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Published: Thursday, 3/13/2014 - Updated: 6 months ago

Toledo, Detroit tied as 11th most-affordable cities in U.S.

5 Ohio cities make list of top 20 most affordable in US; Cincinnati is 3rd, Dayton ranks 4th

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

Toledo is tied with Detroit as the 11th most affordable city in the United States, according to Forbes magazine.

Ohio has five cities in the top 21, and Michigan has three.

The magazine said it analyzed housing costs, as well as costs of food, utilities, gas, transportation, and medical expenses, among other things. Home cost had a heavy weighting in the analysis because it is typically the single largest purchase most people make.

In Lucas and Wood County, the median home price at the end of 2013 was $90,000, according to the Toledo Board of Realtors. Nationally, the median home price was $205,000, according to Forbes.

Buffalo was considered by Forbes to be the nation’s most affordable city in which to live, followed by Memphis, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Knoxville, Tenn.

New York and Honolulu tied for the most overpriced.

Other Ohio cities that were among the most affordable were Akron (6th) and Columbus (21st). Among Michigan cities, Grand Rapids finished seventh and Warren was ranked 10th.

Pittsburgh was 17th.

Forbes’ report included the 100 largest cities in the United States, although a handful of cities couldn’t be ranked because of insufficient data.

The magazine looked at housing affordability, using the Housing Opportunity Index from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo. The index weighs median prices for homes sold against median income levels to determine the percentage of homes that are affordable to residents making the median income.

The report also used a cost-of-living index developed by Sperling’s Best Places, factoring in the cost of food, utilities, gas, transportation, medical expenses, and a host of other daily expenses for each area. Cities with a cost-of-living rank above 100 have higher prices for these day-to-day goods than the national average.

All Ohio and Michigan cities ranked below the national average for cost of living, with Toledo ranking the highest at 99.1.



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