The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Alaska

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By Michael Yessis Updated June 13, 2024
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Edited by Ashley Simon

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The 99712 zip code in Fairbanks tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Alaska.

We looked at 24 zip codes in the state, evaluating home values, rental costs, energy rates, property taxes, and five other affordability indicators. We used the data we gathered to calculate our proprietary Affordability Score for each zip code.  

Top 10 most affordable places to live in Alaska

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Fairbanks 🥇100$309,624$1,808
2Anchorage🥈95.5$293,346$1,372
3North Pole 🥉94.5$311,915$1,738
4Soldotna90.8$337,160$1,808
5Kenai89.1$302,127$1,808
6Meadow Lakes87.3$325,411$1,774
7Wasilla85.5$384,442$1,463
8Eagle River84.5$444,017$2,171
9Palmer79.6$388,754$1,808
10Kodiak75.3$413,821$1,808
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1. Fairbanks

Here's why the 99712 zip code in Fairbanks is Alaska's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Fairbanks

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $309,624[1]No. 8 -$57,423.98
Home affordability ratio 2.9No. 1-1.0
Home value five-year change 14.7%[2]No. 7-5.0%
Home value one-year forecast -4.0%[3]No. 1-0.4%
Rental costs $1,808[4]No. 11$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.95%No. 90.0%
Median household income $105,787[5]No. 5$12,921
Property taxes $3,737[6]No. 13-$224
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[7]No. 2$0.00
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Fairbanks's 99712 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Alaska, leading the 24 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $309,624, making it the 8th-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a -4.0% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $1,808 per month, which is the 9th cheapest amount in Alaska.

The median property tax for homeowners in Fairbanks is $3,737 per household, the No. 13 ranked market in Alaska. 

Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 2 among Alaska markets.

2. Anchorage

The 99503 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Alaska.

🔎 Key data about Anchorage

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.5No. 2N/A
Median home value $293,346[8]No. 2-$73,702.17
Home affordability ratio 4.0No. 140.1
Home value five-year change 7.7%[9]No. 1-11.9%
Home value one-year forecast -3.2%[10]No. 220.4%
Rental costs $1,372[11]No. 2-$436
Rent affordability ratio 1.88%No. 7-0.1%
Median household income $72,958[12]No. 21-$19,908
Property taxes $3,528[13]No. 10-$433
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[14]No. 2$0.00
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Anchorage's 99503 zip code has a median home value of $293,346, which is the 22nd-cheapest housing market in Alaska. You can rent for an average of $1,372 per month. That's the 2nd-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $72,958, which ranks 21st-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Anchorage pay a median property tax of $3,528 per year, making it the 10th-most affordable market in Alaska.

Anchorage ranks No. 2 among Alaska energy markets. You'll pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

3. North Pole

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Alaska is North Pole's 99705 zip code.

🔎 Key data about North Pole

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.5No. 3N/A
Median home value $311,915[15]No. 9-$55,133.46
Home affordability ratio 3.5No. 5-0.4
Home value five-year change 16.1%[16]No. 10-3.5%
Home value one-year forecast -3.9%[17]No. 2-0.3%
Rental costs $1,738[18]No. 8-$70
Rent affordability ratio 1.96%No. 180.0%
Median household income $88,788[19]No. 12-$4,078
Property taxes $3,269[20]No. 6-$692
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[21]No. 2$0.00
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The No. 9 cheapest housing in Alaska is North Pole's 99705 zip code, with a median home value of $311,915. Rents in the market average $1,738 per month, making it the 8th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in North Pole is $3,269, which makes it the 6th-cheapest place in Alaska. North Pole ranks No. 2 among Alaska markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

4. Soldotna

The 99669 zip code in Soldotna comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Alaska.

🔎 Key data about Soldotna

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 90.8No. 4N/A
Median home value $337,160[22]No. 12-$29,888.63
Home affordability ratio 3.8No. 11-0.1
Home value five-year change 23.6%[23]No. 204.0%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[24]No. 130.0%
Rental costs $1,808[25]No. 11$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.95%No. 90.0%
Median household income $88,552[26]No. 13-$4,314
Property taxes $1,961[27]No. 2-$2,000
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[28]No. 2$0.00
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The No. 12 cheapest housing market in Alaska is Soldotna's 99669 zip code, where the median home value is $337,160. Renters here pay an average of $1,808 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Soldotna ranks 2nd among Alaska markets. Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $1,961, which makes it the 2nd-cheapest market in Alaska.

5. Kenai

The 99611 zip code in Kenai ranks No. 5 among Alaska's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Kenai

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 89.1No. 5N/A
Median home value $302,127[29]No. 5-$64,921.02
Home affordability ratio 4.2No. 160.2
Home value five-year change 22.6%[30]No. 183.0%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[31]No. 130.0%
Rental costs $1,808[32]No. 11$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.95%No. 90.0%
Median household income $72,608[33]No. 22-$20,258
Property taxes $1,747[34]No. 1-$2,214
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[35]No. 2$0.00
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Kenai's 99611 zip code has a median home value of $302,127, the 5th-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -3.6% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Kenai is $1,747. It's the 1st-cheapest market by tax rate in Alaska.

6. Meadow Lakes

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Alaska is the 99623 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Meadow Lakes

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 87.3No. 6N/A
Median home value $325,411[36]No. 11-$41,637.79
Home affordability ratio 3.7No. 8-0.2
Home value five-year change 32.5%[37]No. 2312.9%
Home value one-year forecast -3.8%[38]No. 4-0.2%
Rental costs $1,774[39]No. 9-$34
Rent affordability ratio 2.03%No. 200.1%
Median household income $87,247[40]No. 14-$5,619
Property taxes $3,440[41]No. 8-$521
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[42]No. 2$0.00
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Meadow Lakes's 99623 zip code, which has the 11th-cheapest home values in Alaska. The median home value is $325,411. Rents average $1,774 per month, making it the 9th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.20 per kWh of electricity. It's the 2nd-cheapest energy market.

7. Wasilla

Wasilla's 99654 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Alaska.

🔎 Key data about Wasilla

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 85.5No. 7N/A
Median home value $384,442[43]No. 16$17,393.74
Home affordability ratio 4.3No. 200.4
Home value five-year change 32.1%[44]No. 2212.5%
Home value one-year forecast -3.8%[45]No. 4-0.2%
Rental costs $1,463[46]No. 5-$344
Rent affordability ratio 1.65%No. 4-0.3%
Median household income $88,875[47]No. 11-$3,991
Property taxes $3,671[48]No. 12-$290
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[49]No. 2$0.00
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You'll find the 16th-cheapest home values in Alaska in Wasilla's 99654 zip code. The median value: $384,442. Renters in Wasilla pay an average of $1,463 per month.

Homeowners in Wasilla pay a median property tax of $3,671 per year, which is Alaska's 12th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $88,875, which ranks 11th-highest in the state.

8. Eagle River

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Alaska is Eagle River's 99577 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Eagle River

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 84.5No. 8N/A
Median home value $444,017[50]No. 22$76,968.56
Home affordability ratio 3.4No. 2-0.6
Home value five-year change 16.9%[51]No. 11-2.7%
Home value one-year forecast -3.7%[52]No. 8-0.1%
Rental costs $2,171[53]No. 22$364
Rent affordability ratio 1.64%No. 3-0.3%
Median household income $131,993[54]No. 2$39,127
Property taxes $5,281[55]No. 23$1,320
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[56]No. 2$0.00
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The 22nd-cheapest housing market in Alaska is Eagle River's 99577 zip code, with a median home value of $444,017. Renters pay an average of $2,171 per month, the No. 22 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Eagle River is $5,281, which makes it the 23rd-cheapest place in Alaska. The average household income of $131,993 ranks 2nd.

9. Palmer

Palmer's 99645 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Alaska's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Palmer

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 79.6No. 9N/A
Median home value $388,754[57]No. 18$21,705.91
Home affordability ratio 4.2No. 170.2
Home value five-year change 33.7%[58]No. 2414.0%
Home value one-year forecast -3.8%[59]No. 4-0.2%
Rental costs $1,808[60]No. 11$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.95%No. 90.0%
Median household income $93,242[61]No. 9$376
Property taxes $3,378[62]No. 7-$583
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[63]No. 2$0.00
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The 18th-cheapest housing market in Alaska is Palmer's 99645 zip code, where the median home value is $388,754. Renters pay an average of $1,808 per month. It's the state's 11th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $3,378, which makes it the 7th-cheapest property tax rate in Alaska. 

10. Kodiak

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Alaska goes to the 99615 zip code in Kodiak.

🔎 Key data about Kodiak

Data pointValueRank (out of 24 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 75.3No. 10N/A
Median home value $413,821[64]No. 20$46,772.39
Home affordability ratio 4.5No. 210.5
Home value five-year change 12.1%[65]No. 3-7.6%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[66]No. 130.0%
Rental costs $1,808[67]No. 11$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.95%No. 90.0%
Median household income $92,792[68]No. 10-$74
Property taxes $3,812[69]No. 15-$149
Energy costs $0.20 kWh[70]No. 2$0.00
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The 20th-most affordable market in Alaska is Kodiak's 99615 zip code. The median home value is $413,821. Rent in the market costs $1,808 per month on average, making it the 11th-most affordable rental market in Alaska.

The median property tax for households in Kodiak is $3,812, which is the 15th-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Kodiak ranks No. 2 among Alaska markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.20 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Alaska

We evaluated 24 zip codes in Alaska with a population over 10,000 on nine metrics. We then assigned each market an Affordability Score based on its weighted and combined rankings. 

✍️ Editor’s note: Our Affordability Score identifies the most affordable places in a state by zip code.

Often the zip code we identify will represent an entire city or portion of a city. 

Occasionally the zip code we identify will encompass an area that includes one or more small towns. In these cases, the data we’ve gathered applies to the entire zip code, not just the single town we’re using to help identify the zip code's location. 

If you’re looking to move to one of these affordable places, we recommend doing additional research to make sure the costs in the area — and the quality of life it offers — meet your specific needs.

Methodology: What is an Affordability Score?

Our proprietary Affordability Score is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the affordability of a particular zip code. It takes into account these key data points for each zip code.

  • Median home value: The median home value for each zip code comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. The lower the median home value relative to the median value in Alaska, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 23.8% to median home value.
  • Home affordability ratio. The home affordability ratio is the typical median home value divided by the median household income in the zip code, which reveals the number of years of household income needed to afford a home in that zip code. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 23.8% to the home affordability ratio.
  • Home value five-year change: The home value five-year change is the amount that the median home value in the zip code has risen or fallen during the last five years. Our data comes from the Zillow Home Value Index. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value five-year change.
  • Home value one-year forecast: The home value one-year forecast comes from Zillow Forecast data. It projects how much home values in the zip code are forecasted to change in the next year. We assign a weight of 4.8% to the home value one-year forecast.
  • Rental costs. The rental costs are the observed rents in the zip code, sourced from the Zillow Observed Rent Index. The index includes "listed rents that fall into the 40th to 60th percentile range for all homes and apartments in a given region." We assign a weight of 11.9% to rental costs. 
  • Median household income: The inflation-adjusted median household income figures for the zip code comes from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 4.8% to median household income.
  • Rent affordability ratio. The rent affordability ratio is the ratio of rental costs divided by median household income, which provides the percentage of household income needed to pay a typical month’s rent in the zip code. The data comes from the Zillow Observed Rent Index and the U.S. Census American Community Survey. We assign a weight of 11.9% to the rent affordability ratio.
  • Property taxes: The property tax figures are the median real estate taxes paid in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Census American Community Survey. The lower the property tax rate relative to the Alaska average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to property taxes. 
  • Energy costs: The energy costs are the costs of a kilowatt hour (kWh) of residential electricity in the zip code, sourced from the U.S. Department of Energy. The lower the cost of electricity relative to the Alaska average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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