Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 20, 2014

Kokomo tops list of most affordable small cities

Study highlights housing affordability index among small housing markets.

A study recently named Kokomo the most affordable small city in America, based on housing prices and income.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index ranked Kokomo highest on its housing affordability index among small housing markets. The ranking has since been featured online on CNN Money and The Huffington Post.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight said the city has long carried the distinction of having affordable housing.

“We’ve been on that list, on and off, for the last decade or two,” he said. “When you look at the quality of the cities that we were recognized along with — Davenport, Iowa, Bay City, Mich., Lima, Ohio — these are all nice mid-sized American cities. The fact that we’re at the top of that list says a lot about our city.

“Kokomo’s employment opportunities and quality-of-life consistently place us at the top in the nation for cities to live,” he added. “If you work in this region, Kokomo is the best and most affordable place to live and raise a family.”

According to the index, 96.3 percent of all new and existing homes sold in Kokomo during the fourth quarter of 2013 were affordable to families earning the median income of $60,100.

In Kokomo, the median home price in the fourth quarter of 2013 was $85,000. Nationally, the price was $205,000.

Goodnight said affordability will remain part of the city’s mission in providing housing across all demographics.

“You want options for every income level,” he said. “You want young people just getting started in their careers and you want them to be able to afford to live here. You also have people in the middle part of their lives and those that are recently retired, and you want to make sure they can afford to live in the community, too.

“You want a lot of options,” he added. “We have as much quality housing stock as any city our size. We also need other options, too, like condos, apartments and town houses.”

The list also included Mansfield, Ohio, Fairbanks, Alaska, Vineland, N.J., and Davenport, Iowa.

Martin Slagter can be reached at 765-454-8570, martin.slagter@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @slagterm.

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