Where the average Joe can easily afford the average home and where he can't.
Median income: $65,100
Affordability score: 93.1%
America's most affordable housing market is the 33rd largest metro area in the United States with 1.7 million people.
Affordability here is buoyed by fairly high median income of $65,100 and rock bottom home prices. The median price for a home sold during the quarter was just $103,000, according to the National Association of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo.
Those low home prices, combined with reasonable mortgage interest rates make home-buying there a snap. A buyer of a median-priced home putting 20% down would pay only about $450 a month in mortgage expenses. Even though house buying costs are reasonable, the city has not escaped the foreclosure plague. More than 20,000 homes, representing nearly 3% of the city's households, received a foreclosure filing of some kind in 2008, the 26th highest rate in the nation.
The city grew up on a manufacturing base, including many automobile and auto parts makers. The economy now is more diversified with pharmaceuticals, banking, government and insurance all important employers, which has helped keep unemployment - 6.7% in December - below the national average.
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