7.  Lima, Ohio

affordable small cities cumberland maryland
  • Population: 105,141
  • Median home price: $85,000
  • Median income: $54,200
  • % of homes sold that are affordable*: 92.5 %

Lima was once a rail transportation hub and a center for steam locomotive manufacturing. That heavy industry tradition continues with the Lima Army Tank Plant. That product is being phased out, however, as the army doesn't need any new tanks, but amphibious fighting vehicles will still be made on the site.

Mayor David Berger said the area economy is both stable and growing. "Most of our industries are doing quite well," he said.

Home prices, however, have never moved much, neither during the boom or the bust.

"Ohio has been a slow growth state and that affects the demand for housing," said Berger.

Nicely kept, three-bedroom homes in good neighborhoods can be had for about $80,000.

First published March 17, 2014: 1:33 PM ET
Source: National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index of 275 metropolitan areas. Population data is from Census Bureau.
*The Housing Opportunity Index is the percentage of new and existing homes sold that families earning the area's median family income could afford during the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2013. Prices of new and existing homes are based on figures from CoreLogic and mortgage data is based on rates reported by the Federal Housing Financing Agency.

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