Housing: Top 10 most affordable small cities

1.  Kokomo, Ind.


  • Population: 82,849
  • Median home price: $85,000
  • Median income: $60,100
  • % of homes sold that are affordable*: 96.3%

The fortunes of this central Indiana city have risen and fallen with the auto industry, according to its mayor, Greg Goodnight. Major employers still include transmission and car electronics manufacturers, and there are many well-paid, union jobs.

Layoffs hurt employment in the 2000s, however, and many residents moved away. The Kokomo metro area population dropped by 2.6% between 2000 and 2010, reducing demand for housing.

Goodnight said the area residents have done well in maintaining the housing stock. There are a lot of older homes in very good condition and developers also opened some subdivisions over the years, adding to a more than sufficient supply of homes.

That has kept home prices stable. The median price in town has never hit six figures, according to the NAHB and Wells Fargo. The current median income of $85,000 is low enough that more than 96% of homes sold in the last three months of 2013 were affordable to a typical working household.

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