How We Rate: Home

Home Buying

Ever since the housing market got huffed, puffed and knocked down Big Bad Wolf-style, we've all wondered when it'll hit bottom. The only positive to the meltdown may be that homes in Greater Cleveland are among the most affordable, according to a 2011 CNNMoney ranking of the 10 best cities for homebuyers. Dropping Dollars: According to the ranking, median home prices for the Cleveland metro area dropped 14.8 percent between 2006 and 2010, making it prime time to buy if you can get a loan.

The Old House

Here's how our housing stock stacks up when it comes to really old and really new homes.

Built 1939
or earlier


Built 2005
or later

6TH (26.1%)


44TH (2.3%)

If you're a person who loves the charm of older houses, you'll find plenty to love in Greater Cleveland, where one in every four homes pre-dates World War II. Las Vegas (0.3 percent), Phoenix (1 percent), Orlando (1.6 percent), Miami (2.3 percent) and Tampa (2.5 percent) had the fewest number of homes built in 1939 or earlier.   A meager 2.3 percent of us live in a home that was built after Barack Obama became a U.S. Senator, but we're not alone. In fact, there are only four metropolitan areas where homes built in 2005 or later tops 10 percent: Charlotte, N.C. (10.6 percent); Austin, Texas (11.7 percent); Las Vegas (12 percent); and Raleigh, N.C. (12.6 percent).

Affordable Rent

$695 Median Monthly Rent

Affordable Housing Costs

$1,385 Median Monthly Housing Cost

Cost To Coast

Vacant Housing

The foreclosure crisis did its share of damage here. So has simple population flight. The effects of both may be best illustrated by one simple and startling statistic: Almost one of every eight housing units in Greater Cleveland is vacant (11.5 percent). Florida still has it the worst: Tampa (18.1 percent), Orlando (18.3 percent) and Miami (18.9 percent). Low Vacancy: San Jose, Calif., has the fewest vacant units (5.4 percent).

Owner-occupied Homes

When it comes to buying a house and doing the whole American Dream thing, we're pretty average. Two out of three Greater Clevelanders (66.4 percent) own their homes, putting us near the middle of the pack. Homebodies and Nomads: Minneapolis-St. Paul (72.4 percent) and Detroit top the list (72 percent) while just slightly more than half the homes in Los Angeles (50.7 percent) are owner-occupied.

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