We keep hearing about how high the cost of living is these days, and it certainly feels that way in Charlotte. While that’s true in many parts of the country, there are some places in the U.S. where it’s more affordable to live than others and the Wall Street Journal has found them for us.
The new Wall Street Journal-Realtor.com Emerging Housing Market Index ranks America’s most affordable places to live. They determined their findings based on housing-market indicators, economic and lifestyle data, real-estate taxes, unemployment rates, wages, commute time, and available small-business loans.
Topping the list is Johnson City, Tennessee, which has a strong economy, low taxes, and property prices that are undervalued, although they are rising. Overall, median home listing prices in the area are abut $48,000 below the national average at $379,000, with home values up 27% last year, almost twice the rate of national price growth. So, basically, it sounds like Johnson City won’t be a bargain for much longer.
On the other end of the spectrum, the New York City-Newark-Jersey City metro area lands at the very bottom of the list at 300. Not surprising. But a couple of cities in the Carolinas are still on the affordable side, including Columbia, SC and Raleigh, NC, although I’m a bit surprised about Raleigh.