16 Cities Where It’s Actually Getting Cheaper to Buy a House

Home prices are surging across the country. The national median price for an existing single-family home was $255,600 in the second quarter of 2017, up 6.2% from a year earlier. Home prices were up in 87% of cities the association tracks. In 23 cities, including Seattle, Salt Lake City, Reno, and Ann Arbor, prices increased by 10% or more.

Limited supply is behind the rise in prices. More people are interested in buying homes, noted Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist. But with relatively few homes available, prices are skyrocketing and properties are selling quickly, leaving some people out in the cold. “An increasing share of would-be buyers are being priced out of the market and are unable to experience the wealth building benefits of homeownership,” he said.

The cost of a home may be steadily ticking upward in most parts of the U.S., but there are a handful of places where the opposite is true. In these 16 cities, the median selling price of a home actually dropped from 2016 to 2017, according to National Association of Realtors data.

16. Dover, Delaware

Capitol building in Dover in Delaware

Capitol building in Dover, Delaware | iStock.com/prosiaczeq

  • Price drop: -1.5%
  • Price change: -$3,000

Home prices in Delaware’s capital fell 1.5% from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017. The median home price is now $201,000, down from $204,000 a year earlier.

Next: Cape Girardeau, Missouri

15. Cape Girardeau, Missouri

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau, Missouri | iStock.com/fozzyb

  • Price drop: -1.5%
  • Price change: -$2,300

In the second quarter of 2017, the median home price in Cape Girardeau was $146,500, down from $148,800 a year previously. Prices are up considerably from 2015, though, when the typical home sold for $136,100.

Next: Abilene, Texas

14. Abilene, Texas

Aerial view of Abilene, Texas

Aerial view of Abilene, Texas | iStock.com/Kit_Leong

  • Price drop: -1.6%
  • Price change: -$2,600

The median home price in the West Texas city of Abilene fell 1.6% over the past year, from $164,300 to $161,700. But buyers will still pay quite a bit more than they would have just a few years ago. In 2014, the typical home sold for $136,200.

Next: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

13. Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids City Hall

Cedar Rapids City Hall | iStock.com/beverett

  • Price drop: -1.6%
  • Price change: -$2,500

Buyers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who waited to choose a home got a slight bonus for their procrastination. Median prices fell from $157,000 in the second quarter of 2016 to $154,500 a year later.

Next: Wichita, Kansas

12. Wichita, Kansas

A warm, beautiful sunset along the Arkansas River in Wichita, Kansas

The Arkansas River in Wichita, Kansas | iStock.com/ricardoreitmeyer

  • Price drop: -1.8%
  • Price change: -$2,500

With a median home price of $135,900, Wichita is already one of the cheaper cities in the U.S. to buy a home. (The national median price for a single-family home was $255,600.) A year ago, the median home price in this city was $138,400.

Next: Charleston, West Virginia

11. Charleston, West Virginia

charleston, west virginia

Charleston, West Virginia | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Price drop: -2.5%
  • Price change: -$3,600

In the second quarter of 2016, the median home price in the West Virginia capital of Charleston was $141,800. A year later, it was $138,200, a fall of 2.5%.

Next: York, Pennsylvania

10. York-Hanover, Pennsylvania

York, Pennsylvania, clock tower

York, Pennsylvania, clock tower | iStock.com/MrsJohannah

  • Price drop: -3.2%
  • Price change: -$5,300

Median home prices in the York-Hanover metro area fell 3.2% from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017. The median home price dropped from $168,100 to $162,800.

Next: Naples, Florida

9. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida

running on beach

A man runs along the beach in Naples, Florida. | Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

  • Price drop: -3.2%
  • Price change: -$14,500

Home prices are dropping on Florida’s Gulf Coast. In the Naples metro area, prices fell 3.2% from 2016 to 2017, from $449,500 to $435,000. But the typical home is still twice as expensive than it is in some parts of the U.S.

Next: Elmira, New York

8. Elmira, New York

Mennonite horse and buggy on a snowy winter

A horse and buggy near Elmira, New York | iStock.com/SimplyCreativePhotography

  • Price drop: -3.5%
  • Price change: -$4,000

A 3.5% median price drop in Elmira, New York, meant home prices went $115,600 in the second quarter of 2016 to $111,600 in the second quarter of 2017. But the median home price is roughly $10,000 higher than it was in 2014.

Next: Bismarck, North Dakota

7. Bismarck, North Dakota

pinned Bismarck on a map of North Dakota

Bismarck, North Dakota | iStock.com/dk_photos

  • Price drop: -3.8%
  • Price change: -$9,600

Home prices in North Dakota’s capital city fell 3.8% from 2016 to 2017. In the second quarter of 2016, the median home price was $251,900. A year later, it was $242,300.

Next: Trenton, New Jersey

6. Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton, New Jersey | iStock.com/MIHAI ANDRITOIU

  • Price drop: -4.4%
  • Price change: -$12,000

The median home price in Trenton dropped by $12,000 from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017. A year ago, a typical home in the New Jersey capital sold for $274,900. Today, the median price was $262,900.

Next: Kankakee, Illinois

5. Kankakee, Illinois

city of Chicago on a travel map

Chicago and its surrounding cities | iStock.com/Seltiva

  • Price drop: -5.3%
  • Price change: -$7,200

The median home price in Kankakee fell 5.3% from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017. The typical home in this Illinois city now costs $128,400, down from $135,600. Prices are higher than they were a few years ago, though, when the median home price was $114,800.

Next: Decatur, Alabama

4. Decatur, Alabama

train tracks

Historic railroad station in Decatur, Alabama | iStock.com/Jeffrey Schreier

  • Price drop: -5.6%
  • Price change: -$7,200

In Decatur, Alabama, the median home price went from $129,600 in 2016 to $122,400 in 2017, a fall of 5.6%. In 2014, the median home price in this Southern metro was $118,700.

Next: Florence, South Carolina

3. Florence, South Carolina

Multidirectional street sign in Florence, Oregon

Street sign in Florence, Oregon | iStock.com/kschulze

  • Price drop: -6%
  • Price change: -$8,700

There’s been a 6% drop in median home prices in Florence, South Carolina, over the past year. The median home price in the second quarter of 2017 was $136,400, compared to $145,100 a year earlier.

Next: Glens Falls, New York

2. Glens Falls, New York

Hudson River

The Hudson River near Glens Falls, New York | William Waldron/Newsmakers

  • Price drop: -6.2%
  • Price change: -$10,700

Home prices in this city on New York’s Hudson River fell 6.2% from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017. The median home price in Glens Falls went from $173,500 to $162,800.

Next: Springfield, Illinois

1. Springfield, Illinois

Illinois State Capitol

Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

  • Price drop: -9.3%
  • Price change: -$13,300

Illinois’ state capital had a bigger drop in home prices than anywhere else in the country. The median selling price for a home in the second quarter of 2017 was 9.3% lower than it was a year earlier, $129,800 versus $143,100.

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