Median home price:
Warren, a suburb located about 15 miles north of Detroit, is home to the General Motors Technical Center, the main developmental arm of the company for decades. Thousands of engineers and technicians work there and many live in the metro area.
That has meant a fairly high income with the median family earning $78,800 a year. And, with a median home price of just $125,000, most everyone can afford to buy. According to the NAHB-Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, 89.6% of all the homes sold during the fourth quarter of 2008 were affordable for median income earners.
The area's already high affordability has steadily improved over the past few years as the median home price dropped from $175,000 in mid-2005 even as income held fairly steady.
But the turmoil in the auto industry and in Michigan has weakened Warren's economy. Foreclosures have jumped, with more than 2.9% of all homes getting hit with some kind of foreclosure filing during 2008, according to RealtyTrac, a 42% rise from a year earlier.NEXT: Youngstown Oh: 3rd most affordable metro area