Forbes: Buffalo-Niagara #1 affordable metro

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – When was the last time Queen City could claim the top spot on a national scale? A study just published by Forbes.com measuring affordability of America’s top metropolitan areas finds, when it comes to affordability, Buffalo is number one.

Out of the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the country, the Buffalo-Niagara region is at the top of the heap, according to Forbes, followed by Memphis, Tennessee, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

MORE | See the top 10 cities here

That comes as no surprise to John Leonardi, chief executive officer for the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors.

“Buffalo is a great place to live. You get a lot of house for your money,” he said.

Of U.S. metropolitan areas with 600,000 or more people, Forbes’ affordability index measured housing affordability and the cost-of-living index, that included factors such as food, utilities, gas, and medical expenses.

Leonardi says, when you look at the amount of house you can buy and the quality of life, “the various indices that they went through to pick Buffalo, is great news for Western New York.”

Buffalo Niagara Enterprise CEO Tom Kucharski believes affordability is a powerful tool for attracting employers to Buffalo, especially when talking to executives in big cities, like New York.

In a recent meeting downstate, Kucharski says when the attendees compared housing and taxes meeting, “by the last session we had there, the room was full” and they wanted to know more saying, “I can actually afford a beautiful home in Buffalo?”

What might have put Buffalo-Niagara over the top was the region’s median family income, $63,500, in proportion to the median home sales price of $100,000. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says that regional affordability is having an effect on the city, “increasing demand for people not only to locate their primary residence in the city, but also people looking to locate their business in the city.”

It is interesting to note, Syracuse actually has the highest housing affordability index – by a hair. But their overall cost-of-living is higher.

The Midwest has the most cities in Forbes’ top 20, with 5 are in Ohio, but none of the top cities is located out west.

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