Mira Silverwood

25 States with the Most Critical Shortage of Affordable Housing

As young people making our way in the world, we were taught that the ultimate goal was to buy a house, preferably with a picket fence. But in today’s economic climate, making this lifetime purchase is becoming harder than ever, and as inflation rises, so do property prices. With 50 states to choose from here in the US, some places are known for their hellish housing costs. Here are 22 states where buying a property might just break the bank.


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With ridiculously high mortgage rates and an array of coveted neighborhoods, the Golden State is known for pricey housing. To put this into context, in the 1960s, the average home in California cost three times the average household’s income. But these days, it costs around seven times what the average family makes per year.

New York

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With its booming economy, huge population, and high demand for housing, buying property in New York will set you back a pretty penny. With the average house priced at around $500,000, many families choose elsewhere to buy their first home. 


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Low-cost homes are becoming scarce in Hawaii, with everyone wanting their own slice of beach paradise. Not only is housing incredibly expensive here, but not enough homes are being built to keep up with demand, pushing prices up further. 


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Known for its indie culture, natural wonders, and outdoor lifestyle, Oregon is a trendy place to live, and this is reflected in the housing market. In February 2024, the median house price in Orgon rose to a shocking $450,000. 

Rhode Island

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With water-side mansions to modest historic cottages, Rhode Island has a varied yet expensive housing market. The average house price has been on the rise since 2021 and is projected to grow as the state gains popularity. 

West Virginia

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While the cost of living may be lower in West Virginia, the cost of buying a home remains high. Its natural wonders and proximity to the Appalachians make West Virginia a pricey place to buy a home, even if the views are stunning. 


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High demand and historically low interest rates have caused Alabama’s housing market to change significantly over the years. Once an affordable location to buy property, the Cotton State is becoming pricier by the minute. 

North Dakota

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In 2023, housing prices in North Dakota jumped by 8.7% compared to the previous year, and this trend is likely to continue. The rise in mortgage rates has shrunk the affordability of this state, and many would-be homeowners are looking elsewhere. 


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In 2023, Utah was named the sixth most expensive state regarding housing costs. Due to population growth and economic development, Utah’s housing market has become more competitive and pricier as a result. 

New Jersey

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Due to its prime location, lots of families want to live in New Jersey, and this is causing demand to exceed supply. The median state value for homes in New Jersey has risen to almost $472,000, which is unaffordable for many.


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Sharing a small portion of the US-Canada border, Idaho has been a popular state to call home for centuries. Closing costs can be ridiculous here, and mortgage rates are continuing to rise. 


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While the housing market in Arkansas has been increasing ever since The Great Depression, it has seen a significant jump in recent years. Homes are continuing to sell at exorbitant prices as of this year due to the low-supply, high-demand dynamic. 


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As with many other states, the soaring interest rates have kept house-buyers at bay in Maine. Once an affordable location for first-time buyers, Maine is certainly getting pricier. 


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New reports have shed light on the eye-popping price of houses in Massachusetts. Here, a six-figure income is needed to afford the median-priced home, making the state more expensive than just about anywhere else in the US. 


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The Green Mountain State and maple syrup capital of the US has seen a 16% rise in property prices. This is the largest annual jump since 1988, making Vermont an increasingly pricey state in which to buy a home.


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The Sunshine State was once a relatively cheap place to buy a home, whether it was a condo on the Everglades or a beach-front villa. Nowadays, Florida’s housing market has surged, and the median house price climbs every year. 


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With trendy cities such as Austin, magnificent landscapes, and a thriving music culture, it’s no wonder property prices are high in Texas. The cost to buy a house in many parts of Texas is substantially higher than in adjoining states.  


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With a median home value of $575,000, this mountainous state is among the most expensive areas to buy a home. House prices in trendy Denver are notoriously high, but rural areas are becoming expensive, too. Over the last year, the average home price in Colorado has increased by a whopping 10.9%. 


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Homes for sale in Georgia spent 21% fewer days on the market last year, pointing to a crisis of high demand and low supply. Once a cheap state with great value for money property-wise, Georgia homeowners are becoming few and far between. 


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Local zoning laws, housing shortages, and higher demand are just some of the reasons behind Washington’s soaring property prices. With Seattle being such a desirable and expensive location, house prices across the state have followed suit. 


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Skyrocketing interest rates and a general lack of new builds have caused Nevada’s housing market to shrink in accessibility. While house prices vary dramatically from city to city, the consensus is that properties are becoming far too expensive. In the past five years, home prices have increased by 38%, causing house buyers in Nevada to consider neighboring states. 


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As more people flock to the Grand Canyon State, the availability of land is becoming increasingly scarce, and there simply isn’t enough housing to meet demand. With its vast deserts and mountains, Arizona’s geography makes building homes difficult, causing existing properties to skyrocket in price. 

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