Forget San Francisco and New York City, where sky-high price tags make for homes most people cannot afford on normal incomes. In fact, there are plenty of affordable homes in some second-, third-, or even fourth-tier cities, which also offer an urban atmosphere and convenient living environment. New Geography staffer Wendell Cox crunches an annual Demographia International housing affordability survey and underlines a list of affordable U.S. major cities. Cox writes,
"Again, the United States, with its multiple regulatory variations accounted for all of the top 10 in housing affordability (actually the top 12, because of a four way tie for ninth position). Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Rochester had the most affordable housing, with a median multiple of 2.6. Pittsburgh ranked 5th, at 2.7. Detroit, Grand Rapids and St. Louis tied for 6th, at 2.8. The tenth place tie was between Columbus, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Kansas City, with a median multiple of 2.9.
By contrast, the top ten markets experienced relatively little deterioration in housing affordability over the past two years. In 2013, their median multiple averaged 2.6, and rose to 2.7 in 2015 (Figure 1). The housing affordability deterioration in the bottom 10 markets (all urban containment markets) was 14 times as high, as noted above."