The 10 Cheapest States to Buy a House in the U.S., Ranked


Housing affordability remains a major issue for homebuyers. This is because mortgage rates are still sitting at above 7%, median home prices hit a record high in May, and housing supply is only just recovering. All of this follows a difficult 2023, which was declared the least affordable year for homebuyers on record. 

As a result, many people, especially coastal homebuyers, have been searching to move to more affordable places. During the pandemic, many people chose the Sun Belt, primarily cities in Florida, Arizona, and Texas. However, as the migration and housing booms fade, people have begun looking elsewhere for homes they can afford, especially in the Rust Belt.

But where are homes the most affordable? What are the cheapest states to buy a house? If you’re in the market for a house and looking for an affordable place to live, this is the article for you.

U.S. market at a glance

Median sale price: 

$439,716

Median household income:

$75,149

Median monthly housing payment:

$1,828

The 10 cheapest states to buy a house 

waterloo iowaGettyImages 1492322158

1. Iowa

  • Median sale price: $240,500
  • Median household income: $70,571
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,444

Iowa is the cheapest state to buy a house in the U.S. Low house prices, paired with relatively high household incomes and modest taxes, make Iowa a great place to buy a home. 

Iowa is widely known for its agriculture (more than 85% of the land is farmed), but it’s also home to a diverse range of amenities and cultures. In particular, it’s a great place for those looking for an urban lifestyle just minutes from forests, rivers, and prairies. Des Moines is the state’s capital and largest city.

If you need a bit more convincing, a couple of cities in Iowa will even pay you to move there. Newton, for example, located 35 miles east of Des Moines, offers cash incentives and a welcome package for qualifying homebuyers. Homes in Des Moines are very affordable, too, sitting at $160,000. Some of the cheapest cities to buy a house in Iowa are Waterloo ($163,750) and Davenport ($187,500).

Iowa homes for sale | Iowa homes for rent | Iowa apartments for rent

Oklahoma City small city

2. Oklahoma

  • Median sale price: $251,400
  • Median household income: $61,364
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,416

Oklahoma is an icon of the Great Plains. Flat, straight roads stretch for miles, straddling farmlands, cattle ranches, and rural towns that produce billions of pounds of food every year. The state is also home to 39 American Indian tribes, comprising a remarkable 16% of the state’s population. Traces of their history dot the landscape. Oklahoma City is the largest city in Oklahoma, followed by Tulsa. 

The Sooner State has the second-lowest cost of living in the country, only bested by West Virginia. Even so, Tulsa is going further to attract homebuyers with remote jobs: they offer a $10,000 grant if you buy a house in town and live there for a year. Surprisingly, though, Oklahoma has the highest average home insurance costs in the country. 

Most cities in the state have median sale prices well below the national average, but Lawton ($150,000) and Midwest City ($199,250) are among the most affordable places to live in Oklahoma

Oklahoma homes for sale | Oklahoma homes for rent | Oklahoma apartments for rent

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3. Ohio

  • Median sale price: $259,100
  • Median household income: $66,990
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,429

Ohio is a quintessential Midwestern state and was especially important for manufacturing in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A few of Ohio’s largest cities, including Cleveland and Cincinnati, have particularly deep roots in steel and automotive industries. While many cities in Ohio have been part of the Rust Belt for decades, low costs of living and very affordable house prices have helped revitalize many of them. House prices have been rising quickly as a result. 

If you’re looking for a home below the national median, most cities in Ohio will fit the bill. Hamilton, a northwestern suburb of Cincinnati, will even pay you to move there if you’re a recent college graduate with outstanding student debt. However, two of the cheapest places to live in Ohio are Youngstown ($109,500) and Springfield ($129,900). 

Ohio homes for sale | Ohio homes for rent | Ohio apartments for rent

4. Mississippi

  • Median sale price: $261,800
  • Median household income: $52,985
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,311

Known for bayous, barbecue, and the blues, Mississippi is a deep southern state with a diverse history and wondrous natural beauty. There’s a reason it’s called the Magnolia State, after all. Historic towns, plantations, and farmlands dot the landscape, along with massive forests, its namesake river, and pristine coastline. Jackson is Mississippi’s largest city

Mississippi as a whole is a very affordable state for homebuyers, with Meridian ($35,000) and Jackson ($150,000) leading the way. However, Mississippi also has the highest poverty rate in the country; 18.2% of residents live below the federal poverty line. 

No matter where you live in Mississippi, you’ll be next to centuries of history and likely next door to a great tourist attraction. Vicksburg National Military Park, the Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, and the Mississippi Petrified Forest are among the best places to check out. 

Mississippi homes for sale | Mississippi homes for rent | Mississippi apartments for rent

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5. Louisiana

  • Median sale price: $263,500
  • Median household income: $57,852
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,481

Louisiana is a colorful melting pot of histories and cultures, having been heavily influenced by Native American, French, and African peoples. In fact, Gumbo, an iconic Louisiana dish, is a literal melting pot that takes inspiration from these cultures. 

Louisiana is best known for its musical heritage (jazz) and festivals (Mardi Gras), but that only scratches the surface of the Pelican State. Coastal marshes, swamps, forests, and waterfalls are all waiting to be explored, along with beautiful antebellum mansions and modest Creole cottages. New Orleans is Louisiana’s largest city, situated along the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain. 

Among the most affordable cities in Louisiana are Lake Charles ($187,000) and Shreveport ($202,500). Almost all cities in the state have median home sale prices below the national average, though. 

Louisiana homes for sale | Louisiana homes for rent | Louisiana apartments for rent

Arkansas town

6. Arkansas

  • Median sale price: $263,800
  • Median household income: $56,335
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,240

Arkansas lives up to its nickname of The Natural State; natural beauty lies around every corner. Highlights include the majestic Ozark and Ouachita Mountains, the winding Buffalo National River – perfect for canoeing and fishing – and Hot Springs National Park, a unique natural wonder. Many historic cities are nestled among the landscape, too, with Little Rock and Fayetteville being the largest cities in Arkansas

The most affordable cities to buy a house in Arkansas are North Little Rock ($184,625) and Fort Smith ($215,000). 

Unsurprisingly, with wide open spaces comes a thriving agriculture industry. Rice and cotton are major players, but poultry is where the state thrives. Arkansas is actually the country’s largest exporter of chicken, and over 6,500 farms in the state produce some kind of poultry (led by Tyson). Aerospace manufacturing is also a large industry. 

Arkansas homes for sale | Arkansas homes for rent | Arkansas apartments for rent

shutterstock 1726896718

7. Indiana

  • Median sale price: $265,300
  • Median household income: $67,173
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,301

Indiana is a cornerstone of the industrial and agricultural sectors. Known as the Crossroads of America, Indiana has been a leading producer of steel, soybeans, and corn for over a century, while also serving as a transportation hub for goods traveling through the state. Vehicles, machinery, and chemicals are the state’s largest exports today. 

Apart from its growing economy, plenty of attractions and benefits draw residents to the state every year. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home to the Indianapolis 500, is the most well known, but the Indiana Dunes National Park and Indiana State Fair are other must-see spots. Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana and where most amenities are located. 

While most cities in Indiana have sale prices well below the national average, two of the most affordable cities are Gary ($92,250) and Muncie ($117,125). 

Indiana homes for sale | Indiana homes for rent | Indiana apartments for rent

louisville arboretum

8. Kentucky

  • Median sale price: $268,200
  • Median household income: $60,183
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,344

Kentucky is synonymous with horse racing, bluegrass music, and close-knit community. Everyone knows about the Kentucky Derby, of course, which draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, but there’s much more to love. The Bluegrass Region and its beautiful, music-inspiring landscapes, the ancient Appalachians and its colorful forests, and many distilleries producing world-renowned bourbon (95% of the world’s supply) are just a few highlights. 

The largest cities in the Bluegrass State are Lexington, Louisville, and Bowling Green, all of which blend urban amenities with rural charm – not to mention access to nature. These cities have very affordable house prices, but the cheapest cities in Kentucky are Owensboro ($183,700) and Covington ($200,000). 

Kentucky homes for sale | Kentucky homes for rent | Kentucky apartments for rent

Kansas City MO skyline GettyImages 97647546

9. Missouri

  • Median sale price: $271,400
  • Median household income: $65,920
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,436

The Show-Me State is home to iconic cities and bountiful nature, but perhaps most peculiarly, it’s famous for its oversized objects, including its iconic arch, a giant eight-ball, three balls of twine, and a massive chess piece. One thing that’s not oversized, though, are its prices. The state has a very low cost of living (tied for third-lowest) and a real estate tax of just 1.01%

The state’s largest cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, are home to famous amenities, like the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the restaurants along the Delmar Loop. And among the vast plains in the center of the state, you’ll find ancient caves at Meramec State Park and plenty of outdoor recreation at the Lake of the Ozarks. 

A few of the most affordable cities in Missouri are St. Joseph ($177,900) and Florissant ($180,000).

Missouri homes for sale | Missouri homes for rent | Missouri apartments for rent

GettyImages 1155032386

10. Michigan

  • Median sale price: $272,900
  • Median household income: $68,505
  • Median monthly housing payment: $1,472

Often called a climate haven due to its relatively mild weather, access to fresh water, and low risk of natural disasters, Michigan is known for its delicious food, waterfront vistas, and industrial history. Manufacturing, primarily automobile-related, has long been Michigan’s primary economic driver. Prominent car brands, General Motors and Ford, are based in the state. 

The state has seen a small surge in popularity of late, in part because of climate change, but also because people are looking for more places to live. Many people are moving to the northern parts of the state, but Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, has steadily grown as well. In fact, in the decade since Detroit declared bankruptcy, house prices have more than doubled.

The most affordable cities to buy a house in Michigan are Flint ($63,500), Detroit ($92,500), and Pontiac ($129,000), although nearly every city sits well below the national average. 

Michigan homes for sale | Michigan homes for rent | Michigan apartments for rent

Complete median sale price rankings by state

Rank State Median Sale Price
1 Iowa $240,500
2 Oklahoma $251,400
3 Ohio $259,100
4 Mississippi $261,800
5 Louisiana $263,500
6 Arkansas $263,800
7 Indiana $265,300
8 Kentucky $268,200
9 Missouri $271,400
10 Michigan $272,900
11 Kansas $275,500
12 West Virginia $276,200
13 North Dakota $285,000
14 Alabama $288,900
15 Nebraska $295,700
16 Pennsylvania $298,400
17 Illinois $301,700
18 Wisconsin $323,900
19 South Dakota $329,100
20 Minnesota $355,000
21 New Mexico $355,200
22 Texas $356,800
23 Delaware $360,700
24 North Carolina $384,100
25 Georgia $386,100
26 South Carolina $387,700
27 Alaska $387,900
28 Tennessee $392,900
29 Wyoming $398,000
30 Maine $410,600
31 Florida $419,700
32 Vermont $421,400
33 Connecticut $424,800
34 Maryland $446,800
35 Arizona $451,000
36 Nevada $458,300
37 Virginia $463,700
38 Idaho $488,500
39 Rhode Island $489,100
40 New Hampshire $507,200
41 Oregon $523,500
42 New Jersey $533,700
43 Montana $537,000
44 Utah $544,500
45 Colorado $601,200
46 Massachusetts $643,000
47 Washington $658,000
48 Hawaii $752,500
49 New York $810,000
50 California $859,100

Methodology

Cities were ranked by median sale prices in May 2024, according to Redfin data. Median household income and median monthly housing payment data is from the U.S. Census Bureau. Cost of living data comes from the Council for Community and Economic Research via the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.



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