The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Florida

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By Michael Yessis Updated June 12, 2024
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Edited by Ashley Simon

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The 33716 zip code in Saint Petersburg tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Florida.

We looked at 693 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 Florida

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Saint Petersburg 🥇100$207,837$1,769
2Tallahassee🥈97.3$189,984$1,417
3Jacksonville 🥉96.4$135,924$1,280
4Pensacola95.9$144,758$1,412
5Ocala88.1$317,087$1,280
6Lake City87.7$214,964$1,313
7Milton87.1$290,558$1,967
8Shalimar86.4$395,217$1,593
9Palatka86.4$204,379$1,327
10Gainesville85.6$329,201$1,788
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1. Saint Petersburg

Here's why the 33716 zip code in Saint Petersburg is Florida's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Saint Petersburg

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $207,837[1]No. 22 -$214,581.08
Home affordability ratio 3.0No. 1-2.9
Home value five-year change 54.3%[2]No. 42-13.3%
Home value one-year forecast 1.3%[3]No. 5250.6%
Rental costs $1,769[4]No. 106-$512
Rent affordability ratio 2.58%No. 131-0.6%
Median household income $68,488[5]No. 331-$3,209
Property taxes $1,195[6]No. 67-$1,406
Energy costs $0.16 kWh[7]No. 535$0.01
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Saint Petersburg's 33716 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Florida, leading the 693 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $207,837, making it the 22nd-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a 1.3% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $1,769 per month, which is the 131st cheapest amount in Florida.

The median property tax for homeowners in Saint Petersburg is $1,195 per household, the No. 67 ranked market in Florida. 

Residents pay $0.16 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 535 among Florida markets.

2. Tallahassee

The 32305 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Florida.

🔎 Key data about Tallahassee

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 97.3No. 2N/A
Median home value $189,984[8]No. 16-$232,433.83
Home affordability ratio 3.9No. 16-2.0
Home value five-year change 56.4%[9]No. 62-11.2%
Home value one-year forecast -0.7%[10]No. 6-1.4%
Rental costs $1,417[11]No. 17-$864
Rent affordability ratio 2.89%No. 222-0.3%
Median household income $49,093[12]No. 609-$22,604
Property taxes $778[13]No. 10-$1,823
Energy costs $0.16 kWh[14]No. 535$0.01
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Tallahassee's 32305 zip code has a median home value of $189,984, which is the 6th-cheapest housing market in Florida. You can rent for an average of $1,417 per month. That's the 17th-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $49,093, which ranks 609th-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Tallahassee pay a median property tax of $778 per year, making it the 10th-most affordable market in Florida.

Tallahassee ranks No. 535 among Florida energy markets. You'll pay $0.16 per kWh of electricity.

3. Jacksonville

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Florida is Jacksonville's 32206 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Jacksonville

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.4No. 3N/A
Median home value $135,924[15]No. 2-$286,494.47
Home affordability ratio 3.8No. 15-2.0
Home value five-year change 83.4%[16]No. 62515.8%
Home value one-year forecast 0.3%[17]No. 108-0.4%
Rental costs $1,280[18]No. 6-$1,001
Rent affordability ratio 3.62%No. 5160.4%
Median household income $35,313[19]No. 682-$36,384
Property taxes $917[20]No. 26-$1,684
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[21]No. 387$0.00
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The No. 2 cheapest housing in Florida is Jacksonville's 32206 zip code, with a median home value of $135,924. Rents in the market average $1,280 per month, making it the 6th-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Jacksonville is $917, which makes it the 26th-cheapest place in Florida. Jacksonville ranks No. 387 among Florida markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.14 per kWh of electricity.

4. Pensacola

The 32505 zip code in Pensacola comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Florida.

🔎 Key data about Pensacola

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.9No. 4N/A
Median home value $144,758[22]No. 4-$277,660.10
Home affordability ratio 3.6No. 5-2.2
Home value five-year change 86.2%[23]No. 64418.6%
Home value one-year forecast 1.1%[24]No. 5030.4%
Rental costs $1,412[25]No. 16-$868
Rent affordability ratio 3.56%No. 4950.4%
Median household income $39,672[26]No. 669-$32,025
Property taxes $597[27]No. 5-$2,004
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[28]No. 387$0.00
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The No. 4 cheapest housing market in Florida is Pensacola's 32505 zip code, where the median home value is $144,758. Renters here pay an average of $1,412 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Pensacola ranks 387th among Florida markets. Residents pay $0.14 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $597, which makes it the 5th-cheapest market in Florida.

5. Ocala

The 34480 zip code in Ocala ranks No. 5 among Florida's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Ocala

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 88.1No. 5N/A
Median home value $317,087[29]No. 202-$105,331.02
Home affordability ratio 4.4No. 90-1.5
Home value five-year change 71.5%[30]No. 4533.9%
Home value one-year forecast 1.5%[31]No. 6360.8%
Rental costs $1,280[32]No. 7-$1,001
Rent affordability ratio 1.79%No. 5-1.4%
Median household income $71,410[33]No. 295-$287
Property taxes $2,041[34]No. 304-$560
Energy costs $0.16 kWh[35]No. 535$0.01
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Ocala's 34480 zip code has a median home value of $317,087, the 202nd-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a 1.5% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Ocala is $2,041. It's the 304th-cheapest market by tax rate in Florida.

6. Lake City

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Florida is the 32055 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Lake City

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 87.7No. 6N/A
Median home value $214,964[36]No. 31-$207,454.23
Home affordability ratio 4.3No. 56-1.6
Home value five-year change 79.6%[37]No. 58612.0%
Home value one-year forecast 2.2%[38]No. 6831.5%
Rental costs $1,313[39]No. 8-$968
Rent affordability ratio 2.60%No. 136-0.6%
Median household income $50,461[40]No. 593-$21,236
Property taxes $1,272[41]No. 86-$1,329
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[42]No. 478$0.00
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Lake City's 32055 zip code, which has the 31st-cheapest home values in Florida. The median home value is $214,964. Rents average $1,313 per month, making it the 8th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.14 per kWh of electricity. It's the 478th-cheapest energy market.

7. Milton

Milton's 32583 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Florida.

🔎 Key data about Milton

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 87.1No. 7N/A
Median home value $290,558[43]No. 126-$131,860.54
Home affordability ratio 3.5No. 2-2.4
Home value five-year change 68.7%[44]No. 3681.1%
Home value one-year forecast 1.0%[45]No. 4970.3%
Rental costs $1,967[46]No. 183-$314
Rent affordability ratio 2.39%No. 85-0.8%
Median household income $82,416[47]No. 188$10,719
Property taxes $1,194[48]No. 66-$1,407
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[49]No. 387$0.00
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You'll find the 126th-cheapest home values in Florida in Milton's 32583 zip code. The median value: $290,558. Renters in Milton pay an average of $1,967 per month.

Homeowners in Milton pay a median property tax of $1,194 per year, which is Florida's 66th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $82,416, which ranks 188th-highest in the state.

8. Shalimar

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Florida is Shalimar's 32579 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Shalimar

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 86.4No. 8N/A
Median home value $395,217[50]No. 378-$27,201.39
Home affordability ratio 4.3No. 60-1.6
Home value five-year change 51.7%[51]No. 29-15.9%
Home value one-year forecast 0.0%[52]No. 18-0.7%
Rental costs $1,593[53]No. 45-$687
Rent affordability ratio 1.73%No. 4-1.5%
Median household income $92,344[54]No. 124$20,647
Property taxes $2,457[55]No. 391-$144
Energy costs $0.14 kWh[56]No. 387$0.00
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The 378th-cheapest housing market in Florida is Shalimar's 32579 zip code, with a median home value of $395,217. Renters pay an average of $1,593 per month, the No. 45 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Shalimar is $2,457, which makes it the 391st-cheapest place in Florida. The average household income of $92,344 ranks 124th.

9. Palatka

Palatka's 32177 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Florida's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Palatka

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 86.4No. 9N/A
Median home value $204,379[57]No. 19-$218,039.12
Home affordability ratio 4.5No. 94-1.4
Home value five-year change 70.4%[58]No. 4292.8%
Home value one-year forecast 1.6%[59]No. 6550.9%
Rental costs $1,327[60]No. 9-$954
Rent affordability ratio 2.92%No. 232-0.3%
Median household income $45,455[61]No. 638-$26,242
Property taxes $1,346[62]No. 108-$1,255
Energy costs $0.13 kWh[63]No. 1-$0.01
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The 19th-cheapest housing market in Florida is Palatka's 32177 zip code, where the median home value is $204,379. Renters pay an average of $1,327 per month. It's the state's 9th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $1,346, which makes it the 108th-cheapest property tax rate in Florida. 

10. Gainesville

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Florida goes to the 32653 zip code in Gainesville.

🔎 Key data about Gainesville

Data pointValueRank (out of 693 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 85.6No. 10N/A
Median home value $329,201[64]No. 234-$93,217.12
Home affordability ratio 3.8No. 9-2.1
Home value five-year change 54.2%[65]No. 40-13.4%
Home value one-year forecast 0.0%[66]No. 18-0.7%
Rental costs $1,788[67]No. 112-$493
Rent affordability ratio 2.07%No. 24-1.1%
Median household income $86,508[68]No. 153$14,811
Property taxes $2,645[69]No. 436$44
Energy costs $0.16 kWh[70]No. 535$0.01
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The 234th-most affordable market in Florida is Gainesville's 32653 zip code. The median home value is $329,201. Rent in the market costs $1,788 per month on average, making it the 112th-most affordable rental market in Florida.

The median property tax for households in Gainesville is $2,645, which is the 436th-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Gainesville ranks No. 535 among Florida markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.16 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Florida

We evaluated 693 zip codes in Florida 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 Florida, 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 Florida 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 Florida average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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Authors & Editorial History

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