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Middle Class Home Buyers: The Midwest Is Your Friend

shutterstock_1461534Which cities and states have made buying a home easiest for the middle class? Regular Via Meadia readers won’t be surprised to learn that California, New York and Illinois don’t make the cut. Ohio, a WSJ listicle shows, is the middle class home-owning capital of America:

Some 86% of homes in the Akron, Ohio area are within reach of middle-class buyers in the area, the highest share in the nation, according to a report from Trulia, the real estate listings site. The next two cities on the list, with 85% of homes affordable to middle class, are Dayton and Toledo, respectively.

Akron, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Toledo, Ohio; Gary, Indiana; and Indianapolis, Indiana, round out the top five, with 83-86 percent of homes for sale being affordable to the middle class. Not surprisingly, blue states dominate the bottom of the list: San Francisco, California; Orange County, California; Los Angeles, California; New York, New York; and San Diego, California have the lowest percentage of homes within reach of the middle class, with California alone taking six of the bottom seven spots.

Demand of course is a factor in prices: many more thousands of people around the world are clamoring to buy homes in New York and the Bay Area than in Akron or Toledo. But city and state policies also play a big role. Outsized regulations and taxes in blue states help make housing prices and the costs of closing a mortgage prohibitively expensive for the middle class. Especially while it’s burdened with a bad job market, the middle class should be helped along by policymakers who want to reduce these expenses and cut red tape. On the evidence of this WSJ list and many others we’ve seen, politicians like that don’t seem to get elected very often in die-hard blue states.

[Home image courtesy of Shutterstock]

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  • Jane the Actuary

    Funny, my husband was telling me yesterday about a very high-earning colleague of his out in San Francisco who was thinking of relocating because he was sick of, even at his income, only being able to afford a condo. And it’s my understanding that this is due to land use regulations. Unlike Manhattan’s very dense high-rises, San Francisco is still dominated by single family/townhouses; if a developer could replace some of these with mid- and high-rise buildings, the affordability issue could be remedied without government subsidies.

  • Pait

    Yeah, yeah. New York, Massachusetts, and California are so crowded, no one lives there anymore. A more objective analysis would be that many more thousands are clamoring for the regulations and taxes in blue states then for those miraculous red state policymakers.

  • wigwag

    “Demand of course is a factor in prices: many more thousands of people around the world are clamoring to buy homes in New York and the Bay Area than in Akron or Toledo.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    Ya think?

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