The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Louisiana

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

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The 70364 zip code in Houma tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Louisiana.

We looked at 149 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 Louisiana

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Houma 🥇100$193,588$1,061
2Lake Charles🥈98.6$96,140$1,010
3West Monroe 🥉97.0$207,264$1,006
4Shreveport96.6$123,024$1,074
5Monroe95.5$51,663$1,406
6Sulphur95.2$174,509$1,064
7Bastrop95.0$77,011$1,406
8Alexandria95.0$90,298$955
9Jeanerette94.6$92,198$1,406
10Pineville94.5$182,744$1,039
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1. Houma

Here's why the 70364 zip code in Houma is Louisiana's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Houma

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $193,588[1]No. 65 -$22,802.41
Home affordability ratio 2.8No. 25-0.7
Home value five-year change 16.9%[2]No. 904.3%
Home value one-year forecast -7.1%[3]No. 13-2.2%
Rental costs $1,061[4]No. 11-$345
Rent affordability ratio 1.52%No. 7-0.8%
Median household income $69,953[5]No. 41$7,946
Property taxes $652[6]No. 47-$615
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[7]No. 1-$0.01
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Houma's 70364 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Louisiana, leading the 149 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $193,588, making it the 65th-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a -7.1% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $1,061 per month, which is the 7th cheapest amount in Louisiana.

The median property tax for homeowners in Houma is $652 per household, the No. 47 ranked market in Louisiana. 

Residents pay $0.13 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 1 among Louisiana markets.

2. Lake Charles

The 70601 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Louisiana.

🔎 Key data about Lake Charles

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 98.6No. 2N/A
Median home value $96,140[8]No. 11-$120,250.61
Home affordability ratio 2.0No. 5-1.5
Home value five-year change 12.6%[9]No. 480.0%
Home value one-year forecast -10.4%[10]No. 2-5.5%
Rental costs $1,010[11]No. 7-$395
Rent affordability ratio 2.09%No. 34-0.2%
Median household income $48,385[12]No. 103-$13,622
Property taxes $356[13]No. 15-$911
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[14]No. 69$0.00
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Lake Charles's 70601 zip code has a median home value of $96,140, which is the 2nd-cheapest housing market in Louisiana. You can rent for an average of $1,010 per month. That's the 7th-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $48,385, which ranks 103rd-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Lake Charles pay a median property tax of $356 per year, making it the 15th-most affordable market in Louisiana.

Lake Charles ranks No. 69 among Louisiana energy markets. You'll pay $0.13 per kWh of electricity.

3. West Monroe

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Louisiana is West Monroe's 71291 zip code.

🔎 Key data about West Monroe

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 97.0No. 3N/A
Median home value $207,264[15]No. 78-$9,126.23
Home affordability ratio 3.1No. 47-0.4
Home value five-year change 17.3%[16]No. 924.6%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[17]No. 1231.3%
Rental costs $1,006[18]No. 6-$399
Rent affordability ratio 1.49%No. 6-0.8%
Median household income $67,448[19]No. 47$5,441
Property taxes $911[20]No. 61-$356
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[21]No. 1-$0.01
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The No. 78 cheapest housing in Louisiana is West Monroe's 71291 zip code, with a median home value of $207,264. Rents in the market average $1,006 per month, making it the 6th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in West Monroe is $911, which makes it the 61st-cheapest place in Louisiana. West Monroe ranks No. 1 among Louisiana markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.13 per kWh of electricity.

4. Shreveport

The 71104 zip code in Shreveport comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Louisiana.

🔎 Key data about Shreveport

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.6No. 4N/A
Median home value $123,024[22]No. 20-$93,365.97
Home affordability ratio 2.4No. 12-1.1
Home value five-year change 15.2%[23]No. 842.5%
Home value one-year forecast -4.3%[24]No. 880.6%
Rental costs $1,074[25]No. 14-$332
Rent affordability ratio 2.12%No. 36-0.1%
Median household income $50,554[26]No. 95-$11,453
Property taxes $979[27]No. 67-$288
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[28]No. 38$0.00
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The No. 20 cheapest housing market in Louisiana is Shreveport's 71104 zip code, where the median home value is $123,024. Renters here pay an average of $1,074 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Shreveport ranks 38th among Louisiana markets. Residents pay $0.13 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $979, which makes it the 67th-cheapest market in Louisiana.

5. Monroe

The 71202 zip code in Monroe ranks No. 5 among Louisiana's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Monroe

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.5No. 5N/A
Median home value $51,663[29]No. 3-$164,727.64
Home affordability ratio 1.9No. 4-1.6
Home value five-year change 3.5%[30]No. 10-9.1%
Home value one-year forecast -5.9%[31]No. 31-1.0%
Rental costs $1,406[32]No. 42$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.27%No. 450.0%
Median household income $27,627[33]No. 148-$34,380
Property taxes $200[34]No. 1-$1,067
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[35]No. 1-$0.01
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Monroe's 71202 zip code has a median home value of $51,663, the 3rd-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -5.9% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Monroe is $200. It's the 1st-cheapest market by tax rate in Louisiana.

6. Sulphur

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Louisiana is the 70663 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Sulphur

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.2No. 6N/A
Median home value $174,509[36]No. 50-$41,881.53
Home affordability ratio 3.1No. 52-0.4
Home value five-year change 12.6%[37]No. 480.0%
Home value one-year forecast -8.3%[38]No. 7-3.4%
Rental costs $1,064[39]No. 12-$342
Rent affordability ratio 1.89%No. 23-0.4%
Median household income $56,276[40]No. 81-$5,731
Property taxes $600[41]No. 43-$667
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[42]No. 69$0.00
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Sulphur's 70663 zip code, which has the 50th-cheapest home values in Louisiana. The median home value is $174,509. Rents average $1,064 per month, making it the 12th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.13 per kWh of electricity. It's the 69th-cheapest energy market.

7. Bastrop

Bastrop's 71220 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Louisiana.

🔎 Key data about Bastrop

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.0No. 7N/A
Median home value $77,011[43]No. 6-$139,379.50
Home affordability ratio 2.0No. 7-1.5
Home value five-year change 13.3%[44]No. 740.7%
Home value one-year forecast -5.1%[45]No. 55-0.2%
Rental costs $1,406[46]No. 42$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.27%No. 450.0%
Median household income $37,774[47]No. 134-$24,233
Property taxes $370[48]No. 17-$897
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[49]No. 1-$0.01
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You'll find the 6th-cheapest home values in Louisiana in Bastrop's 71220 zip code. The median value: $77,011. Renters in Bastrop pay an average of $1,406 per month.

Homeowners in Bastrop pay a median property tax of $370 per year, which is Louisiana's 17th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $37,774, which ranks 134th-highest in the state.

8. Alexandria

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Louisiana is Alexandria's 71301 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Alexandria

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.0No. 8N/A
Median home value $90,298[50]No. 9-$126,091.86
Home affordability ratio 2.1No. 9-1.4
Home value five-year change 12.6%[51]No. 480.0%
Home value one-year forecast -6.9%[52]No. 15-2.0%
Rental costs $955[53]No. 4-$451
Rent affordability ratio 2.26%No. 440.0%
Median household income $42,314[54]No. 128-$19,693
Property taxes $535[55]No. 33-$732
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[56]No. 127$0.01
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The 9th-cheapest housing market in Louisiana is Alexandria's 71301 zip code, with a median home value of $90,298. Renters pay an average of $955 per month, the No. 4 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Alexandria is $535, which makes it the 33rd-cheapest place in Louisiana. The average household income of $42,314 ranks 128th.

9. Jeanerette

Jeanerette's 70544 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Louisiana's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Jeanerette

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.6No. 9N/A
Median home value $92,198[57]No. 10-$124,192.60
Home affordability ratio 1.7No. 3-1.8
Home value five-year change 12.6%[58]No. 480.0%
Home value one-year forecast -8.8%[59]No. 3-3.9%
Rental costs $1,406[60]No. 42$0
Rent affordability ratio 2.27%No. 450.0%
Median household income $55,042[61]No. 84-$6,965
Property taxes $466[62]No. 29-$801
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[63]No. 106$0.00
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The 10th-cheapest housing market in Louisiana is Jeanerette's 70544 zip code, where the median home value is $92,198. Renters pay an average of $1,406 per month. It's the state's 42nd-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $466, which makes it the 29th-cheapest property tax rate in Louisiana. 

10. Pineville

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Louisiana goes to the 71360 zip code in Pineville.

🔎 Key data about Pineville

Data pointValueRank (out of 149 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.5No. 10N/A
Median home value $182,744[64]No. 58-$33,646.00
Home affordability ratio 3.0No. 45-0.4
Home value five-year change 11.7%[65]No. 43-1.0%
Home value one-year forecast -5.2%[66]No. 50-0.3%
Rental costs $1,039[67]No. 10-$367
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 16-0.5%
Median household income $60,090[68]No. 69-$1,917
Property taxes $1,046[69]No. 75-$221
Energy costs $0.15 kWh[70]No. 127$0.01
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The 58th-most affordable market in Louisiana is Pineville's 71360 zip code. The median home value is $182,744. Rent in the market costs $1,039 per month on average, making it the 10th-most affordable rental market in Louisiana.

The median property tax for households in Pineville is $1,046, which is the 75th-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Pineville ranks No. 127 among Louisiana markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.15 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Louisiana

We evaluated 149 zip codes in Louisiana 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 Louisiana, 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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