Tell Friends in Portland, Denver and Chicago: Houses are Cheap in Cincinnati

Talk about affordability.  Cincinnati is a bargain shopper’s paradise if you are trying to scrape together the down-payment for your own home in most other cities.  We’re #4 on the list of the 27 biggest markets around the country.

With a median HOUSEHOLD income for city residents of a little over $33,000, we’re not a wealthy city – but that’s still enough to be able to afford a median home of $138,100.

So come on back all you go-getters who set off to find your fortunes elsewhere and now wonder if it’s worth how much it costs.  We’ve got everything those (supposedly) sexier cities have got and we’ve got it at a fraction of the price.


12 thoughts on “Tell Friends in Portland, Denver and Chicago: Houses are Cheap in Cincinnati

  1. Bill Collins

    This is basically why my wife and I moved here in 1988 from Boston. She was a native of Boston, and in our mid-30s we saw her old friends struggling to buy homes there.

    Almost none of her friends were able to afford to live in the Boston-area community where they grew up. That was then, and clearly it’s much worse now.

    Thank goodness my sister had already moved here. By moving to Cincinnati, that opened the door for us to save a boatload of money and set us up for a secure retirement.

  2. John Schneider

    I think it’s great that Cincinnati has just about the lowest cost of living in the United States. We all benefit from it. But, sad to say, it probably means the big, broad market out there doesn’t believe Cincinnati is a very good place to live. Not my personal view. We need to work on this.

    1. executivedreamer Post author

      Well, John Schneider, I am not a savvy real estate investor, such as yourself, but in the stock market the time to buy is when prices are low – before the benefits are obvious to the masses.

      1. Zachary Schunn

        Agreed. Right now, Cincinnati is a hot buy. And that is why we see so many out of town investors and developers entering the market.

        My only fear is those 3 cities above us. They all have one major advantage we don’t… real mass transit.

  3. andy scheurer

    Hi Kathy – you’ve lost your way a bit with this and previous. I follow you because you sniffed out the imbalance and inside-dealing in this fair city. There are plenty of cheerleaders for what’s great about this town. Cost of living, OTR, arts & culture are quite good for such a small town and kudos to movers & shakers in this city for keeping them alive. That said, the powers behind the thrones at CBC, Port Authority and Mayor Cranley’s band of merry pranksters is where light needs to be shed.

    The Great American Insurance Tower decimated office buildings by driving up vacancies throughout downtown Cincinnati. The deals on tax abatement, TIF funding, emergency legislation to benefit select entities; this is what needs to be elevated to permissible discussion.

    Andy Scheurer Innovation – Strategy – Marketing 513-898-0586 (office) 269-203-5185 (cell)

    1. executivedreamer Post author

      Ten years or so ago I went to Ed Stern at Playhouse in the Park with an idea to get Cincinnati to talk about things that we found hard to talk about. I wanted to do a speakers’ series that featured dissenting voices that didn’t get enough attention (i.e. Black United Front). Ed’s a really smart guy. He told me I needed to get everybody into the room, that if I only put one side of an issue on the table only one kind of audience would show up and I wouldn’t change a thing. — Cincyopolis reflects the tip of the iceberg as I wander through Cincinnati trying to learn and build consensus. Because that’s what real change is – the long slow process of listening with respect and coming to some middle ground that is better than what was before. These last two posts – I haven’t lost my way. I really believe what I’m saying. Life is complicated that way. Don’t worry, Andy. I’m not done yet. I’m pretty sure if you stick with cincyopolis you won’t be disappointed.

  4. Bill Cappel

    We need to connect the affordable market rate housing in the neighborhoods with downtown amenities. That’s why I’m in favor of a high frequency transit circulator bus network (10 minutes or less between vehicles) for Uptown that would connect to the Streetcar at University Plaza. Fares would be $1 for two hours like the streetcar and transfer between lines would be free. It would connect all hospitals as well as UC, XU, and the Zoo. See my plan here:

    1. Curt Parrott

      Bill Cappel, I am a fan of your idea for expanding circulator service in our urban neighborhoods and especially our major jobs centers. Such services are essential to compliment regional transit. I’ve been repeatedly bringing up the idea of a public / commercial BRT system with limited stop and non stop capability to compete with cars in commute time and increase revenues to pay for expanded bus and streetcar routes. Capturing some of the daily expenditures of commuters that clog our highways seems like a no brainer for funding expanded circulator services if it’s a practical alternative to driving. This is an untapped source of revenue because current services are so impractical and lack amenities and conveniences. See for more on the idea.


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