When it comes to finding a place to call home, there are two main concerns that are usually at the forefront of our minds: Safety and Cost. Whether it’s simply a move across town, to another city or to the opposite end of the country, home buyers want to know that the place they choose to live will be affordable without compromising safety.
From a real estate professional’s perspective, these two areas of concern directly affect the value of home, and its marketability. While it is against the code of ethics for Realtors to comment on the safety of a particular area, they do understand that their buyers are looking for more than just a house–they’re looking for a home where they can feel secure, whether they’re living alone, with a spouse or with their growing family.
Fortunately, Realtors can provide their buyers with access to public crime data and other resources to help them come to their own conclusions about the safety of a particular area. To make things more convenient, Realtor.com recently culled this information, analyzing the 150 largest metro areas to identify cities with the lowest crime rates. The areas on realtor.com’s list are also considered affordable by general standards, with home prices below the current national median of $300,000.
The number one metro on the list, Grand Rapids, Mich., boasted a total crime rate of 18.38% and a median list price of $280,000. As most would expect, areas with higher crime rates had lower median home prices.
A few things to keep in mind about the list:
- Some of the safest areas listed were not always known for low crime rates, but have rebounded in the last few years.
- No Western metros were included because the prices were simply too high.
- Buyers can expect to pay more in areas with lower violent crime rates.
The 7 Safest, Most Affordable Cities in the US:
1.) Grand Rapids, Mich.
- median list price: $280,000
- total crime rate: 18.38%
- median list price: $173,000
- total crime rate: 18.44%
3.) Port St. Lucie, Fla.
- median list price: $285,100
- total crime rate: 19.16%
4.) El Paso, Texas
- median list price: $175,800
- total crime rate: 20.48%
5.) Syracuse, N.Y.
- median list price: $160,000
- total crime rate: 21.4%
6.) Hartford, Conn.
- median list price: $260,000
- total crime rate: 21.97%
7.) Fayetteville, Ark.
- median list price: $272,600
- total crime rate: 23.21%
Crime Statistics in the United States
According to Pew Research Center, the national crime rate has significantly declined over the past two decades. In fact, from 1993 to 2017, the rates of both violent crime and property crime fell overall. In a recent article, Pew Research Center examined the crime rate trends in depth, citing data from both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). While the FBI’s crime data includes only reported crimes, the BJS uses data compiled from an annual survey in which they ask Americans age 12 and older whether they were victims of a crime, regardless of whether they reported it to authorities.
“Using the FBI numbers, the violent crime rate fell 49% between 1993 and 2017,” the article states. “Using the BJS data, the rate fell 74% during that span. (For both studies, 2017 is the most recent full year of data.) The long-term decline in violent crime hasn’t been uninterrupted, though. The FBI, for instance, reported increases in the violent crime rate between 2004 and 2006 and again between 2014 and 2016.”
You can read more about the latest available crime data in the U.S. here.