Seattle ranks at the bottom of the list of the best ‘bang-for-the-buck’ real estate markets

Written by MLHA Team

May 11, 2021

A real estate sign in Seattle.

The Seattle-area housing market usually ranks as one of the most expensive in the country — and throughout the pandemic, prices have just continued to rise.

So, it’s no surprise a new report from Porch.com ranked the area in the bottom 10 on a list of the best “bang-for-the-buck” real estate markets in the country — where homebuyers get the least for their money.

Seattle had a median home list price of $617,881 and a price per square foot of about $333.28, according to the report. The monthly mortgage payment in Seattle is on average nearly 30% of a household’s income and the median home size is about 1,941 square feet, the report found.

“The classic saying in real estate is ‘Location, Location, Location,'” the report said. “Everyone who buys a home knows that where homes are located—by market, by neighborhood, and even by block — can cause wide variation in what they will list and ultimately sell for.”

According to the study, coastal states did not rank high on the list of the best bang-for-your-buck markets. Rather, states that topped the list included Kansas, Mississippi and Indiana.

“At the metro level, it is unsurprising to find that many of the best bang-for-the-buck markets are located in the same states that rate highly for value. Oft-overlooked large metros like Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Cleveland top the list, a function of low housing costs both on a per square foot basis and as a share of income,” the report said.

To conduct the study, researchers looked at data from Zillow, Realtor.com and the U.S. Census Bureau and ranked areas based on a number of factors: price, affordability, home size and recent and projected change in value.

Over the past year, as interest rates remained low and inventory limited in the Seattle area, home prices have continued to rise. In recent weeks, new listings in the region have been increasing, giving buyers a bit of hope for the months ahead. But, total active inventory has remained low in the area — far lower than it was at the same time last year — meaning buyers are continuing to snatch up homes quickly and the market is still competitive.

Keep reading to see which areas ranked as the best and worst bang-for-the-buck real estate markets. 

Median list price: $283,562
Price per square foot: $113.70
Monthly mortgage payment as a percentage of household income: 18.9%
Median home size (square feet): 2,308

A panoramic view of Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Kansas City, or K.C., is the largest city in the state of Missouri. It is the 37thâ€?“largest city by population in the United States and the 23rdâ€?“largest by area. Kansas City, Missouri, USA.10th August 2015. Photo Tim Clayton (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Median list price: $338,726
Price per square foot: $145.98
Monthly mortgage payment as a percentage of household income: 20.9%
Median home size (square feet): 2,294

Cleveland city skyline and the Cuyahoga River. 

Median list price: $208,061
Price per square foot: $98.97
Monthly mortgage payment as a percentage of household income: 15.2%
Median home size (square feet): 1,901

Median list price: $1,196,565    
Price per square foot: $724.82
Monthly mortgage payment as a percentage of household income: 40.1%
Median home size (square feet): 1,696

Median list price: $997,989    
Price per square foot: $614.47
Monthly mortgage payment as a percentage of household income: 38.6%
Median home size (square feet): 1,611

Median list price: $406,169    
Price per square foot: $265.06
Monthly mortgage payment as a percentage of household income: 29.4%
Median home size (square feet): 1,386

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