Markets Where Home Buyers Find Greater Affordability

May 21, 2020

The number of homes for sale has shrunk since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Some sellers pulled their listings, making it tougher for buyers to find a home and compounding the issue in many markets that were already inventory-starved before the pandemic.

Indeed, protections against COVID-19 have exacerbated the housing shortage,® reports. In April, the number of new listings fell 45% year over year.

“Inventory has been low and has continued to be low nationwide because builders have not kept up with the number of buyers in the market,” says Danielle Hale,®’s chief economist. “The areas that have seen the worst inventory shortages are a lot of Rust Belt cities and West Coast areas where builders have really struggled to put up new housing.”

The markets with the lowest inventories in the nation are Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Rochester, N.Y.; Springfield, Mass.; and Harrisburg, Pa.,® reports.®’s research team recently identified which metros offer the most affordably priced homes as well as decent inventory. They included metro areas that are more affordable for residents earning local salaries, and markets that have at least 10 active home listings per 1,000 households. The following markets topped their list as the most affordable with the most listings:

Des Moines, Iowa

  • Median home price: $270,000 in April, 19% less than the national median of $320,000

Baton Rouge, La.

  • Median home price: $249,000


  • Median home price: $325,000

Virginia Beach, Va.

  • Median home price: $316,000

Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Median home price: $311,500

Lakeland, Fla.

  • Median home price: $235,000