The 10 Most Affordable Places to Live in Pennsylvania

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

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The 15904 zip code in Johnstown tops our ranking of the most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania.

We looked at 419 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 Pennsylvania

RankCity Affordability Score Median home valueRental costs
1Johnstown 🥇100$158,502$843
2Altoona🥈98.4$137,482$873
3New Castle 🥉98.3$112,133$733
4Latrobe96.4$188,708$850
5Jeannette96.3$156,910$1,148
6Charleroi95.3$95,682$1,571
7Clairton95.0$146,894$1,273
8Clearfield94.5$123,548$1,571
9Windber93.5$108,282$1,571
10Bradford93.1$104,694$1,571
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1. Johnstown

Here's why the 15904 zip code in Johnstown is Pennsylvania's most affordable place to live.

🔎 Key data about Johnstown

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 100 No. 1N/A
Median home value $158,502[1]No. 64 -$144,990.38
Home affordability ratio 2.4No. 25-1.4
Home value five-year change 2.0%[2]No. 1-41.0%
Home value one-year forecast -5.5%[3]No. 2-4.3%
Rental costs $843[4]No. 4-$729
Rent affordability ratio 1.30%No. 5-0.7%
Median household income $64,899[5]No. 280-$14,484
Property taxes $1,862[6]No. 61-$1,818
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[7]No. 353$0.01
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Johnstown's 15904 zip code is the cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania, leading the 419 markets we evaluated. 

The median home value is $158,502, making it the 64th-cheapest housing market in the state. Forecasts project a -5.5% change in home values in the next year. Rent in the zip code averages $843 per month, which is the 5th cheapest amount in Pennsylvania.

The median property tax for homeowners in Johnstown is $1,862 per household, the No. 61 ranked market in Pennsylvania. 

Residents pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity, which ranks No. 353 among Pennsylvania markets.

2. Altoona

The 16602 zip code is the 2nd-cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania.

🔎 Key data about Altoona

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 98.4No. 2N/A
Median home value $137,482[8]No. 35-$166,011.10
Home affordability ratio 2.7No. 47-1.2
Home value five-year change 26.1%[9]No. 40-16.8%
Home value one-year forecast -5.2%[10]No. 5-4.0%
Rental costs $873[11]No. 6-$699
Rent affordability ratio 1.68%No. 62-0.3%
Median household income $51,808[12]No. 373-$27,575
Property taxes $1,376[13]No. 22-$2,304
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[14]No. 353$0.01
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Altoona's 16602 zip code has a median home value of $137,482, which is the 5th-cheapest housing market in Pennsylvania. You can rent for an average of $873 per month. That's the 6th-cheapest price in the state.

The average household income in the zip code is $51,808, which ranks 373rd-highest in the state. 

Homeowners in Altoona pay a median property tax of $1,376 per year, making it the 22nd-most affordable market in Pennsylvania.

Altoona ranks No. 353 among Pennsylvania energy markets. You'll pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity.

3. New Castle

The 3rd-cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania is New Castle's 16101 zip code.

🔎 Key data about New Castle

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 98.3No. 3N/A
Median home value $112,133[15]No. 19-$191,359.50
Home affordability ratio 2.4No. 21-1.4
Home value five-year change 44.0%[16]No. 1841.1%
Home value one-year forecast -1.4%[17]No. 124-0.2%
Rental costs $733[18]No. 1-$838
Rent affordability ratio 1.56%No. 41-0.4%
Median household income $46,896[19]No. 387-$32,487
Property taxes $1,631[20]No. 39-$2,049
Energy costs $0.10 kWh[21]No. 24-$0.02
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The No. 19 cheapest housing in Pennsylvania is New Castle's 16101 zip code, with a median home value of $112,133. Rents in the market average $733 per month, making it the 1st-most affordable rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in New Castle is $1,631, which makes it the 39th-cheapest place in Pennsylvania. New Castle ranks No. 24 among Pennsylvania markets by energy costs. Residents pay $0.10 per kWh of electricity.

4. Latrobe

The 15650 zip code in Latrobe comes in at No. 4 on our list of the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania.

🔎 Key data about Latrobe

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.4No. 4N/A
Median home value $188,708[22]No. 109-$114,784.53
Home affordability ratio 3.0No. 98-0.8
Home value five-year change 20.3%[23]No. 25-22.6%
Home value one-year forecast -2.1%[24]No. 95-0.9%
Rental costs $850[25]No. 5-$721
Rent affordability ratio 1.36%No. 12-0.6%
Median household income $62,516[26]No. 298-$16,867
Property taxes $2,106[27]No. 77-$1,574
Energy costs $0.09 kWh[28]No. 1-$0.03
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The No. 109 cheapest housing market in Pennsylvania is Latrobe's 15650 zip code, where the median home value is $188,708. Renters here pay an average of $850 per month. 

When it comes to energy costs, Latrobe ranks 1st among Pennsylvania markets. Residents pay $0.09 per kWh of electricity.

The median property tax for households in the zip code is $2,106, which makes it the 77th-cheapest market in Pennsylvania.

5. Jeannette

The 15644 zip code in Jeannette ranks No. 5 among Pennsylvania's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Jeannette

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 96.3No. 5N/A
Median home value $156,910[29]No. 61-$146,582.75
Home affordability ratio 2.6No. 35-1.3
Home value five-year change 36.0%[30]No. 103-7.0%
Home value one-year forecast -2.3%[31]No. 76-1.1%
Rental costs $1,148[32]No. 34-$423
Rent affordability ratio 1.87%No. 106-0.1%
Median household income $61,438[33]No. 308-$17,945
Property taxes $2,133[34]No. 83-$1,547
Energy costs $0.09 kWh[35]No. 1-$0.03
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Jeannette's 15644 zip code has a median home value of $156,910, the 61st-cheapest market in the state. Forecasts project a -2.3% change in home values in the next year. 

The median property tax per household in Jeannette is $2,133. It's the 83rd-cheapest market by tax rate in Pennsylvania.

6. Charleroi

The No. 6 most affordable place to live in Pennsylvania is the 15022 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Charleroi

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.3No. 6N/A
Median home value $95,682[36]No. 9-$207,811.13
Home affordability ratio 1.8No. 4-2.1
Home value five-year change 34.8%[37]No. 88-8.2%
Home value one-year forecast -2.7%[38]No. 35-1.5%
Rental costs $1,571[39]No. 130$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.98%No. 1290.0%
Median household income $54,313[40]No. 354-$25,070
Property taxes $1,625[41]No. 37-$2,055
Energy costs $0.09 kWh[42]No. 1-$0.03
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The back half of our top 10 kicks off with Charleroi's 15022 zip code, which has the 9th-cheapest home values in Pennsylvania. The median home value is $95,682. Rents average $1,571 per month, making it the 130th-most affordable rental market in the state.

Residents pay $0.09 per kWh of electricity. It's the 1st-cheapest energy market.

7. Clairton

Clairton's 15025 zip code is the 7th-cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania.

🔎 Key data about Clairton

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 95.0No. 7N/A
Median home value $146,894[43]No. 53-$156,598.77
Home affordability ratio 1.8No. 8-2.0
Home value five-year change 43.6%[44]No. 1780.7%
Home value one-year forecast -2.7%[45]No. 35-1.5%
Rental costs $1,273[46]No. 68-$298
Rent affordability ratio 1.60%No. 49-0.4%
Median household income $79,434[47]No. 183$51
Property taxes $3,570[48]No. 220-$110
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[49]No. 321$0.00
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You'll find the 53rd-cheapest home values in Pennsylvania in Clairton's 15025 zip code. The median value: $146,894. Renters in Clairton pay an average of $1,273 per month.

Homeowners in Clairton pay a median property tax of $3,570 per year, which is Pennsylvania's 220th-most affordable market.

The average household income is $79,434, which ranks 183rd-highest in the state.

8. Clearfield

The 8th-cheapest place to live in Pennsylvania is Clearfield's 16830 zip code.

🔎 Key data about Clearfield

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 94.5No. 8N/A
Median home value $123,548[50]No. 26-$179,944.46
Home affordability ratio 2.3No. 18-1.5
Home value five-year change 12.6%[51]No. 9-30.3%
Home value one-year forecast -5.5%[52]No. 2-4.3%
Rental costs $1,571[53]No. 130$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.98%No. 1290.0%
Median household income $52,853[54]No. 369-$26,530
Property taxes $1,724[55]No. 47-$1,956
Energy costs $0.11 kWh[56]No. 53-$0.01
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The 26th-cheapest housing market in Pennsylvania is Clearfield's 16830 zip code, with a median home value of $123,548. Renters pay an average of $1,571 per month, the No. 130 rental market in the state.

The median property tax for households in Clearfield is $1,724, which makes it the 47th-cheapest place in Pennsylvania. The average household income of $52,853 ranks 369th.

9. Windber

Windber's 15963 zip code sneaks into the top ten of Pennsylvania's most affordable places to live.

🔎 Key data about Windber

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 93.5No. 9N/A
Median home value $108,282[57]No. 17-$195,210.34
Home affordability ratio 1.9No. 9-1.9
Home value five-year change 32.0%[58]No. 63-10.9%
Home value one-year forecast -3.6%[59]No. 13-2.4%
Rental costs $1,571[60]No. 130$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.98%No. 1290.0%
Median household income $55,567[61]No. 340-$23,816
Property taxes $1,340[62]No. 18-$2,340
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[63]No. 353$0.01
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The 17th-cheapest housing market in Pennsylvania is Windber's 15963 zip code, where the median home value is $108,282. Renters pay an average of $1,571 per month. It's the state's 130th-cheapest rental market.

The median property tax for households within the zip code is $1,340, which makes it the 18th-cheapest property tax rate in Pennsylvania. 

10. Bradford

The final spot on our list of the most affordable places to live in Pennsylvania goes to the 16701 zip code in Bradford.

🔎 Key data about Bradford

Data pointValueRank (out of 419 markets)Difference from median or average
Affordability Score 93.1No. 10N/A
Median home value $104,694[64]No. 14-$198,798.82
Home affordability ratio 1.8No. 7-2.0
Home value five-year change 24.0%[65]No. 34-18.9%
Home value one-year forecast -3.3%[66]No. 18-2.1%
Rental costs $1,571[67]No. 130$0
Rent affordability ratio 1.98%No. 1290.0%
Median household income $56,748[68]No. 334-$22,635
Property taxes $1,820[69]No. 55-$1,860
Energy costs $0.12 kWh[70]No. 353$0.01
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The 14th-most affordable market in Pennsylvania is Bradford's 16701 zip code. The median home value is $104,694. Rent in the market costs $1,571 per month on average, making it the 130th-most affordable rental market in Pennsylvania.

The median property tax for households in Bradford is $1,820, which is the 55th-cheapest property tax rate in the state.

Bradford ranks No. 353 among Pennsylvania markets by energy costs, with households paying $0.12 per kWh of electricity.

How we ranked the most affordable places in Pennsylvania

We evaluated 419 zip codes in Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania average, the higher our score on this component. We assign a weight of 7.1% to energy costs.  

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