Personal Finance

Which City Has the Most Affordable Suburbs?

Atlanta, Georgia homes
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Self.

Over the previous year, 22% of U.S. adults either moved or know someone that moved house, with many looking to move away from the bustle of city metros to more open suburbs.

Additionally, various reports suggest that 91% of suburban counties in the U.S. saw more people moving in than out during 2020 and early 2021, with 84% of movers remaining in their metro area but towards more “suburban” settings.

But which are the most affordable suburban cities for those looking to escape the inner metro area? Here’s a look.

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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To provide an insight into where and what price people might be looking to pay should they move from one of the top 25 most populated cities in the nation, we’ve analyzed Zillow house price data and the average cost of one, two, three, four and five+ bedroom homes in major cities, the average suburban costs and the cheapest suburb.

Suburbs in the study were classified as population areas located within an easily commutable 25 miles of a major city, with a population of between 10,000 and 250,000.

Analyzing Zillow’s data we found that the average cost of a home in a major city ($505,750) and the suburbs ($505,340) nearby are almost identical, representing more than eight times the nation’s median annual household income.

However, as our analysis also revealed, in 12 of the major cities analyzed the “suburbs” are cheaper than the major city, with 13 of the 25 cities showing the nearby towns and cities are more expensive than the major city.

Washington, D.C.

Washington D.C.
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Major City Average: $849,745
Suburbs Average: $519,159
Average Price Difference: -$330,586
City Cost / Median Income: 9.8
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 6

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco neighborhood.
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Major City Average: $1,689,110
Suburbs Average: $1,396,599
Average Price Difference: -$292,511
City Cost / Median Income: 15
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 12.4

New York City, NY

New York City traffic
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Major City Average: $775,207
Suburbs Average: $568,668
Average Price Difference: -$206,539
City Cost / Median Income: 12.1
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 8.9

Seattle, WA

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Major City Average: $850,825
Suburbs Average: $664,010
Average Price Difference: -$186,815
City Cost / Median Income: 9.2
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 7.2

Austin, TX

Austin, Texas waterscape
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Major City Average: $519,144
Suburbs Average: $361,652
Average Price Difference: -$157,492
City Cost / Median Income: 7.3
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 5.1

Dallas, TX

Dallas, Texas
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Major City Average: $400,662
Suburbs Average: $304,308
Average Price Difference: -$96,354
City Cost / Median Income: 7.6
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 5.8

Boston, MA

Boston, Massachusetts
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Major City Average: $703,019
Suburbs Average: $631,035
Average Price Difference: -$71,985
City Cost / Median Income: 9.9
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 8.9

Denver, CO

Denver skyline
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Major City Average: $570,534
Suburbs Average: $521,906
Average Price Difference: -$48,628
City Cost / Median Income: 8.3
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 7.6

Los Angeles, CA

The streets of Los Angeles, where median rent is relatively low
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Major City Average: $971,795
Suburbs Average: $925,196
Average Price Difference: -$46,599
City Cost / Median Income: 15.6
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 14.9

Nashville, TN

Nashville, Tennessee
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Major City Average: $411,231
Suburbs Average: $370,551
Average Price Difference: -$40,680
City Cost / Median Income: 6.9
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 6.2

Charlotte, NC

Charlotte North Carolina
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Major City Average: $315,132
Suburbs Average: $296,570
Average Price Difference: -$18,562
City Cost / Median Income: 5
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 4.7

El Paso, TX

El Paso, Texas
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Major City Average: $176,651
Suburbs Average: $161,619
Average Price Difference: -$15,032
City Cost / Median Income: 3.7
Suburb Cost / Median Income: 3.4

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