Buying a house is a big milestone for many people in the United States. Whether it’s a first house, an investment property, or a place to retire to, a home purchase is one of the largest buying decisions many people make. There are few purchases that involve as much money, and the price of houses is constantly changing.
Job markets, housing supply, weather, access to nearby attractions, and geographic location are all elements that influence the typical house price in any given state. In this post, we’ll explore average house prices by state in the US. There is quite a lot of diversity in the cost of housing across the country, and the potential homebuyer stands to save a lot of money if they choose their location wisely.
Map with Typical House Value by US State (2022)
Table with House Prices by US State
Data Source: Fool.com research
Median, Highest, and Lowest Price
What is the median house price in the US?
The median house price in the US is $321,497.
What is the cheapest state to buy a house?
West Virginia is the cheapest state to buy a house. The typical cost of a house in West Virginia costs $137,286.
What is the most expensive state to buy a house?
The most expensive US state to buy a house is Hawaii. It typically costs around $1,038,544 to buy a house in Hawaii.
10 Most Expensive States – Why move there?
Why is it more expensive to buy a house in some states than in others? It’s not random — attractive job markets, beautiful weather, favorable tax incentives, and location are all reasons that these states have expensive housing. Prices are determined by the basic concept of supply and demand. Houses are expensive in these states because demand is high — people want to live there!
In this section, we’ll look at the top ten most expensive states in the US and find out why they’re so expensive and why you might want to live there.
Typical house price: $1,038,544
By a long shot, the state with the most expensive housing is Hawaii. It’s the only state where the typical house price in 2022 exceeds $1 million. It’s also the only state that isn’t in North America, the only state in the tropics, and the only island state.
It is precisely these special features that contribute to the huge house prices in Hawaii. The state is unmatched in access to tropical beaches and island life, but you’ll have to pay if you want to live here.
The median income in Hawaii is 20% higher than the median income of the entire US, but the average mortgage payment in Hawaii is still 78.3% of the state’s median income.
Typical house price: $816,804
The second most expensive homes in the US are in the state of California. As with most states, housing prices are not consistent throughout the entire state; the most expensive markets within California are in places like San Fransisco and the Bay area, which also rank among the most expensive areas in the country.
California has long been a popular state to move to. It’s got some of the most beaches in the country, warm weather all year in some regions, a high-paying job market, and iconic cities like San Fransisco and Los Angeles. However, the high-paying jobs and the high demand for housing have pushed the price of houses skyward.
It is the most populous state in the country for a reason, but this is also why it’s one of the most expensive places to buy a house.
Typical house price: $640,494
Tucked in the far northwest corner of the United States, Washington has the third most expensive housing market in the country. While the typical house price in Washington is almost $200,000 less expensive than in California, it’s still well over half a million dollars, and average mortgage payments are 49% of the median income in the state.
There are plenty of reasons to live in Washington state. It’s got an abundance of beautiful, natural landscapes, mostly mild weather, and there are high-paying jobs in a variety of fields. It is the home of Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, and Starbucks.
Typical house price: $611,819
After Washington, the state with the next most expensive housing is on the clear opposite side of the country in the northeast: Massachusetts. This is the most populous state in the New England region, and its capital city Boston is the most populous city in the region.
Venture capital investment is a major economic activity in the Greater Boston area, and other important sectors include information technology, biotechnology, and high education. Boston is also home to Harvard and MIT, two of the highest-rated educational institutions in the world.
Typical house price: $604,911
With a typical house price of only a small margin less than Massachusetts, Colorado is the fifth most expensive state for buying a home. Sometimes called the mile-high state, it has the highest mean elevation of any state in the US and some of the country’s tallest mountains. This makes it a highly popular winter tourism location for outdoor and snow-sport enthusiasts.
The average mortgage payment on a house in Colorado is 45% of the median income in the state, and Coloradans have a median income that is 22% higher than the national median.
Typical house price: $588,862
At 137% of the typical US house price, Utah is the sixth most expensive state for buying property. Like Colorado, Utah is a popular destination for outdoor and mountain lovers, as it has some of the best skiing locations in the country.
The average mortgage payment on a house in Utah is 42.9% of the median income in the state.
Typical house price: $534,956
Oregon is located on the northwest coast of the United States between two other states that make this list: Washington and California. The state is known for its natural beauty, being a top timber producer, and for its growing technology sector.
With home prices at 125% of the national median and average mortgage payments of 43.3% of the state’s median income, purchasing a home in Oregon is a competitive venture.
Typical house price: $484,530
The typical house price in Nevada is the first on this list to fall below half a million dollars. Although the typical price of a house is less than in states like Oregon, Utah, and Colorado, the mortgage payments are comparatively high when accounting for the median income in the state. This makes it more difficult for residents to purchase a house.
Las Vegas is perhaps the most famous city in Nevada, as it is an internationally popular resort and casino location. The capital of Nevada is Carson City.
9. New Jersey
Typical house price: $480,275
A typical home in New Jersey costs $480,275 in 2022, which is 114% of the national median price for a house. New Jersey is a mid-atlantic state in the Northeastern US with a population of about 9.2 million, making it the 11st most populous state in the US.
New Jersey is located right next to very expensive New York City, and it’s common for people that work in the city to live across the Hudson River in New Jersey. Atlantic City is a popular seaside resort that also functions as the state’s gambling center.
Typical house price: $476,198
A landlocked state that borders Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Canada, Idaho is the last state on the list of ten most expensive housing markets in the US. The median income in Idaho is 2% less than the national average, and mortgage payments are an average of 43.5% of that income.
Despite the relatively high cost of housing in Idaho, it is an attractive state for its low cost of living, low population density, and lower job competition.
10 Cheapest States – Why move there?
Not everyone has the ability or the willingness to move to a new state to buy a house. But for retirees, those with location-independent jobs, or someone with an adventurous streak, moving to one of the states in this category could save you a lot of money (or afford you a lot more house).
The same principles of supply and demand are at play in making the states in this list among the cheapest for purchasing a house. Most of these states have lower population densities, meaning there is less demand for houses. Many of them also have plenty of undeveloped land, which means a high supply of real estate opportunities.
While the median incomes in these states are usually below the national median, they also boast costs of living that are well below the national average. In this section, we’ll take a look at the least expensive states in the US for purchasing a house and why they might be worth moving to.
1. West Virginia
Typical house price: $137,286
The state with the lowest typical house price is West Virginia. At only 32% of the median house price in the US, the typical home in West Virginia comes at a major discount when compared to the rest of the country. The cost of living in West Virginia is also more than 5% below the national average.
One of the reasons housing prices are lower in West Virginia is that the state is very rural. For the agriculturally minded or someone looking for a more relaxed pace of life, this could be the state to buy a house in. It’s worth noting that wages in West Virginia are also typically much lower than in other states.
Typical house price: $164,132
The state with the second lowest typical house price is Mississippi. The state also has a fairly low median income level, one that’s 33% below the national median, but the average mortgage prices in the state are 22.7% of the typical resident’s income.
There is a high availability of land in Mississippi, which contributes to low house prices, and it has a small length of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico. The state is also known as the birthplace of blues music and has a strong musical heritage.
Typical house price: $177,710
The typical house price in Arkansas is less than half of the national median house price. This is partly because the typical income in Arkansas is lower than the national median, which means there is less demand for more expensive housing.
Despite the lower-paying jobs, Arkansas could be a good place to buy a house for the access it provides to outdoor recreational activities and the low cost of living. The state also sees mild weather all year.
Some of the best places to live in Arkansas include Fayetteville, where the University of Arkansas is located, and Little Rock, the capital city of the state.
Typical house price: $181,574
Oklahoma is the state with the fourth lowest typical house price in the United States. One reason the houses are less expensive here is that there is a large supply of flat, developable land. The state has a fairly low cost of living and an accessible job market.
Located just north of Texas, in the middle of the United States, a move to Oklahoma could be a good idea for someone looking to purchase a house at a lower-than-average price in a state with low population density. The average mortgage payment in Oklahoma is just 21.7% of the state’s median income level.
Typical house price: $192,568
Iowa is in a unique position that makes it worth considering for homebuyers. While the typical house price in the state is $192,568 or 45% of the typical nationwide price, Iowa’s median income is actually 1% above the national median. This means the average Iowan mortgage payment is only 16.9% of the state’s median income.
The state of Iowa is located squarely in center of the Midwestern United States, between the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The capital city of Des Moines is well connected by interstate highways to other major cities in the area and can make a great location for a home.
Other places to consider living in Iowa include Cedar Rapids, the arts and culture hub of Eastern Iowa, and Iowa City, where the University of Iowa is located.
Typical house price: $197,644
At number six on this list of states with inexpensive housing is Kentucky. The typical house in Kentucky costs only 46% of the national median for house prices, and the average mortgage payment in the state is 21% of the median income in Kentucky. Another benefit of owning a home in Kentucky is its low property tax.
In addition to the potential money saving opportunities offered in Kentucky, there are other reasons people enjoy living in the state. It has four distinct seasons, its own regional food and beverages, and a variety of outdoor recreation options. It’s also the home of bourbon whiskey.
Typical house price: $204,965
The median income in Alabama is 19% below the national median. The typical house price, however, is 52% below the national median. This imbalance means that it’s comparatively easier to pay for a house in Alabama than many other places in the US.
Alabama is located in the Southeastern United States and borders Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico. Sunny weather and low cost of living are some of the reasons you might consider a move to Alabama, but it’s worth being aware that extreme weather sometimes hits the Gulf Coast.
The state of Alabama also has a relatively young median age, meaning it could be a good place for a young family to relocate. Montgomery is the state’s capital city and was an important part of the Civil Rights Movement. Huntsville is considered one of the best places to live in Alabama.
Typical house price: $206,176
The typical price of a house in Kansas is just over $200,000 and 48% of the national median price. The median income in Kansas is actually 8% higher than the national median, and this makes it a potentially attractive place to buy a house and have more income left over.
Kansas has a fairly strong economy in the Midwestern United States; agriculture, aerospace, manufacturing, and bioscience are some of the sectors in which Kansas is involved, giving it a strong job market.
In addition to a strong, growing job market, Kansas could be the perfect state to move to for its highly rated universities, its arts and culture scene, and its barbecue. The capital of Kansas is Topeka, the largest city is Wichita, and some of the most popular cities for families include Overland Park, Leawood, and Olathe.
Typical house price: $213,360
Ohio is the ninth most affordable state for buying a house in the United States. The typical house in Ohio costs $213,360, which is 66% of the typical nationwide price. The average mortgage payment made in Ohio is 26.9% of the median income in the state.
The state of Ohio is located on the southern shore of Lake Eerie in the Midwestern United States and is known as the Buckeye State for the buckeye trees that populate the area. Some of the attractions of moving to Ohio are the short commute times, highly ranked schools, and easy-to-access outdoor activities.
Colombus is the capital city of Ohio, and other major cities are Dayton, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Cincinnati is one of the top-rated cities for families to move to in the state.
Typical house price: $214,522
The median income in Louisiana is 25% below the national median, and the typical price of a house in the state is 50% of the typical price across the country. That balances out to make homeownership more affordable in Louisiana than most other states.
Louisiana is known for having its own distinct culture. It’s located on the Gulf of Mexico between Texas and Mississippi, and New Orleans is a city famous for its French influence, music scene, and yearly Mardi Gras celebration.
In addition to New Orleans, some of the best cities to move to in Louisiana include Baton Rouge, Mandeville, Houma, and Lafayette.
Hidden Housing Gems
Not only is there a large discrepancy in house prices from state to state in the US, some states offer additional incentives to make purchasing a house more attractive. Others have cities that investors consider undervalued. In this section, we’ll examine some states with unique opportunities.
There’s no other state quite like Alaska. It’s physically removed from the contiguous United States, it’s home to stunning glaciers and mountains, and it’s the only state that will pay you to live there. The state needs more full-time residents, so much so that the government pays each resident an annual dividend of about $1,600.
This number changes slightly on a yearly basis, but the only requirement is having lived in the state for at least a year and the intention of remaining a resident indefinitely. With typical house prices below the typical price in the country, this helps to make Alaska an attractive possibility.
Located in the far northeast of the country, Maine has a typical house price that is just over the typical price across the USA. But buying a house in Maine is anything but typical for any student with school loans to pay off.
The Maine Smart Buy Program offers up to $40,000 of loan forgiveness to first-time homebuyers. Some of the eligibility requirements for this program include having a credit score of at least 640, purchasing a home that is between $86,600 – $131,100, not being a current resident of Maine, and treating the home as your primary residence for at least five years.
The typical house in Texas is 73% of the typical price in the US as a whole, but houses in San Antonio, Texas may offer especially affordable prices. The prices here are noticeable less than in the state’s other big cities of Dallas and Houston, and San Antonio offers high qwualirt of life to many.
With houses costing a typical price of 63% what you’ll typically find across the country, South Carolina didn’t make our ten least expensive states for buying a house. But in the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina, the median home value is only $181,571. This area has been experiencing significant population growth in recent years, meaning the prices will likely rise in the future.