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America's 5 Most-Affordable Housing Markets

No. 1 most-affordable U.S. city: Detroit

Motown takes top honors for housing affordability, but Sante says it's a "special -- and especially sad -- case."

The expert says abandoned properties in Detroit's struggling urban core have artificially depressed median home prices to just $60,200, the lowest of any city in's study.

"There are thousands of homes in the city of Detroit that are selling for $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 -- which drags down the median," Sante says.

Detroit also has below-average median insurance premiums ($740), helping to offset above-average median property taxes ($2,751).

All told, Detroit's $48,988 median household income -- while below average for the 25 cities studied -- is 45.3% more than you need to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home.

Still, Sante says that's not necessarily enough of a reason to move there.

"We think of Atlanta as a better example of a town that has everything going for it," he says.

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