The South claims nation’s fastest-growing — yet still affordable — housing markets

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Booming but not breaking the bank

Atlanta, Dallas and Houston are some of the fastest-growing metros in the nation. And according to new data, they’re also some of the most affordable in terms of housing.

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Where housing’s still affordable

A new analysis by NerdWallet ranked the nation’s fastest-growing cities in terms of housing affordability, and Georgia’s Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell took the top spot.

According to the data, the metro has the lowest median home price of all 10 markets. A median-priced home in the area is just under $229,000, with the average mortgage payment sitting at $950 per month. That’s just 18.2 percent of the median monthly income.

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Next on the list was Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas, where the average mortgage payment is $1,015 — 19.7 percent of the median monthly income. The median home price in the area is $244,400.

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington — another major Lone Star State metro — ranked third. Homeowners pay an average of $1,114 per month for a median-priced home ($268,200).

According to’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale, the top three markets share a few commonalities: they’re spacious, they don’t have many physical barriers, and their local governments make development and permitting easier.

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Where homebuyers have to stretch

On the other side of the spectrum, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California, and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington, came in as the least affordable housing markets on the list.

In Riverside, homeowners pay around $1,500 per month for a mortgage — more than 30 percent of their monthly income. Seattle homeowners pay even more ($2,203 per month and 33.6 percent of their income.)

Seattle homes came in as the most expensive on the list, with a median list price of $530,300.

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Get today’s mortgage rates

Are you looking to buy in one of these fast-growing affordable markets? Then shop around and see what mortgage rates you qualify for today.

Verify your new rate (Dec 4th, 2021)