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Youngstown metro most-affordable market in U.S.

Published: Thu, August 16, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.


The National Association of Home Builders has ranked the Youngstown metro area as the most-affordable market in which to buy a house in the second quarter. From left, Lynda Cononico and Yvonne Smith of Real Living Brokers Realty Group stand before their latest listing on Elm Trace Street in Austintown.




The Youngstown metro area has been named the most-affordable market to buy a home in the United States in this year’s second quarter.

The ranking was made by the National Association of Home Builders and announced by CNN Money. It cites the area’s median home price as $80,000 and a median income in the community of $55,700, making purchasing a home affordable.

The National Association of Home Builders lists the Youngstown metro area as communities in Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio — specifically Youngstown, Warren and Boardman — and Mercer County, Pa.

The rest of the cities in the NAHB’s top five for affordable home buying were Dayton, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y., Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind., and Modesto, Calif.

Affordable housing will be a good thing for this area as the economy continues to grow over the next five years, said Michael Klacik, broker at Klacik Realty in Poland.

There are a lot of positive aspects in the area with growth in the oil and gas industry, at General Motors in Lordstown and with V&M Star, he said.

“It’s unheard of in some parts of the country to be able to purchase a home in the $50,000, $60,000 or $70,000 price range and get a nice home in a safe community,” Klacik said. “You can do that in Struthers, Boardman or Austintown, and I believe all those are recognized as excellent schools.”

The low price range allows young families to buy their first home without being overwhelmed by the cost, he said.

The Youngstown metro market always has been a great value, said Sandy Bates, a real-estate agent with Howard Hanna and president-elect of the Youngstown Columbiana Association of Realtors.

The Valley’s real-estate market is benefiting from the ongoing economic activities and its location between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, she said.

People have learned they can work in either Pittsburgh or Cleveland and drive from this area. They find out “they can get a lot more house for the money” in the Youngstown area, said Debbie Parisi, president of the Youngstown Columbiana Association of Realtors.

As more people come to the area taking new jobs, the median home price will increase, she said.

Homes that are competitively priced are selling quickly, Parisi said, which is something that has not always been true within the Valley.

“The growth has been real consistent and steady,” she said.

The rating is a good sign for the market because it was based on both income and housing costs, said Yvonne Smith, Warren area regional president for the Ohio Association of Realtors.

“Right now, we’re just starting to turn from a buyer’s market into a seller’s market,” she said.

The next thing that will occur is there will be an increase in new-home construction, Smith said.

“A lot of builders lost their business during the crash, but the next thing I expect we’ll see is holes in the ground and new homes being built,” she said.

There still is the need to demolish a number of vacant homes that no longer serve a purpose in the current real-estate market, Smith said. Those properties should be repurposed because there already are city services being provided to those locations, she added.


1southsidedave(5183 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

May be the most affordable, but who really wants to move here? I agree with the above comment concerning the high income taxes, where does the money go?

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2Ypboy(63 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

It's called dressing up a pig.

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3SunnySkies(20 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I sold my home in the Youngstown area 10 years ago for twice what it is selling for on the market today. If I would have stayed, I would have lost my shirt. The once decent neighborhoods have gone downhill. However, if you are retired, have a steady income, and don't mind the 50's mentality of the area, it could be the place for you. As far as taxes, the complaining here is ridiculous. In 2010, I paid $7400 in just property taxes where I now live, in another city in Ohio.

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4city_resident(528 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

First, this is about the metro area, not the city. Second, I don't see what the big deal is about the income tax. Sure, the city could be run more efficiently/effectively. I'm not arguing there isn't room for improvement. But the biggest reason our income tax is so high is the small tax base. I have to wonder though, if 2.75% is proving to be a hardship, perhaps you're living beyond your means? Lastly, and this is just my preference, I'm not worried about falling property values. I chose my houses (I have 2, one is a project) because I like their location and amenities nearby, and the houses themselves.(both are over 90 years old) Even if their total value dropped by 50%, (seems unlikely) I'd only be out $25k. So what; how is that different from buying a nice new car?

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5taxme(361 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I went online and found a lot of homes in Canfield, Poland, and Boardman under $60,000. All EXCELLENT school systems!

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6jkurtz(2 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

I plan to stay away from anything within city limits. Taxes and high insurance due to high arson and car theft are enough incentive among other things. But I do agree with the mention of the metro area-Boardman, Poland, Austintown, Struthers, Girard, and the list goes on. All great neighborhhods and good schools! If the economy truly rebounds with the YBI, shale, etc., then we could be in a position to buy low and see property rise in 5+years

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7Spiderlegs(160 comments)posted 3 years, 8 months ago

All the comments about the low cost of Youngtown city's undesirable housing are on track. However, metro areas are formally defined by the Census Bureau and include the suburbs. When you factor in places like Poland, Boardman, and Canfield, the metro area isn't that bad.

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