If you want to find an affordable house in Idaho, where should you look? According to a new study by the financial technology company SmartAsset, you might try Kuna.
Of 32 Idaho cities in the study, Kuna ranked first, followed by Payette and Ammon. Caldwell came in fourth, Nampa eighth and Boise 22nd. Rexburg brought up the rear at 32nd.
But that does not mean a house in Kuna is cheaper than a comparable house in Payette or Caldwell. SmartAsset ranked affordability in relation to the incomes in those cities. Ammon’s had the highest income and Kuna second highest among SmartAsset’s top 10 most-affordable Idaho cities.
SmartAsset based its analysis on closing costs, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance and mortgage rates. Its analysts calculated the cost over five years of these four expenses for the average home in every county in the U.S. and every city with at least 5,000 people. Then they looked at that five-year cost as a proportion of median household income.
The most affordable cities and counties were those where total costs of an average house accounted for the smallest share of that income.
SmartAsset also created an affordability index. The index is a type of grading curve, said spokesman Steve Sabato. The most affordable market in the country received a 100, and each subsequent market was scored on how it performed compared with that market.
Here are Idaho’s top 10 cities:
A separate SmartAsset study looked at affordability in “big” cities, or those with populations over 200,000. In that study, Boise ranked 36th out of more than 150 cities.
The three most affordable cities in the U.S., according to SmartAsset, are Kermit, Texas; Federal Heights, Colorado; and Pecos, Texas. The three least affordable are New Square, New York; Boone, North Carolina; and Stanford, California.