House prices are one of the most important economic indicators of a country’s prosperity. Because owning your own home is often seen as a life goal, it serves as a gauge for how well off people perceive themselves to be. In addition, the housing market comprises a major portion of any country’s economy: Not only is it essential to driving the demand of building materials and construction companies, but it also helps fuel home improvement stores and appliance manufacturers, among other types of companies.
Coldwell Banker recently completed its survey of house prices, looking at more than 1,900 different locations in the United States. The company found that the average price of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the U.S. was just more than $300,000. Keep in mind, however, that since some homes are far more expensive, the median price is likely to be considerably lower.
The company also uncovered trends in house pricing that have to deal with regional variance. California appears to be the most opulent state in the union, holding all of the top five locations as well as the majority of the top 25. Meanwhile, the Midwest was the cheapest region overall, laying claim to more than half of the 25 least expensive markets. Let’s take a closer look at some of those least expensive communities. Here’s a list of the 10 cheapest cities in the U.S. where you can purchase a home, according to Coldwell Banker’s data.
10. Kankakee, Illinois
We start our journey in the Midwest — namely in Kankakee, Illinois, a city located south of Chicago in the northeast part of the state. In Kankakee, the average house price on listings was $103,187, making this metropolitan area — if it can be called that — a fine place to settle down if you’re looking for a cheap place to find a dream home.
9. Buffalo, New York
Moving to the Northeast, we check in with Buffalo, New York, where the average house price listed is slightly more than $101,000. If you’re looking to get a job in Labatt’s corporate headquarters, it won’t cost you that much to pick up a house in the area. And, while you’re at it, you’re only a short stop from Niagara Falls, as well.
8. Moberly, Missouri
Going back to the Midwest, we set our sights on Moberly, Missouri, the first spot to come in at under $100,000, barely making the threshold. If you’re looking for a small town in which to settle down, or you want to live where Gen. Omar Bradley grew up, then Moberly could just be the spot that you’re looking for.
7. Jonesboro, Georgia
The closest town to the main plantation that is supposedly the setting of Gone With the Wind, Jonesboro can offer other reasons to attract your attention. The average house price in the city is listed at $98,332, a good deal for this part of the country.
6. Sioux City, Iowa
Sioux City, Iowa, takes the No. 6 spot on our list, with a mean listing price of $97,969. A repeat contender for awards such as the best place to locate a business, the best place to live, and the best emerging economic area in the country, Sioux City just might be a great place to invest by purchasing a house while prices remain low.
5. Jackson, Mississippi
Electrical equipment manufacturing and food processing are two of the major industries in Jackson, Mississippi, a city where the average listed house price was just $94,155. As the first city under $95,000 on our list, the capital of Mississippi offers a compelling case for why it has been continually ranked on lists of the most affordable places to live in the country.
4. Saginaw, Michigan
Next up, we turn our sights to Michigan, specifically Saginaw, a city of some 50,000 people in the state’s bay area. With an average house price of just more than $87,000, the city is a significant step down from the previous entry on our list. The decline in house prices in the region has accompanied the downfall of heavy industries that has plagued Michigan’s economy over the past couple of decades.
3. Flint, Michigan
Staying in Michigan, we check in with Flint, a city where the average house price is just $84,437. The hometown of filmmaker Michael Moore, Flint retains a strong presence of the automotive industry, which once formed the backbone of a flourishing metropolis in what is now held to be a struggling metropolitan area.
2. Garfield Heights, Ohio
We don’t have to travel far to get to the No. 2 spot on our list, Garfield Heights. This suburb of Cleveland has a mean listing price of $66,075, meaning that it’s not hard to find houses there on the cheap. Again, though, as with many areas near the top of the list, if you’re getting what you pay for, the house might not exactly live up to your dream home standards, especially given the nature of many neighborhoods in the area.
1. Cleveland, Ohio
It would be ironic to say that a new reason why Cleveland rocks is that it’s at the top of our list. With an average home price listed at $63,729, the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame takes the gold medal as the most affordable place in the country to pick up a new house. Again, though, buyer beware, as many of the homes for sale that drag down the price are probably far from the quaint pictures that you have in mind.
Here’s how the major U.S. equity indexes traded on Friday: