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The top 10 big U.S. cities where it's easiest to buy a home

Low mortgage rates and a shortage of available housing have driven up demand this summer. Homes are most affordable in these 10 major metro areas.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Twenty/20

Mortgage rates are at a record low, but that doesn't mean it's cheap to buy a home right now. Low mortgage rates and a shortage of available housing have driven demand this summer.

According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, the median home price in the U.S. jumped to a record high of $300,000 in the second quarter this year, up from $280,000 in the first quarter. Higher home prices and lower incomes due to the pandemic mean that just about 60% of homes sold in the second quarter were considered affordable to families earning the adjusted median income of $72,900.

But the real estate market isn't so daunting for buyers everywhere. If you're looking to buy a home and are able to relocate, you might want to consider one of the following cities. These are the large metro areas — those with a population of at least 500,000 — where housing is most affordable, according to the Housing Opportunity Index. 

1. Scranton—Wilkes-Barre—Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Share of homes affordable for median income: 89%
Median family income: $66,600
Median sales price: $120,000

2. Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Share of homes affordable for median income: 88%
Median family income: $79,000
Median sales price: $170,000

3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Share of homes affordable for median income: 87%
Median family income: $77,100
Median sales price: $155,000

4. St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois

Share of homes affordable for median income: 87%
Median family income: $77,000
Median sales price: $165,000

5. Wilmington, Delaware-Maryland-New Jersey

Share of homes affordable for median income: 87%
Median family income: $84,200
Median sales price: $228,000

Indianapolis, Indiana.
Twenty/20

6. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana

Share of homes affordable for median income: 86%
Median family income: $76,200
Median sales price: $195,000

7. Toledo, Ohio

Share of homes affordable for median income: 86%
Median family income: $66,800
Median sales price: $141,000

8. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York

Share of homes affordable for median income: 85%
Median family income: $92,200
Median sales price: $220,000

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9. Syracuse, New York

Share of homes affordable for median income: 84%
Median family income: $70,400
Median sales price: $145,000

10. Cincinnati, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana

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