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Affordable Starter Homes Are Becoming Harder to Find

Housing Markets

Affordable Starter Homes Are Becoming Harder to Find

The majority of housing markets lack starter homes under $150,000, and some pricey metros have none available at all

May 17, 2022
Small A-frame home with gray siding and white trim

Just two years ago, 4.8% of homes in the United States were worth $1 million or more, but thanks to record low inventory and fast-rising prices throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, that share is now up to 8.2%, says The New York Times. Housing affordability is becoming increasingly hard to find across the U.S., and the number of housing markets with starter homes listed below $150,000 is quickly dropping.

A recent Point2 study revealed that Mesa, Arizona and St. Petersburg, Florida were the only two U.S. cities with a share of starter homes above 10%, while the most populous and expensive cities had zero affordable homes available. 

The results were often hyperlocal, with neighboring cities having wildly different markets. For example, in the Phoenix satellite city of Mesa, the share of affordable homes was nearly 15 percent; in neighboring Gilbert, the share was zero. Honolulu ranked fifth among the top 10 cities with the highest portion of affordable homes, with just under 5 percent, even though it had a relatively high median home price of $870,000.

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