Buxton tops list of least affordable homes in N.C.

By on July 25, 2019

Buxton is the place with least affordable homes in North Carolina, according to a new report by UnitedStatesZipCodes.org that ranks affordability by zip code.

The report calculates that it would take 9.8 years for someone earning the median income in the Hatteras Island community to pay off the median home price there. According to the report, any median multiple — the figure that represents the years it would take to pay off the home price — under 3 is considered affordable.

Local communities on the list

#1 27920 (Buxton, NC)
Current 9.8 years

#9 27927 (Corolla, NC)
Current 7.3 years

#13 27915 (Avon, NC)
Current 7 years

#29 27959 (Nags Head, NC)
Current 5.6 years

#32 27949 (Kitty Hawk, NC)
Current 5.5 years

#33 27964 (Point Harbor, NC)
Current 5.5 years

#39 27936 (Frisco, NC)
Current 5.2 years

#43 27966 (Powells Point, NC)
Current 5.1 years

Aside from Buxton, Corolla (7.3) is in the ninth least affordable zip code in North Carolina while Avon (7.0) comes in at No. 13 on that list, Nags Head (5.6) is No. 29, Kitty Hawk (5.5) in No. 32, Point Harbor (5.5) is No. 33, Frisco (5.2) is No. 39 and Powells Point (5.1) is No. 43.

It is worth noting that the median multiple for Buxton rose dramatically in this latest report. Previously, it had ranked as the 31st least affordable community in the state with a median multiple of only 5.7.

Efforts to contact a representative of the report to learn why that Buxton number changed so dramatically and to learn more about the report methodology were unsuccessful.

The data used to produce the median multiple rankings came from estimates in the American Community Survey data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The rankings clearly take into account not just the cost of homes, but the incomes of residents as well.

On the flip side, if you’re looking to pay for a home quickly, the most affordable zip code in North Carolina, according to ZipCodes.org, is the tiny community of Maury in Greene County, where the median multiple is a mere .6 of a year. That’s followed by Fairfield in Hyde County (1.1) and Marston in Richmond County, at 1.4.

To see the full rankings, log on to www.unitedstateszipcodes.org/rankings/zips-in-nc/median_multiple/

The finding that a number of Outer Banks communities are on the list of least affordable places to live will likely come as no surprise to local officials and residents. The scarcity of affordable workforce housing in Dare County — and its impact on businesses and the economy — is a problem that also became one of the major issues in last year’s county commissioner races.

Earlier that year, in June 2018, the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce asked the county to consider significant zoning changes — including allowing accessory dwelling units and more multi-family structures and increasing dwelling densities per acre — as a way to remedy its affordable housing crunch and boost the local economy.  

“This is not just a seasonal challenge…[but] a year-round one,” Chamber Board Chair Bob Peele said at the time. “Professional jobs go unfilled at our hospital and in our healthcare system. People are hired, but can’t find reasonably priced housing options, so they leave.”

By mid-October, the Dare County Board of Commissioners approved changes for the unincorporated parts of the county that it hoped would encourage more reasonably priced housing.

They included reducing minimum lot sizes for duplex construction; increasing multifamily dwelling densities; expanding the number of districts that permit accessory dwelling units (ADUs); and allowing cluster family home developments.

But progress in creating more workforce housing has been slow.

(photo credit: wikipedia/vbofficial)


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See what people are saying:

  • Arthur Pewty

    Concerning their methodology – I believe it involves a 6 year old, a map and a handful of darts.

    Friday, Jul 26 @ 3:27 pm