Study Reveals America’s Cheapest and Safest States for Housing in 2023

Over the last decade, home prices across the United States have risen dramatically. What was once considered a safe and stable investment has rapidly transformed into an unattainable dream for many American families. Housing values have skyrocketed nationwide, pricing many buyers out of the market. But bargains still exist, if you know where to look. The study examined the latest housing data from Zillow and FBI Violent Crime statistics to pinpoint the top states for cheap and safe living. Focusing on bottom-tier home values and per capita crime rates allowed standardized comparisons.

FormRush researchers identified the top 10 cheapest housing that also boasts low crime rates, suggesting safer neighborhoods for the new generation of citizens.

Just How Much Have Home Values Appreciated in 10 Years?

Home values increased dramatically from 2013 to 2023, rising 86.9% nationally to an average of $348,539. This rapid appreciation is outpacing income growth, severely reducing affordability. It has benefited existing homeowners through rising equity but prevented many first-time buyers from entering the market.

New data reveals the most affordable housing markets in the United States based on their bottom-tier home values from 2022 to 2023. The analysis uncovered several hidden gems clustered in the nation’s heartland where prices remain remarkably reasonable compared to the rest of the country.

Top 10 states with the cheapest housing market

*(The average price of Housing based on one year )*

New data reveals that these 10 states like West Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Iowa, and Ohio offer some of the cheapest housing markets in the U.S. These areas offer home buyers the ability to purchase residential property at well below national average prices.

While prices have risen due to demand during the pandemic, these areas remain among the country’s most budget-friendly markets for those seeking to buy a home. The combination of lagging economies and a population decline has kept housing valuations grounded compared to booming coastal markets.

For buyers willing to live outside major urban hubs, these states provide residential bargains.

The Top 10 States with the Lowest Violent Crime Reporting

*(Based on cheapest Housing and the Lowest Crime Rate)*

Rank State Average Home Price Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 Residents)
1 Kentucky $96,000 217
2 Iowa $113,000 267
3 Mississippi $89,000 278
4 West Virginia $78,000 317
5 Ohio $117,000 293
6 Kansas $97,000 411
7 Oklahoma $98,000 432
8 Alabama $110,000 511
9 Louisiana $107,000 549
10 Arkansas $98,000                               585             Formrush

The crime rate is measuring violent crime as (murder, rape, assault). With 379.4 crimes reported per 100,000 Residents, the United States faces a considerable level of violence compared to other developed nations. Though not as high as some developing countries, the U.S. violent crime rate signifies ongoing public safety challenges across much of the nation

Low crime rate states have between 100-300 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Medium Crime Rate States have between 300-499 incidents per 100,000 residents, and High Crime Rate States have over 500 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Topping the list with the cheapest and the safest place to live is Kentucky, where the typical home value is just $96,000 and crime rates are only 217 incidents per 100,000 residents. Its small towns, horse farms, and Bourbon Trail mix southern charm with bargains and safety.

Other cheap and safe havens include Iowa, which trails close behind Kentucky as the second most affordable and secure state. At $113,000 per home and 267 crimes per 100,000  residents. Mississippi, and Ohio  – all offer low Violent Crime Rates under 300.

West Virginia, Kansas, and Oklahoma are considered states with cheap houses but with a moderate crime rate.

In the other top 10, there are Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas which are considered states with cheap houses but high crime rates.

While expensive coastal cities garner much attention related to economic opportunities, the Formrush analysis highlights the hidden gems for affordable living in America’s heartland. For young people starting or retirees on fixed incomes, these states allow people to become homeowners and enjoy safe communities. Their lower costs of living also enable residents to stretch their money further for other necessities and savings goals.

With careful research from Formrush using authoritative data sources, citizens can find the best areas to put down roots that align with their budget limitations.

All the U.S States ranking.

*(Based on cheapest Housing Markets and the Lowest Crime Rate)*

Rank State Average Home Price Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 Residents)
4 West Virginia $78,000 317
3 Mississippi $89,000 278
1 Kentucky $96,000 217
6 Kansas $97,000 411
7 Oklahoma $98,000 432
10 Arkansas $98,000 585
9 Louisiana $107,000 549
8 Alabama $110,000 511
2 Iowa $113,000 267
5 Ohio $117,000 293
39 Michigan $124,000 437
38 Illinois $126,000 407
40 Missouri $129,000 495
37 Indiana $137,000 371
28 Pennsylvania $140,000 306
13 North Dakota $147,000 285
21 Nebraska $147,000 301
34 South Carolina $165,000 511
20 Wisconsin $170,000 293
33 North Carolina $170,000 372
14 South Dakota $170,000 399
41 Tennessee $170,000 595
47 New Mexico $175,000 832
35 Georgia $176,000 341
11 Virginia $203,000 208
48 Texas $203,000 419
30 New York $206,000 359
19 Minnesota $207,000 236
16 Wyoming $218,000 179
24 Maine $227,000 115
49 Alaska $232,000 867
22 Vermont $238,000 152
31 Connecticut $238,000 184
32 Maryland $242,000 454
36 Florida $263,000 378
12 Montana $285,000 405
23 New Hampshire $291,000 153
29 New Jersey $304,000 207
25 Rhode Island $310,000 221
45 Arizona $310,000 455
46 Nevada $322,000 494
15 Idaho $347,000 224
17 Oregon $367,000 284
44 Colorado $369,000 381
18 Utah $382,000 236
27 Massachusetts $383,000 328
43 Washington $387,000 294
26 Hawaii $461,000 286
42 California $461,000 441
50 District of Columbia $461,000                              1049         Formrush

Some additional key takeaways from our study include:

  • A notable 86.9% increase in a decade in home prices nationally from 2013-2023, leading to decreased affordability.
  • The current average US home value is $348,539 and the violent crime rate is 379.4.
  • States with the cheapest housing in the U.S. include  West Virginia at $78,000, Mississippi at $89,000, Kentucky at $96,000, Kansas at$97,000, Arkansas at$98,000, Louisiana at $107,000, Alabama at $110,000, Iowa at $113,000, Ohio at $117,000.
  • Strong price appreciation is driven by high demand and limited supply.
  • Rapid growth has reduced affordability, pricing some buyers out of the market.
  • Benefited existing homeowners through rising equity, but hurt first-time buyers.


This analysis identified the top 10 most affordable U.S. housing markets with low crime rates by comparing home values and crime statistics across all 50 states. Median bottom-tier single-family home values for each state were gathered from Zillow housing data from August 2022 to August 2023. These values represent starter and budget-friendly housing markets.

Crime rates per 100,000 residents were calculated for each state using the latest violent and property crime data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program. States were ranked based on their average bottom-tier home values and overall crime rates per capita over the past year. Low home values and crime rates were preferred.

The top 10 states were extracted based on having the most affordable housing prices coupled with lower crime rates. Tables and visualizations were created to showcase the housing affordability and crime rate data for the top 10 states.

The calculation of crime rate was done by gathering the total violent rates of all those states and multiplying with the 100,000 residents Focusing the analysis on median bottom-tier home values and per capita crime rates allowed for standardized comparisons across states with varying populations and housing markets. This methodology identified affordable markets optimized for safety and budget-conscious buying.


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