County in every state with the lowest home prices

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June 7, 2021
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County in every state with the lowest home prices

The real estate market is booming right now thanks to low interest rates, a flood of millennial buyers, and shrinking inventory. The median cost of a home has increased 20% year over year, hitting $347,500, according to a report released in April 2020 by real estate listing website Redfin. These high asking costs—while good for sellers—are pricing many buyers out of the market entirely.

But all things are not equal when it comes to real estate in the United States.

Credible used 2021 data calculated by the National Association of REALTORS to compile a list of counties with the lowest median home values and monthly mortgage payments in every state. Counties were ranked by the monthly mortgage payment for a typical home in 2020, from lowest to highest. Ties were broken by median home values in 2020.

The National Association of REALTORS calculated the fourth quarter 2020 median home values by applying the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index growth to 2019 housing and population data from the American Community Survey and determining an estimate of 2020 median home values for all counties where data is available. The monthly mortgage payments for fourth quarter 2019 and fourth quarter 2020 were calculated for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 10% down payment.

Keep reading to discover which county in every state has the lowest home prices, and what factors may be contributing to these lower costs.

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Alabama: Perry County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $253 (14.8% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $297
- Median home value in 2020: $68,300
- Ranked #76 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Home prices go up as a population grows, which may help to explain be why home values in rural Perry County are dropping. The population in this resilient, central Alabama county where Coretta Scott King was born fell by more than 15% since 2010, according census data. People living here have also struggled with disinvestment and rampant poverty, as the county regularly ranks among the poorest in the state.

Race may also play a role: A study published in 2020 found that homes in white neighborhoods appreciated $200,000 more in value since 1980 than their counterparts in communities of color. Further, homes in neighborhoods of color are being undervalued at a higher rate than they were 40 years ago despite the passage of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. In Perry County, 69.2% of residents are Black. In Marion, a town within Perry County, the median list price of homes trended down 24.1% to $115,000 between April 2020 and 2021.

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Alaska: Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $293 (15.6% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $347
- Median home value in 2020: $79,100
- Ranked #204 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

The Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area of Alaska is predominantly Indigenous. The area has the most land of any county (or county-equivalent) in the county. Towncharts.com estimates that there are just 4,090 housing units in the county spread out over 147,805 square miles for the epitome of rural living.

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Arizona: Apache County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $298 (26.3% greater than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $236
- Median home value in 2020: $80,600
- Ranked #237 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Located in the northeastern part of Arizona, Apache County has more land designated for Indian reservations than any other county in the country. Despite the fact that mortgages on these reservations tend to be more than those off of them, home prices and monthly mortgages are cheaper here than anywhere else. The median list price for a home in April 2021 was down a stunning 39.3% from the previous year, according to realtor.com.

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Arkansas: Monroe County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $238 (15% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $280
- Median home value in 2020: $64,400
- Ranked #55 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

A tiny area in Arkansas Delta, Monroe County is composed of rich, flat farmland cleared hundreds of years ago for agriculture. The economy here depends on manufacturing, retail trades, and health care and social assistance, with the average household making around $35,000 annually—almost half the national average. Monroe County, located in east-central Arkansas, is one of the worst places to live in the country due in large part to poor health outcomes.

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California: Modoc County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $548 (7.1% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $590
- Median home value in 2020: $148,000
- Ranked #1,749 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Modoc County, California, borders Nevada and Oregon, far away from the wealth and hubbub of southern California hot spots like Los Angeles and San Diego. Home prices in the area are among the lowest throughout the state thanks to the county’s remote location and distance from hot job markets. Median home prices here passed $100,000 for the first time in 2016.

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Colorado: Crowley County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $310 (2.8% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $319
- Median home value in 2020: $83,800
- Ranked #297 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

A 6.5% decrease in population since 2010 and low median household income are contributing factors to low home values in Crowley County, Colorado. The rural community relies on ranching, farming, and corrections for its local economy.

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Connecticut: Windham County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $863 (3.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $896
- Median home value in 2020: $233,000
- Ranked #2,599 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Part of the Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor, Windham County in Connecticut is situated between Hartford and Providence, Rhode Island. The area is composed of rolling hills, unbroken forests, and classic New England scenery. Median home prices here were on the rise prior to the coronavirus pandemic, up $5,000 year-over-year in 2019. By April 2021, homes were selling on average slightly below asking price with the market favoring buyers overall.

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Delaware: Kent County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $882 (15.1% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $1,039
- Median home value in 2020: $238,200
- Ranked #2,627 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

One of just three counties in Delaware, Kent County is home to one of the largest Amish settlements in the United States. The area’s proximity to the nation’s capital keeps the housing market competitive and home values high. Kent County county is actually one of the more expensive in the country, ranking in the top third overall.

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Florida: Liberty County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $294 (0% greater than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $294
- Median home value in 2020: $79,400
- Ranked #210 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

The least populous county in Florida, Liberty County is half-covered by the Apalachicola National Forest. The remote nature of the county, as well as its distance from the attractions of major metropolises, helps to account for the low demand for—and low cost of—houses.

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Georgia: Stewart County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $194 (14.5% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $227
- Median home value in 2020: $52,400
- Ranked #15 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

One of the poorest counties in the nation, almost 35% of the people in Stewart County live below the poverty line. Just 12.2% of the adult population has a bachelor degree or higher level of education. The rural county reached its peak level of wealth in 1850 due to cotton production; today, Stewart County is without any major industry although in the last several decades there have been pushes to preserve historic properties for tourism and potential economic growth. The area seldom attracts any newcomers, leading to little demand for homes in the area.

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Hawaii: Hawaii County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $1,459 (9.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $1,615
- Median home value in 2020: $394,100
- Ranked #3,009 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

The most expensive cheap county on the list, Hawaii County—comprising the Big Island of Hawaii—proves that the idea of being affordable is all relative. In addition to an extremely high cost of living, the state has faced a housing crisis for years; limited supply has led to some of the highest home prices in the country.

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Idaho: Clark County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $402 (5.4% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $425
- Median home value in 2020: $108,600
- Ranked #929 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

With just over 1,000 residents, Clark County is among the lowest-populated counties in Idaho. Most of those residents live in Dubois, the county seat. Next door is Spencer, considered the "Opal Capital of America" for serving as the base to an opal mine outside of town. The rural area has little to offer in the way of employment prospects outside of farming, leading many residents to relocate to surrounding counties. The median household income here is just $32,770.

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Illinois: Alexander County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $213 (9% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $234
- Median home value in 2020: $57,700
- Ranked #29 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Tucked along a bank of the Mississippi River, Illinois' southernmost county contends with frequent flooding that has driven down property values. The flooding has gotten so bad, it now runs the risk of turning the Dogtooth Bend peninsula region into an island. Property values have fallen as many people sell or look to buy elsewhere. While most counties in Illinois saw population drops in 2020, Alexander County's population fell at almost double the rate of  the rest of the state.

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Indiana: Blackford County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $278 (11.5% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $314
- Median home value in 2020: $75,000
- Ranked #147 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

About 90 minutes outside of Indianapolis, Blackford County, Indiana, is far enough away from the major metropolis that home prices remain modest, but close enough that residents have access to the city when they need it. The county has the added perk of having a cost of living that is 29.8% lower than the U.S. average.

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Iowa: Pocahontas County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $292 (10.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $327
- Median home value in 2020: $79,000
- Ranked #203 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Over the years, disinvestment in rural counties like Pocahontas County in Iowa have led to significant infrastructure shortfalls, from bridge and dam maintenance to the construction of a new jail. Property in the area is inexpensive, evictions are rare, and unemployment rates throughout the county are among the lowest in Iowa.

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Kansas: Chautauqua County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $190 (31.4% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $277
- Median home value in 2020: $51,400
- Ranked #12 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Chautauqua County, Kansas, has seen a decline in population over the past several years, going from over 4,000 residents to closer to 3,500. This decrease in prospective buyers likely plays a large role in shrinking home costs, which were already well below the national average thanks to the county’s rural nature.

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Kentucky: Knott County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $201 (11.1% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $226
- Median home value in 2020: $54,200
- Ranked #20 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Just over 33% of residents in this Appalachian county live below the poverty line, far more than the national average of 13.1%. Conventional wisdom indicates that when that large of a percentage of people are struggling to make ends meet and relying on federal assistance, home prices in Knott County, Kentucky, are necessarily going to be lower.

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Louisiana: Tensas Parish

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $252 (15.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $299
- Median home value in 2020: $68,000
- Ranked #75 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Tensas Parish is the smallest county in all of Louisiana and shrinking, meaning there isn’t much demand driving up prices. Median household income here is extremely low ($23,870) and the poverty rate is extremely high (around 40%), making low home prices essential for most of the community. In St. Joseph, the county seat, efforts are underway to revitalize the downtown and preserve historic architecture there.

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Maine: Aroostook County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $369 (15.9% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $439
- Median home value in 2020: $99,600
- Ranked #693 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Between 2010 and 2018, Aroostook County lost more residents than any other county in Maine—6.6%. This rapid decline in population, happening in large part because of limited economic opportunities, is likely the primary reason for low home prices in the region. However, the area’s natural beauty and quiet lifestyle leave many residents hopeful that growth is within the county’s future.

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Maryland: Allegany County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $476 (4.6% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $499
- Median home value in 2020: $128,400
- Ranked #1,396 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

The least expensive county in Maryland, home prices in Allegany County benefit from the area’s suburb-like status. Residents in the county have the perks of a close commute to major hubs like Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, but being outside of these in-demand cities means that sale prices and mortgages are typically lower.

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Massachusetts: Hampden County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $894 (6.1% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $952
- Median home value in 2020: $241,500
- Ranked #2,644 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Hampden County, Massachusetts, is another example of a place that’s really only affordable when speaking comparatively. Although mortgage payments may indicate otherwise, the county is actually the poorest in the state, with a 17.1% poverty rate. The cost of living is nearly 5% lower than the national average. Hampden County has the state’s highest concentration of people of color, just over a third.

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Michigan: Gogebic County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $263 (15.2% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $310
- Median home value in 2020: $71,000
- Ranked #106 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Semi-rural Gogebic County, Michigan, was historically a part of the territory that belonged to the Lake Superior Band of Chippewa. Today, much of it is still covered by national forests and parks or included in reservations. However, the portions that are available for private ownership tend to be relatively inexpensive as there isn’t that much demand for the area nor are there a lot of residents looking to make local moves.

 

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Minnesota: Traverse County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $318 (11.2% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $358
- Median home value in 2020: $85,800
- Ranked #348 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

For the past decade, there has only been a two-year period where the state of Minnesota has seen more out-of-state arrivals than departures. The effects of this slow ebb of people are particularly felt in Traverse County, now the least-populated county in the state, where house prices have dropped significantly as people have moved away.

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Mississippi: Quitman County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $195 (14.8% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $229
- Median home value in 2020: $52,800
- Ranked #16 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Three rivers run through Quitman County, located within the Mississippi Delta National Heritage area. Average household incomes in this majority-Black community are well below the national average. The county's only hospital and largest employer, Quitman County Hospital, shuttered its doors in 2016.

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Missouri: Worth County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $250 (12.9% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $287
- Median home value in 2020: $67,500
- Ranked #68 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Median household income and median property values in Worth County are both up over the past year. But for the time being, buying a home in the area is a relatively inexpensive endeavor thanks to low demand and the area’s distance from major hubs and big economic centers.

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Montana: Blaine County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $378 (4.3% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $395
- Median home value in 2020: $102,200
- Ranked #754 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

The primary industries in Blaine County, Montana, are ranching and farming, neither of which are extremely high-paying. It’s likely that this lack of lucrative job prospects has something to do with the low home prices, as out-of-towners aren’t flocking to the area driving up costs and value.

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Nebraska: Grant County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $226 (10.3% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $252
- Median home value in 2020: $61,000
- Ranked #40 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

A lack of demand keeps home prices in Grant County at rock bottom. As with many rural areas, three-quarters of residents in this low-populated area own their own homes. With soil unsuitable to farming, the county has never attracted many settlers even in its heyday and is now more of a ghost town than a bustling metropolis.

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Nevada: Esmeralda County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $256 (20.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $323
- Median home value in 2020: $69,100
- Ranked #86 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Esmeralda County, Nevada, about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno on Highway 95, was once a booming mining area. The region began declining in the mid-1900s and has never fully recovered. The county, located among mountainous wilderness, mesas, and basins, is dotted with historic sites, farms, mining communities, and even a few ghost towns.

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New Hampshire: Coos County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $514 (7.1% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $553
- Median home value in 2020: $138,900
- Ranked #1,586 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Coos County, New Hampshire, was once home to a thriving paper-making industry, with dozens of mills employing thousands of workers. When these mills began to close in the early ’00s, unemployment rates skyrocketed and people left at an alarming pace, seeking greener pastures elsewhere. The rapid deterioration of the county and its primary city Berlin, in particular, likely contribute to home prices in the area remaining so low.

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New Jersey: Cumberland County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $664 (8.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $727
- Median home value in 2020: $179,400
- Ranked #2,201 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Cumberland County in southern New Jersey stands in closer proximity to Philadelphia than New York City. The region's primary industries are textiles, glass making, food processing, and maritime trades, all of which provide adequate incomes that aren't particularly high-paying. It seems plausible that a combination of these two factors is what makes this the most affordable county in the state.

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New Mexico: McKinley County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $224 (34.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $343
- Median home value in 2020: $60,600
- Ranked #39 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Gallup, New Mexico, the primary town in McKinley County, is one of the oldest towns in the United States. Its history can be traced back to an Ancient Puebloans settlement circa 2500 B.C. Still largely Native American, the county is 72% Indigenous.

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New York: Allegany County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $306 (6.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $328
- Median home value in 2020: $82,600
- Ranked #276 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Although home prices in New York City paint a different picture, affordable homes can be found throughout New York, particularly in rural areas like Allegany County. During the pandemic, home prices here jumped a whopping 20.7% as city dwellers moved into the area in search of more space and affordable living. The market may not be as hot here as it is in counties directly surrounding the city, but home prices may stay elevated as things return to normal.

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North Carolina: Robeson County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $290 (17.8% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $353
- Median home value in 2020: $78,300
- Ranked #192 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

A majority-minority county, Robeson County, North Carolina, is home to a sizable Native American and Black population. The county, the largest in the state, is incredibly beautiful and perfectly situated midway between North Carolina’s beaches and mountains. But it is also among the state's poorest counties, with poverty levels at 31.9%.

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North Dakota: Towner County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $266 (18.2% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $325
- Median home value in 2020: $71,800
- Ranked #113 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Named for the can-do attitude of the pioneers that settled it, Cando, North Dakota, is the largest town in Towner County and the county seat. Not much bigger than in its early days, the small town relies on agriculture and manufacturing to drive its economy. Once again, Low income levels surely contribute to a dragging real estate market and low home prices.

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Ohio: Crawford County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $351 (8.4% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $383
- Median home value in 2020: $94,700
- Ranked #592 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

The population in Crawford County, Ohio, has dropped in recent years at an alarming rate of 3.4%, in part due to the fact that the county has one of the oldest populations in the state. A promising sign is an influx of 20- to 29-year-olds in the last decade: The demographic has grown by more than 6%.

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Oklahoma: Cimarron County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $218 (10.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $244
- Median home value in 2020: $58,900
- Ranked #33 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

The last county in Oklahoma’s panhandle, Cimarron County is home to areas of extreme weather, one community adhering to Mountain Time, and several sites where dinosaur bones and tracks have been found. The area's unique attributes haven't done much for the population here, which is shrinking at a rate of 1.4%. Primary industries include agriculture and forestry, neither of which boasts a high median salary, which keeps most residents in modestly priced homes.

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Oregon: Gilliam County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $464 (7.2% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $500
- Median home value in 2020: $125,400
- Ranked #1,342 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Gilliam County, Oregon, was once known for its wheat, but these days wind is taking over. Home to the Shepherds Flat Wind Farm, an energy project that will be the largest wind farm in the world upon completion, the new industry is attracting hundreds of new residents with its promise of high-paying jobs and stable careers. So while real estate has historically been affordable in this once-sleepy agricultural town, it’s possible that home prices will increase over the next several years.

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Pennsylvania: Cameron County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $305 (8.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $334
- Median home value in 2020: $82,400
- Ranked #271 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

With only 12 people per square mile, much of Cameron County, Pennsylvania, is lush, untouched wilderness. The area thrives as a vacation destination but has a much harder time attracting long-term residents. A lack of lucrative career options and a high unemployment rate contribute to depressed home prices.

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Rhode Island: Providence County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $1,012 (5.1% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $1,066
- Median home value in 2020: $273,200
- Ranked #2,770 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Unlike almost every other county on the list, Providence County, Rhode Island, is the most populated county in the state. The area, which actually has comparatively high median mortgage payments, is home to the state’s capital city of Providence as well as a number of other densely populated towns and cities. However, a search for better-paying jobs is causing more residents to leave the county than enter it, which could account for cheaper home prices here than in other areas of the state.

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South Carolina: Allendale County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $192 (16.5% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $230
- Median home value in 2020: $51,700
- Ranked #13 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Allendale County, South Carolina, is predominantly Black, shrinking, and poor. Hemmed in by the Savannah River, and just a road trip away from the cities of Augusta and Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, the county has largely been left behind even as surrounding areas are becoming more modernized and competitive.

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South Dakota: Todd County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $100 (32% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $147
- Median home value in 2020: $26,900
- Ranked #1 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Todd County is one of several counties in South Dakota that is entirely composed of reservation land, the Rosebud Indian Reservation. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that the land is held in trust by the government for these tribes and therefore not really owned by anyone, very few houses, especially houses of any real worth, are actually built on these lands. Additionally, due in part to the many restrictions that come with reservation lands, many tribal members can’t afford to build or buy homes and live in government-subsidized housing instead.

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Tennessee: Lake County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $322 (2.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $331
- Median home value in 2020: $87,100
- Ranked #388 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

A truly unique place, Lake County, Tennessee, is defined by the 15,000-acre Reelfoot Lake, which was created by the Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812. The flooded forest system is a major tourist attraction, but a general lack of industry—most residents work in public administration or manufacturing—keeps many visitors from settling down in the area permanently.

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Texas: Kent County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $137 (21.7% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $175
- Median home value in 2020: $37,000
- Ranked #4 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Evidence of human inhabitants in Kent County, Texas, dates back some 10,000 years to the Folsom culture. But despite having all that time to grow, the county remains one of the least populated in the lone star state with only 762 residents. Historically a farming community, Kent County grew significantly when oil was discovered in 1946. But when production ceased in the ’90s, hundreds of folks moved away.

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Utah: San Juan County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $513 (14.1% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $597
- Median home value in 2020: $138,500
- Ranked #1,581 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

San Juan County, Utah, shares borders with Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, and is home to one-fourth of the Four Corners Monument. The county, created in 1880 through the authorization of the Utah Territory, is largely Native American (47.3%).

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Vermont: Essex County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $545 (6% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $580
- Median home value in 2020: $147,300
- Ranked #1,732 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Small but growing, Essex County, Vermont, has six cities that have been deemed Gateway Cities, or cities with below-average household incomes and levels of adult education that are ripe for increased investment by the government. These designations are indicative of the county’s overall financial situation, which would keep residents from building, buying, or selling massively expensive homes.

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Virginia: Buchanan County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $287 (6.2% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $306
- Median home value in 2020: $77,600
- Ranked #182 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Another Appalachian county, Buchanan County, Virginia, has one of the highest percentages of adult disability recipients in the country. Nearly all of the adults who collect disability do so because they suffered an on-the-job accident in the area’s many mines, quarries, and oil extraction plants. As neither these industries nor federal disability programs pay all that much, poverty in the area is nearly 30% which certainly has an effect on home prices in the county.

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Washington: Garfield County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $604 (2.4% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $619
- Median home value in 2020: $163,100
- Ranked #1,958 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Pomeroy, Washington, the center of wheat, barley, and cattle country, and the only town in Garfield County, is not exactly what one would call a booming metropolis. While the sleepy small town does well for itself economically, it isn’t exactly drawing in tons of new residents. And when there’s little-to-no increase in population size, one can also assume that there is little-to-no demand for homes, which would drive up property values and selling prices.

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West Virginia: McDowell County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $136 (7.5% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $147
- Median home value in 2020: $36,600
- Ranked #3 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

All told, there aren’t a lot of things that draw new residents to McDowell County, West Virginia, which keeps demand for housing low. Life expectancy here is far below average; drug abuse is a major problem; jobs are hard to find, especially now that Walmart and The First National Bank of Keystone are gone; and the area is classified as a food desert.

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Wisconsin: Menominee County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $397 (12.4% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $453
- Median home value in 2020: $107,200
- Ranked #889 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Just like Todd County in South Dakota, Menominee County, Wisconsin, is coterminous with the Menominee Indian Reservation. For similar reasons, including a lack of individual land ownership and high poverty rates, there isn’t much new housing or demand for housing in the area, which keeps prices on homes lower than in other areas like nearby Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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Wyoming: Hot Springs County

- Monthly mortgage payment in 2020: $567 (14.6% less than 2019)
- Monthly mortgage payment in 2019: $664
- Median home value in 2020: $153,000
- Ranked #1,813 out of 3,120 counties nationwide

Finally, there’s Hot Springs County, Wyoming. A shrinking county reliant on tourism, agriculture, and industry for its economy, the area's low home prices are due in part to the fact that more people move out than in each year.

This story was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio.

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