By Jacob Passy
Rising home prices in recent years have made homeownership less and less affordable — and in a growing number of places nationwide it actually makes more financial sense to rent.
However, those sky-high home prices aren’t the reality for all Americans. In some parts of the country, owning a home is still a relatively cheap proposition.
Specifically, the Midwest and South continue to be where home prices — and therefore, monthly mortgage payments — remain the lowest.
Cost-estimating website HowMuch.net created this map of how much monthly mortgage payment cost by metro area across the United States, using data from real-estate firm Zillow /zigman2/quotes/205077794/composite ZG +3.02% and the St. Louis Fed.
Coffeyville, Kansas, a city of roughly 9,500 people located roughly 65 miles north of Tulsa, Okla., is home to the least expensive mortgage payments in the country. The median-priced home there costs only $53,200. Therefore, taking into account a 20% down payment and an interest rate of 4.08%, a homeowner who financed the purchase of such a property would have a $205 monthly mortgage payment.
The other cheapest cities were located everywhere from Tennessee and North Carolina to Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Of course, having an inexpensive mortgage has its trade-offs. Namely, the cities where buying a home comes more cheaply don’t have the most attractive labor markets. The median household income in Coffeyville, for instance, was just under $44,000 back in 2017, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau . Comparatively, the national median income was well over $56,000.
As for where mortgage payments were more costly, cities like San Diego and San Francisco topped the list thanks to home prices that can easily exceed six figures.