Can You Really Buy A House In New York City For Under $150,000?


Growing housing prices continues to be a concern especially for those living in the most populous and desirable U.S. cities. And for good reason as, with the constant rise in million-dollar and luxury homes for sale, the threshold for what is considered affordable homes is getting higher as well.

Our latest analysis found that homes for under $150,000 now make up less than 5% of all homes currently on the market in the most in demand U.S. cities, while homes under $100,000 are almost non-existent.

In New York City specifically, the share of homes under $150,000 currently on the market is of only of 0.6% given the median price of $759,000.

Below you have some of our key findings:

  • In 25 of the largest U.S. cities, homes under $150,000 constitute less than 1% of all homes currently available on the market;
  • 5 of the most populous cities have zero homes available for $150,000 or less: San Francisco (CA), Irvine (CA), Oakland (CA), Gilbert (AZ), Henderson (NV);
  • Of the 4 cities where the median home price is higher than $1 million, only Fremont (CA) has 1% affordable homes for sale, along with San Jose (CA) where homes under this price point represented 0.3%;
  • Saint Petersburg (FL) and Mesa (AZ) are the only two cities to have a share of more affordable homes above 10%: 12.3% and 14.8%, respectively.

The following properties for under $150Kwere found in three of the boroughs of New York City, including one garden apartment on Staten Island:

There are also examples of homes for $150,000 or under in Upstate New York, mostly in Albany, Syracuse, and Utica.

Following is the article about the study, including the data set, originally published on Point2Homes:

Homes Under $150,000. Image Credit - Point2Homes.

Homes Under $150,000. Image Credit – Point2Homes.

Affordable Homes in the Big City: Does $150,000 Get You Anything Anymore?

As the number of million-dollar homes spikes, lower-priced homes are at ridiculously low levels in the top 50 most populous and most expensive U.S. cities.

Despite it all, home prices just keep skyrocketing. In the largest, most desirable U.S. cities, the number of homes worth more than $1 million has exploded, nearly doubling compared to pre-pandemic times. And, while this may be great news for those who already own a home, it’s definitely dispiriting for homebuyers. 

Accordingly, the increases in prices mean that the threshold for what can be considered affordable housing is rising, as well: Although $150,000 might still mean something for homebuyers in certain parts of the country, it’s come to mean almost nothing for those wanting to get on the housing ladder in the top 50 most populous cities. Whether they’re called entry-level homes, starter homes or simply cheap houses, the properties that should be the opposite of ultra-luxury are becoming more and more scarce.

So, to gauge the current stock of homes less than $150,000 and see if this bare minimum home price can get homebuyers anything anymore, we analyzed the share of cheap homes in the 50 most expensive and desirable U.S. cities.

The results show that, in 46 of the 50 largest cities, homes under $150,000 represent less than 5% of all homes currently on the market. What’s more, homes under $100,000 are almost non-existent. Unfortunately, what used to be considered decently priced homes for first-time homebuyers are now simply vanishing.

Check out the main findings below for more insights:

  • In 25 large cities, homes under $150,000 represent less than 1% of all homes currently available for sale.
  • Only two cities — Mesa, AZ and Saint Petersburg, FL — have shares of affordable homes between 10% and 15%.
  • Henderson, NV; Gilbert, AZ; San Francisco, CA; Irvine, CA; and Oakland, CA had zero homes priced less than $150,000 when the data was collected.
  • Of the four cities where the median price is higher than $1 million, only Fremont, CA and San Jose, CA have some affordable homes for sale: 1% in Fremont and 0.3% in San Jose.


For example, San Francisco, CA; Irvine, CA; Oakland, CA; Gilbert, AZ and Henderson, NV have zero homes for sale that cost $150,000 or less. In fact, California even has one more city in the top 10 places with the smallest share of homes under $150,000 currently on the market: In San Jose, only 0.28% of all homes for sale are in this most affordable category.

Arizona is the second state to make multiple appearances in the top 10: Here, three cities have an affordable inventory so low that it barely registers.

Mesa, AZ & Saint Petersburg, FL Break the Mold; 2 Other Cities Have Shares of Affordable Homes at 5%+

Even the cities with the most significant shares of affordable homes don’t have particularly impressive numbers. Mesa, AZ and Saint Petersburg, FL may have a percentage of affordable homes higher than 10%, but they’re the outliers.

Similarly, Dallas, TX and Tampa, FL have shares of affordable homes slightly higher than 5%, but the rest of the cities with the highest shares of affordable inventory all post numbers well below 5%.


Notably, no matter how high or low their shares of homes under $150,000, the median price in all 50 cities is not strongly correlated with the share of affordable inventory. For example, although Mesa and Sacramento have similar median home prices, their share of homes under $150,000 varies drastically.

The lack of correlation between median home prices and affordable home prices in a given city — and even the lack of correlation between high stocks of luxury homes and low inventory of affordable homes — shows that there’s more to the affordability debate than meets the eye. For instance, some cities have many expensive homes, but also a decent stock of more affordable homes, while others seem to have no more room for more affordable units. Zoning laws and land prices also play a major role in the affordability debate, but many other factors influence this aspect as well.

The types of homes that $150,000 can buy you in different cities also vary. Naturally, in more affordable cities and areas of the country, this money goes a long way. But in the truly expensive, most-wanted urban hubs, $150,000 means almost nothing. And, sometimes, even cities that are in the same state and separated by just a few miles can display great disparities. For example, in Mesa, AZ, $110,000 buys you a two-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,560-square-foot home, whereas less than 10 miles away in Gilbert, AZ, you’d need almost $285,000 to buy the cheapest two-bedroom, two-bathroom home currently on the market.

To see the full list of cities included in the analysis, their median home prices and the share of affordable homes below $150,000, scroll through the table below:


  • To determine the 50 largest, most expensive cities in the U.S., we looked at population and median home prices in the top 100 most populous cities in the nation.
  • We ranked the 100 most populous cities based on their median home prices and then looked at the number of homes below $150,000 in each of the top 50 most expensive cities.
  • For the final list of active listings in each city, we examined and counted listings from Point2, Zillow, Redfin and To calculate the share of affordable real estate and create the final ranking, we selected and used the source that had the biggest number of listings available, after eliminating the duplicates.
  • The study was based on all active listings at the time of the analysis (during the last week of March 2022).


Banner Image: Caravan of Mobile Homes. Image Credit – 27707



Andra Hopulele

With a passion for all things real estate and home design, Andra covers the impact of housing issues on our everyday lives. She writes about the financial implications of the new generations entering the housing market and about the challenges of homeownership. Andra can be reached at [email protected]

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