Maryland town named most affordable place to buy a home in national survey
By Holden Lewis
Mar 08, 2018 at 12:30 PM
Whether you can afford a home depends — a lot — on the city you want to call home. A modest income can go a long way in Cumberland, Maryland, the metropolitan area with the nation's most affordable houses. In contrast, the least affordable homes are in the San Jose, California, metropolitan area — the center of Silicon Valley.
In Cumberland, a median-priced house costs less than two years' median household income. By contrast, the typical home in San Jose costs about 10 years of household income.
NerdWallet calculated affordability for 173 metropolitan areas by comparing the median annual household income and the monthly principal-and-interest payment for a median-priced single-family home. "Median" means half of the values or incomes are higher and half are lower.
Those comparisons revealed the five most- and least-affordable markets for buying a home.
The lists were compiled using data from the National Association of Realtors, the Census Bureau and NerdWallet surveys.
MOST AFFORDABLE METRO AREAS
1. CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND-WEST VIRGINIA
Median home price: $84,600
Median household income: $45,808
Principal and interest payment: $326 (equals 8.5 percent of monthly income)
Despite their affordability, houses in the Cumberland metro area don't sell quickly. In February, single-family home listings had been on the market for a median of 146 days, according to Realtor.com. The national median was 84 days.
— Mortgage payments: Principal and interest only on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, assuming a 20 percent down payment, at 4.08 percent (the average rate for the fourth quarter in NerdWallet's daily mortgage rates survey)