THE 10 MOST AFFORDABLE Places To Live In New Jersey For 2020


We used data and science to determine which places in New Jersey go easy on your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the cheapest places to live in New Jersey.

You may end up landing your dream job, but the income might not be what it takes to live near the job. What do you do? Reduce your cost of living, of course.

Every state has affordable areas, but New Jersey is one that offers some substantially cheaper cities than some of the surrounding states, ahem, New York.

But what is good about Jersey? It is actually a great place to start your career.and your savings account.

New Jersey is known for its food. Specifically, this Garden State has some amazing blueberries and corn. If fresh produce isn't your thing, don't worry because New Jersey is also known as the Diner Capital of the World. You can start your day with a nice coffee and a bagel.

New Jersey is also close to major urban centers, especially New York City. If you want to work and spend your weekends enjoying the New York City high-life, but don't want to spend a killing on rent, then New Jersey will soon be called your home.

Interested yet? We know we love a good "Taylor Ham" pork roll on the way to NYC.

We looked at several factors to create our top ten list, which included income to rent/house price ratios. This way, you will know where the cost of living is the lowest so your income will go the farthest.

What's the cheapest place to live in New Jersey? Topping our list comes Stratford, a city right over the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border near Philly. You can live in New Jersey and work in Philadelphia: a great option for both your career and your savings.

Other dollar-saving cities in New Jersey include Stratford and Barrington. All in all, these cities on our list have one thing in common, which is their ability to give you great savings on rent. or even houses.

Interested to learn more about our methodology? Read on to learn how we crunched the numbers and to see how your favorite city in New Jersey stacked up on the affordability ranking.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about New Jersey and the cheapest places in the country:

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Jersey For 2020

Stratford, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,967
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 83.4x (19th cheapest)
More On Stratford: Homes For Sale | Data

If you want to live the high life in New Jersey without spending big bucks, there's few better than Stratford. The Camden County borough has the second lowest ratio of home price to income in the state, so you won't feel like you're living in one of the most expensive states in America if you move to Stratford. At $182,900, Stratford has one of the lowest median home prices on this list, and Stratford residents earn a median income of $80,233, so there's no problem paying the mortgage off. Stratford also scored a 8/10 or higher on almost all of our Snackability scores, so it's an all-around great place to call home.

Stratford is located a half hour southeast of Philadelphia.

The median income in Stratford comes in at $80,233 and the median home value is $182,900 for 2020.

Audubon, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,660
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 83.1x (20th cheapest)
More On Audubon: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Audubon is another Philadelphia suburb that won't break the wallet, let alone the bank. With a median rent of $985 and a median home price of $206,700, housing in Audubon is slightly pricier than in Stratford. However, Audubon residents also earn slightly more, with a median income of $81,884. That gives Audubon the sixth best ratio of home price to income in New Jersey. If you're trying to stretch your cash even further, hanging out at Cooper River Park won't cost you a thing.

The median income in Audubon comes in at $81,884 and the median home value is $206,700 for 2020.

Somerdale, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,407
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.6x (33rd cheapest)
More On Somerdale: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Somerdale is the third most affordable place in New Jersey thanks to a combination of low home prices and well-paid residents. Folks in Somerdale pay a median price of $168,800 for homes and earn a median income of $70,951, giving Somerdale the third lowest ratio of home price to income in the state. Rent in Somerdale is slightly cheaper than the top two cities on this list at $939, but taken as a proportion of income, renting in Somerdale is less cost effective than buying. Hiking at Kirkwood Lake is free, so nature-lovers won't have to break out their wallets to have a good time in Somerdale.

In what's becoming a pattern, Somerdale is also in Camden County, within a half hour of Philadelphia.

The median income in Somerdale comes in at $70,951 and the median home value is $168,800 for 2020.

Barrington, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,741
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 78.1x (30th cheapest)
More On Barrington: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Another Camden County suburb of Philadelphia, Barrington ranks as the fourth cheapest place to live in New Jersey. Buying a home in Barrington will set you back $202,900, but residents also earn a median income of $75,720, so you'll be able to pay off that mortgage before the new-house smell has time to wear off. If you're into fishing, you can cut down on your entertainment and grocery budget by casting your line out at the nearby Haddon Lake.

The median income in Barrington comes in at $75,720 and the median home value is $202,900 for 2020.

Pitman, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 8,830
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.7x (50th cheapest)
More On Pitman: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Located in Gloucester County about a half hour south of Philadelphia, Pitman is the fifth most affordable place in New Jersey. The median rent in Pitman is $1,119, which gives the borough a not-so-impressive standing in terms of income to rent ratio. However, Pitman does have the fourth best ratio of home price to income in the state, so we'd definitely recommend buying instead of renting if you want to take full advantage of the borough's affordability. On a side note, Pitman is a semi-dry community without liquor stores or bars, so that's bound to save you some extra money. And if you're still itching for a drink, you can always pick up a bottle (or six) at the local William Heritage Winery.

The median home price in Pitman is $181,200 and the median income is $75,791.

The median income in Pitman comes in at $75,791 and the median home value is $181,200 for 2020.

Berlin, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,547
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 78.8x (29th cheapest)
More On Berlin: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Despite having some of the most expensive housing on this list, Berlin ranks as the sixth cheapest city in New Jersey. The median rent in Berlin is $1,183, which is the highest you'll see on this list. However, that's still about 70% cheaper than the average rent in New Jersey. Berlin residents also earn enough to easily cover their housing, with a median income of $93,261. If you're buying in Berlin, the median home price is $237,700, which may seem steep, but still represents the eighth lowest home price to income ratio in New Jersey.

Berlin is located about 20 miles southeast of Philadelphia.

The median income in Berlin comes in at $93,261 and the median home value is $237,700 for 2020.

Runnemede, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 8,328
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.3x (52nd cheapest)
More On Runnemede: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Yet another Camden County suburb of Philadelphia, Runnemede is the seventh most affordable place in New Jersey. At a median price of $165,000, Runnemede has the second cheapest homes you'll see on this list. Runnemede residents earn a median income of $61,859, giving the borough the tenth best ratio of home price to income in the state. Having a picnic and watching the sun set over Big Timber Creek at Runnemede Lake Park is an always-accessible cheap option for a date night.

The median income in Runnemede comes in at $61,859 and the median home value is $165,000 for 2020.

Haddon Heights, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 7,491
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (26th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 107.6x (3rd cheapest)
More On Haddon Heights: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Haddon Heights is the eighth cheapest place in New Jersey and the only place on this list to get a perfect 10/10 on our overall Snackability score. While rent in New Jersey may be 20% more than the national average, you wouldn't know it in Haddon Heights, where the median rent is $885, less than half the statewide average. With residents earning a median income of $95,230, Haddon Heights has the third best rent to income ratio in the state. At $287,600, Haddon Heights has the most expensive median home price on this list, but because of the high median income, it's still fairly affordable to buy here.

Haddon Heights is located in -- you guessed it -- Camden County, about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia.

The median income in Haddon Heights comes in at $95,230 and the median home value is $287,600 for 2020.

Glassboro, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,580
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (16th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.8x (72nd cheapest)
More On Glassboro: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

With a population of 19580, Glassboro is the biggest place to make this list. Both the median home price ($196,000) and the median income ($71,962) are in the middle of the pack for this list, and give Glassboro the 16th lowest home price to income ratio in New Jersey. At $1,164, the median rent in Glassboro is the second highest on this list and makes renting much less economical than buying, especially when considered as a proportion of income.

Glassboro is a half hour south of Philadelphia, in Gloucester County.

The median income in Glassboro comes in at $71,962 and the median home value is $196,000 for 2020.

Phillipsburg, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 14,415
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (7th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.9x (97th cheapest)
More On Phillipsburg: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Located in northwestern New Jersey, across the Delaware River from Pennsylvania, Phillipsburg ranks as the tenth most affordable city in the state. Phillipsburg has the cheapest home prices on this list, with a median price of $135,300. Folks in Phillipsburg earn a median income of $53,514, which gives Phillipsburg the seventh lowest home price to income ratio in New Jersey. A relatively high median rent of $958 gives Phillipsburg the worst income to rent ratio on this list, so definitely buy here if you want to take full advantage of the town's affordability.

Phillipsburg is the only place on this list NOT in Camden or Gloucester County and within a half hour of Philadelphia.

The median income in Phillipsburg comes in at $53,514 and the median home value is $135,300 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Garden State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In New Jersey
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2014-2018 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in New Jersey to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 187 places in New Jersey that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in New Jersey according to the data is Stratford. You can download the data here.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. New Jersey Cheapskate

If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in New Jersey, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in New Jersey for 2020.

Here's a look at the most expensive cities in New Jersey according to the data:

  1. Englewood Cliffs
  2. Palisades Park
  3. Ridgefield

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Affordable Places To Live In New Jersey?

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Stratford 13.67 6,967 2.3x 83.4x
2 Audubon 17.33 8,660 2.5x 83.1x
3 Somerdale 17.67 5,407 2.4x 75.6x
4 Barrington 22.0 6,741 2.7x 78.1x
5 Pitman 24.33 8,830 2.4x 67.7x
6 Berlin 24.67 7,547 2.5x 78.8x
7 Runnemede 25.0 8,328 2.7x 67.3x
8 Haddon Heights 31.0 7,491 3.0x 107.6x
9 Glassboro 36.67 19,580 2.7x 61.8x
10 Phillipsburg 37.0 14,415 2.5x 55.9x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.