Cities Where Homes Cost Less than a Car

Rusty Weston, MSNBC, July 23, 2012

For many Americans, homeownership is the epitome of living the American dream. Yet, in towns with high tumbling home prices and double-digit vacancy rates, median-priced homes now cost the equivalent of new American cars—except, as investments go, they’re slightly more risky.


This quandary is especially meaningful to residents of Motor City, who have experienced deepening levels of housing hell in recent years. Much has been written about Detroit’s high misery index, and the challenges of thriving in a city with high unemployment, high crime rates, and city services under severe budgetary constraints. And yet, for those willing to take a long view of the city, Detroit also offers amazing bargains to residents dedicated to living in that community.


These are the cities where homes cost less than a car:

1. Detroit

  •  Median listing price: $21,000
  •  Comparably priced car: Chevy Malibu ($21,000)
  •  Housing price change (year over year): 5.2 percent
  •  Median household income: $29,447
  •  Unemployment: 9.9 percent


2. Flint, Mich.

  •  Median listing price: $31,950
  •  Comparably priced car: Chrysler 300 ($31,950)
  •  Housing price change (year over year): n/a
  •  Median household income: $28,835
  •  Unemployment: 8.9 percent

According to Trulia’s Kolko, both Flint and Detroit experienced significant housing-price declines, not because of overbuilding as in Florida but because of “long-term job decline coupled with declining populations.” Worse, Flint suffers from a significant amount of poverty with about 44 percent of the population earning less than $25,000 a year, according to Census economic data.

3. Gary, Ind.

  •  Median listing price: $39,900
  •  Comparably priced car: Ford Expedition ($39,900)
  •  Housing price change (year over year):—7.5 percent
  •  Median household income: $27,367
  •  Unemployment: 8.5 percent


4. Redford, Mich.

  •  Median listing price: $40,000
  •  Comparably priced car: Ford F-450 ($55,000)
  •  Housing price change (year over year): 5.2 percent
  •  Median household income: $52,573
  •  Unemployment: 9.9 percent

Redford is not a large city, but it suffers from problems such as 1-in-159 homes in foreclosure, the worst rate among cities on this list. It also has aging homes, most of which were built just after World War II and may be expensive to maintain. Like Warren, prices have dropped by 38.5 percent from their peak according to FHFA data. On the bright side, at $52,573 the average annual income in Redford is higher than in many of its neighboring cities on this list.

5. Warren, Mich.

  •  Median listing price: $49,900
  •  Comparably priced car: Lincoln Navigator ($59,900)
  •  Housing price change (year over year): 6.5 percent
  •  Median household income: $46,247
  •  Unemployment: 9.9 percent



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  • Biff_Maliboo

    Cut your housing expenses in half! Live in the car!


      No one is going to move into a gutted black home that has their smell and the smell of puke all over.  Those government drone ships will be soon carrying rockets and bombs to maybe burn down black homes.

      • Same goes for the car.  No amount of air fresheners can get out the smell of a former black owner.

        • Playing basketball with blacks is tough. About half-way through the game they smell so bad it’s hard to breathe.

  • WmarkW

    Not related to the core message of AmRen:

    Some enterprising large employer should buy up all the housing in one of these towns, move their headquarters there, then tell prospective employees that they can buy a house from them for $50k to raise a family in.  Our country really should be trying to move people out of expensive cities and into these empty rust belt towns.

  • Francis Galton

    It would be very interesting to find out what percentage of blacks own (stole?) cars with higher assessed values than the homes they “stay” at (most black people don’t LIVE at any address).

    • JackKrak

      I’d rather have the car – then you drive away from all the black people.

  • Strider73

    Nah, just issue each employee a handgun, a shotgun and ammunition for both. Also enroll each employee in a CCW certification class and cover the fee for the permit. Then build a company gun range where they can practice.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Only one problem with this scenario, guys: when these armed whites living in this gated community in Detroit eventually shoot some home invaders they’ll be facing a black judge, a black d.a. and an all-black jury.

  • Many landlords love Section 8 housing because they are guaranteed the bulk of the rent from the government, regardless who lives there. The only problem is that it would cost them more money to fix up the place after each Section 8 tenant moves out.

  • Crime Documentary once spoke of:

    White Christian Preacher just moved into a black neighborhood, wasn’t even unpacked, a knock on the door, he opened it and was stabbed in the chest by a black man.  Convicted and sentenced to death and stupid race traitor “christian” white daughter actually fought to save negro’s life. (this was a robbery attempt believe it or not).

    That is how stupid people really are.  When your own daughter fights to save the life of the black who murdered you, these people cannot be allowed to stay with us.  They’re poison worse than cyanide.

    • Sloppo

      When and where did that happen?

    • haroldcrews

      It’s a very poor Christian who prefers injustice to justice.

    • The__Bobster

      Delaware Minister Attacked
      By Shelley Laurence and Denise Nakano | Friday, Jul 20, 2012 | Updated 11:46 PM

      A 70-year old minister is sporting a black eye and six stitches on his forehead. Reverend John Holden tells NBC10 he was attacked while walking through a Wilmington park.

      “I wasn’t aware of anything until all of a sudden, a big thunk and then a second thunk.

      “Rev. Holden says it happened late Wednesday afternoon.

      A group of teens jumped him from behind in Cool Spring Park near Van Buren and Park Place. He was just two blocks from home.

      “I’ve been walking this neighborhood for 45 years, why not?” said Holden.

    • mikejones91

      I despise “those” whites more than ANYthing on this earth/probably the universe. 

  • tacheles

    Blacks play an important role as inflation fighters, make housing affordable and keep the American dream alive [sarcasm off]

  • Shawn_thefemale

     There is an alternative version also:  “Where you stays?”  I guess it’s just for variation.

  • Strider73

    And he did tell his disciples to arm themselves, even if it meant selling their cloak to raise the money. Jesus definitely believed in self-defense.

  • Detroit_WASP

    The unemployment rate in Detroit is more like 50%.  Seriously, I hear social workers on the news say things like that.  There are people there that NEVER had a job and are not counted in unemployment stats.