How much house $200K can buy you in 30 major cities
After maintaining a somewhat steady rise for the last decade, the U.S. housing market is in a state of slowdown. And even though young job-seekers continue to flock to the nearest respective urban hub, real estate markets in various cities across the country have similarly weakened in their momentum. That’s bad news for sellers and agents, but for potential homeowners, this all might come as something of a relief. After all, urban real estate prices were getting quite high; especially in places like San Francisco that seem to remain feverishly expensive regardless of circumstance.
Despite market trends, one thing generally holds: $200,000 doesn’t buy as much house as it did in the immediate wake of the 2008 financial crisis. After global markets crashed because of low mortgage lending standards, real estate prices dropped precipitously. The good news is while the warning signs of the next recession are already here, housing prices will probably be fine even if the economy takes a turn for the worse.
The bad news is that housing prices are still out of reach for many working-class Americans. Some mid-size cities and states are experimenting with updating their zoning policies to allow for more construction, which in turn eases the upward pressure on rents. Democratic candidates have several ideas to help renters and buyers, from an expansion of public housing construction to tax credits for renters.
But just how much house does $200,000 buy, exactly? For the answer, Stacker headed over to Zillow, the internet’s foremost real estate database that uses nifty algorithms to track new and existing home sales across the country.
Using Zillow research data, Stacker determined how much $200,000 could buy in certain major cities by obtaining the median listing price for a home in each city, as well as the city’s median listing price per square foot. Stacker then used that information to determine the amount of square footage of a home that $200,000 could buy there.
From the least amount of square footage to the most, here is how much house one can get for $200,000 in 30 major cities.
You may also like: Best cities for house flippers
#30: San Jose, CA
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 295 square feet
- Median listing price: $1,089,900
- Median listing price per square foot: $678
Like San Francisco, San Jose is another California city that’s seen rapid economic growth due to the tech industry. Should one arrive here with $200,000 to spend on a house, they’ll be disappointed to find 295 square feet is all their budget would allow—which is equivalent to an extra-small apartment.
#29: Los Angeles, CA
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 373 square feet
- Median listing price: $849,000
- Median listing price per square foot: $536
While housing prices continue to rise in Los Angeles, 2018 has still brought some cooling-off periods, with the potential for more on the horizon. Nevertheless, it ranks among the most expensive places to live in the country, where one can get about 373 square feet of property for $200,000. Theoretically, that square footage is the size of a tiny house.
#28: San Francisco, CA
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 397 square feet
- Median listing price: $825,000
- Median listing price per square foot: $503
No modern city encapsulates the urban boom more than San Francisco, which has undergone dramatic economic changes over the past few decades. Not only is the city just a 45-minute drive away from Palo Alto and Silicon Valley—respective homes to some of tech’s most well-known companies—but it’s a thriving economic hub on its own. Here, $200,000 will get one a meager 397 square feet of house, which is basically the size of a giant walk-in closet.
#27: San Diego, CA
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 521 square feet
- Median listing price: $655,000
- Median listing price per square foot: $384
The average annual temperature in San Diego is a breezy 64 degrees Fahrenheit, making this Southern California city a desirable place to live for people from all walks of life. Nevertheless, San Diego has been in a slump of sorts, with lagging gross domestic product growth and a shaky housing market. Today $200,000 will reportedly fetch about 521 square feet.
#26: Boston, MA
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 662 square feet
- Median listing price: $539,999
- Median listing price per square foot: $302
An influx of young city dwellers and a lack of new construction are just two reasons as to why Boston’s real estate market has soared to epic heights in recent years. As a result, $200,000 will get someone a median 662 square feet, which means no house at all—barely a one-bedroom apartment. On the bright side, one can own a sweet parking spot for half as much.
#25: Seattle, WA
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 677 square feet
- Median listing price: $525,000
- Median listing price per square foot: $295
As the home to Amazon, Microsoft, and a slew of other big names in tech, Seattle is yet one more city to experience rapid economic growth in recent years. According to one report, there were 136,910 tech jobs in Seattle in 2017, with employees earning an average of $113,906 per year. For $200,000, one can potentially afford 677 square feet of property, which is about the size of a small houseboat or condo.
#24: Denver, CO
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 742 square feet
- Median listing price: $450,000
- Median listing price per square foot: $269
Thanks to a robust, diverse economy and a low unemployment rate, Denver is the country’s fifth fastest-growing city in terms of economic growth. Meanwhile, young, educated hipsters continue to flock to Colorado’s capital in droves. As a result, living in the Mile High City has become more desirable and, naturally, more expensive. For $200,000, one can get a 742-square-foot condo.
#23: Minneapolis, MN
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 752 square feet
- Median listing price: $314,900
- Median listing price per square foot: $266
Despite losing its most iconic star in 2016, the city of Minneapolis has been growing at its fastest rate since 1950. Indeed, it seems that no amount of cold winter weather is going to cool down this hot market, where $200,000 fetches about 752 square feet of property—although, there are some charming older houses for sale at under $200,000.
#22: Washington D.C.
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 842 square feet
- Median listing price: $444,900
- Median listing price per square foot: $238
There’s more money in politics now than ever before, which might help explain Washington D.C.’s exorbitant cost of living. The nation’s capital is also known as one of the best “tech cities” in the country, and where there’s new tech, there’s a hot real estate market. Meanwhile, the federal Height Act, a restrictive building-size policy dating back to 1910, is sometimes pointed to as being partly responsible for the city’s lack of available housing. Whatever the case, $200,000 is good for about 842 square feet of real estate in Washington D.C.
#21: Miami, FL
- Estimated square footage $200,000 can buy: 902 square feet
- Median listing price: $89,900
- Median listing price per square foot: $222
Some scientists predict that Miami will experience chronic flooding in less than 30 years, but that hasn’t stopped people from moving there. As such, it’s a somewhat expensive place to live, where $200,000 snags about 902 square feet of property on average. The good news is that there are condos for sale at under $200,000 this very minute. The bad news is that whole “impending flood” issue.2018 All rights reserved.