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Detroit Mich: 4th most affordable metro area
Detroit Mich.
$89,900: A 3-bed, 1-bath brick ranch on a small lot.
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Median home price: $90,000
Median income: $54,400
Affordability score: 89.3%

Detroit is now synonymous with the economic decline of the once great manufacturing cities of the Midwest. Unemployment stood at 10.6% in December for the Detroit metro area.

Home prices shrank to a median of $90,000 during the fourth quarter of 2008 in the metro area, according to the NAHB-Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. That was down from $145,000 four years earlier.

And with the median family income at $54,400, 89.3% of all homes sold during the quarter were affordable for the average household.

The city has suffered for as long and just about as hard from the foreclosure plague as anywhere. In 2008 more than area 38,000 homes had foreclosure filings, according to RealtyTrac, 4.5% of households.

Detroit had led all metro areas in foreclosure rates in both 2006 and 2007, and its foreclosure plague was more closely related to fundamental economic troubles than to the bad-mortgage related defaults found in bubble markets. Detroit never experienced the boom that Sun-Belt cities went through and home prices never got out of reach for working people there.

NEXT: Grand Rapids Mich: 5th most affordable metro area
Last updated February 26 2009: 12:46 PM ET
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