Led By Dayton, State Again Tops Trulia’s Ranking of Affordable Housing Markets

Earlier this year, in May, Trulia released a report showing that Ohio was home to some of the nation’s most affordable housing markets for the middle class. Now, as 2014 draws to an end, online residential real estate site has released another report. Although some things have changed, the Buckeye State still remains the home of the most affordable housing markets in the U.S.

In May, a report from Trulia revealed that Ohio is home to some of the nation’s most affordable housing markets for the middle class. Now, as 2014 draws to a close, the most recent report from the online residential real estate service confirms that the Buckeye State leads the U.S. in affordable homes.

According to Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, middle-class Americans can afford to buy 59 percent of the homes currently up for sale across the nation, a slight decrease from 62 percent in October 2013.

Kolko explained that rising prices are reducing the inventory of affordable homes, which was boosted for several years by low interest rates, affordability has fallen modestly this past year. In spite of that decline, buying a home remains less expensive than renting.

In May, Trulia rated Akron as the nation’s most affordable housing market, followed closely by Toledo and Dayton. Also making the top ten were Columbus, in sixth place, and Cleveland, in eighth place.

Some markets have changed places during the past six months, but Ohio maintains a strong grip on Trulia’s top 10. Dayton has taken over the top spot, with 85 percent of its homes on the market qualifying as affordable. Rochester, N.Y., and Akron complete the top three with 83 percent each.

Although it has slipped a few notches since May, Toledo (81%) still earns high marks for affordability. Cleveland, Cincinnati (79 percent each) and Columbus (77 percent) also rank high on Trulia’s most recent list.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, little has changed in the past six months. California is still the nation’s least affordable housing market, led by San Francisco (15 percent), Los Angeles (22 percent) and San Diego (25 percent) in the top three positions. All told, six of the seven least affordable markets are located in the Golden State.

Moreover, Trulia warns that homes are becoming less affordable for the middle class. Although annual home-price gains have slowed to 6.4 percent, the increases are outpacing increases in median income, which are currently rising at roughly the rate of inflation. In the likely event that interest rates rise, home ownership will slip further from the reach of many households unless incomes increase substantially.

Charts: Trulia