of $127,400

  • Erie, Pa. has a median home price of $148,400

  • Charleston, W.V. has a median home price of $148,900

  • Utica, N.Y. has a median home price of $169,450

  • Macon, Ga. has a median home price of $174,950

  • Topeka, Kans. has a median home price of $184,950

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For hopeful homeowners, the cost of a home is only part of the picture. There are other factors, like tax rates, local economy, political leanings, and even proximity to large cities or sprawling nature. Every buyer is different and must consider the whole package before picking up and moving. Still, these affordable U.S. cities could change the game for city dwellers looking to shack up in a place all their own.

Whatever you do, keep your eyes peeled for competition. If high home prices across the nation continue to soar at record paces, these smaller cities may see a boom, too.

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