Most Expensive Places To Live In Ohio For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Ohio that will put a big dent in your wallet.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Ohio.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

Ohio makes the headlines for many reasons: the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati's Skyline Chili, and it's inability to choose a political party. And, folks, HomeSnacks is happy to add to these headlines with our list of the top ten most expensive places in The Buckeye State for 2020.

To calculate our list, we created our very own cost of living index based on housing costs and income levels. To get the necessary numbers to complete our formula, we consulted the American Community Survey for the latest data on home price to income ratio and rent to income ratio for places in Ohio with at least 5,000 residents. We then took into account if a place was safe, availability of high paying jobs, and if a place has amenities that placate to the wealthy. And finally, we gave each place an overall SnackAbility score.

We're going to leave this right here: if you want to live in one of Ohio's most expensive places you should probably consider going to school for a degree in healthcare and/or finance. More importantly, many of Ohio's most expensive places are also the state's safest. And, lucky for Ohio's wealthy, there is no shortage of five star amenities. Yes, if you have some coin in your pocket, you, too, can be part of Ohio's "in crowd" with box seats to the Cincinnati Bengals games and week long stays in the penthouse at the Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky.

However, if you want to know the place in Ohio that scored a perfect 10/10 SnackAbility score, you're going to have to keep reading. (We'll give you a hint, it's not the most expensive.)

What's the most expensive place to live in Ohio? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Oxford is the most expensive place to live in Ohio.

So hopefully Bellevue (the cheapest place to live in Ohio) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Ohio and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Ohio For 2020

Oxford, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 22,612
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.3x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 35.1x (3rd most expensive)
More on Oxford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Oxford is a city in northwestern Butler County, Ohio, United States, in the southwestern portion of the state. It lies in Oxford Township, originally called the College Township. The population was 21,371 at the 2010 census. This college town was founded as a home for Miami University. In 2014, Oxford was rated by Forbes as the "Best College Town" in the United States, based on a high percentage of students per capita and part-time jobs, and a low occurrence of brain-drain.

The median income in Oxford comes in at $27,238 and the median home value is $198,700 for 2020.

Athens, OH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,771
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.9x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 34.1x (1st most expensive)
More on Athens: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Athens is a city in and the county seat of Athens County, Ohio, United States. It is located along the Hocking River in the southeastern part of Ohio. A historic college town, Athens is home to Ohio University, and is the principal city of the Athens, Ohio Micropolitan Statistical Area. The official population of Athens in the 2010 U.S. Census was 23,832.

The median income in Athens comes in at $27,435 and the median home value is $190,200 for 2020.

Beachwood, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,704
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 53.4x (39th most expensive)
More on Beachwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Beachwood is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States, and a suburb of Cleveland. As of the 2010 census the city's population was 11,953.

The median income in Beachwood comes in at $89,706 and the median home value is $296,600 for 2020.

Bowling Green, OH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 31,541
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.7x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.0x (27th most expensive)
More on Bowling Green: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Bowling Green is a city in and the county seat of Wood County, Ohio, United States. The population was 30,028 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Toledo Metropolitan Area and a member of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. Bowling Green is the home of Bowling Green State University.

The median income in Bowling Green comes in at $35,310 and the median home value is $166,200 for 2020.

Kent, OH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 29,824
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.7x (11th most expensive)
More on Kent: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Kent is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the largest city in Portage County. It is located along the Cuyahoga River in Northeast Ohio on the western edge of the county. The population was 28,904 in the 2010 Census and was estimated at 30,071 in 2016. The city is counted as part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area and the larger Cleveland-Akron-Canton Combined Statistical Area.

The median income in Kent comes in at $36,441 and the median home value is $144,200 for 2020.

Aurora, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,941
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.9x (29th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 63.6x (102nd most expensive)
More on Aurora: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Aurora comes in at $94,141 and the median home value is $268,900 for 2020.

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,111
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.8x (79th most expensive)
More on John: Real Estate | Data

The median income in John comes in at $49,621 and the median home value is $152,300 for 2020.

Cincinnati, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 300,357
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.4x (47th most expensive)
More on Cincinnati: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cincinnati is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio that serves as county seat of Hamilton County. Settled in 1788, the city is located on the north side of the confluence of the Licking with the Ohio River. With a population of 298,800, Cincinnati is the third-largest city in Ohio and the 65th-largest city in the United States. It has the fastest growing economic power of the Midwestern United States and 28th-biggest metropolitan statistical area in the United States, the biggest in Ohio. The city drives the Cincinnati-Middletown-Wilmington combined statistical area, which had a population of 2,172,191 in the 2010 census.

The median income in Cincinnati comes in at $38,542 and the median home value is $129,100 for 2020.

Columbus, OH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 867,628
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (41st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.6x (52nd most expensive)
More on Columbus: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Columbus is the state capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Ohio. It is the 14th-most populous city in the United States, with a population of 860,090 as of 2016 estimates. This makes Columbus the 3rd-most populous state capital in the United States after Phoenix, Arizona and Austin, Texas, and the second-most populous city in the Midwestern United States, after Chicago. It is the core city of the Columbus, Ohio, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses ten counties. With a population of 2,021,632, it is Ohio's third-largest metropolitan area.

The median income in Columbus comes in at $51,612 and the median home value is $143,000 for 2020.

Grandview Heights, OH

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 7,681
Rank Last Year: 27 (Up 16)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 75.1x (178th most expensive)
More on Grandview Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Grandview Heights comes in at $95,033 and the median home value is $342,500 for 2020.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Buckeye State For 2020

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Ohio
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 Ohio to figure out which is the most 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 253 places in Ohio that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Ohio according to the data is Oxford. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Ohio For 2020

Well there you have it, the places in Ohio that have the highest cost of living, with Oxford ranking as the most expensive city in the Buckeye State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Ohio according to the data:

  1. Bellevue
  2. Wapakoneta
  3. Hubbard

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Ohio

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Oxford 16.0 22,612 7.3x 35.1x
2 Athens 16.33 24,771 6.9x 34.1x
3 Beachwood 21.67 11,704 3.3x 53.4x
4 Bowling Green 33.33 31,541 4.7x 51.0x
5 Kent 38.67 29,824 4.0x 45.7x
6 Aurora 50.33 15,941 2.9x 63.6x
7 John 61.17 5,111 3.1x 59.8x
8 Cincinnati 61.67 300,357 3.3x 54.4x
9 Columbus 64.67 867,628 2.8x 55.6x
10 Grandview Heights 65.0 7,681 3.6x 75.1x
11 Circleville 65.0 13,853 3.0x 53.2x
12 Wilmington 67.0 12,403 3.1x 50.2x
13 Lancaster 67.33 39,942 2.9x 52.9x
14 Blue Ash 67.33 12,150 3.2x 72.3x
15 Willoughby Hills 68.33 9,526 4.1x 74.6x
16 Mayfield Heights 69.33 18,766 2.7x 57.9x
17 Milford 69.67 6,861 3.5x 66.4x
18 Hudson 70.67 22,287 2.6x 66.8x
19 Oberlin 71.67 8,299 3.0x 64.4x
20 Westlake 72.67 32,378 3.0x 74.1x
21 Canal Fulton 73.0 5,464 3.1x 64.8x
22 Norwood 74.5 19,796 2.9x 58.9x
23 Twinsburg 75.67 18,915 2.8x 70.9x
24 Rocky River 78.0 20,310 3.3x 78.9x
25 Newark 78.33 49,070 2.8x 57.2x
26 Avon Lake 78.33 23,777 2.8x 73.7x
27 Brecksville 78.33 13,538 2.5x 67.0x
28 Heath 80.0 10,646 2.7x 62.0x
29 Wooster 80.33 26,778 3.0x 64.2x
30 New Philadelphia 82.0 17,432 2.7x 57.2x
31 Sunbury 83.17 5,280 2.8x 73.8x
32 Lakewood 84.67 50,553 2.9x 67.3x
33 Huron 84.67 6,958 2.8x 68.3x
34 Hillsboro 84.83 6,520 2.8x 54.0x
35 Granville 85.67 5,766 3.4x 95.8x
36 North Royalton 86.0 30,322 2.8x 77.3x
37 Upper Arlington 86.0 35,223 3.3x 94.6x
38 Marietta 86.67 13,718 2.8x 55.6x
39 Mount Vernon 88.33 16,669 2.7x 57.3x
40 Zanesville 88.67 25,376 2.8x 41.3x
41 Willoughby 89.0 22,770 2.6x 63.4x
42 Logan 89.0 6,846 2.9x 60.9x
43 Bexley 90.0 13,764 3.3x 112.7x
44 Richmond Heights 90.67 10,449 2.8x 67.4x
45 Delaware 90.83 39,219 2.7x 71.4x
46 Kirtland 91.33 6,818 3.3x 112.2x
47 Solon 92.0 23,038 2.7x 81.5x
48 Loveland 92.0 13,082 2.8x 78.6x
49 Bryan 92.17 8,285 2.7x 50.7x
50 Fairlawn 93.67 7,522 2.4x 63.3x
51 Montgomery 95.67 10,663 2.9x 113.6x
52 Avon 96.0 22,786 2.7x 88.5x
53 Brookville 96.0 5,813 2.7x 65.2x
54 Dublin 96.33 45,559 2.7x 98.6x
55 Middleburg Heights 96.67 15,670 2.6x 69.3x
56 Marysville 96.67 23,509 2.6x 74.4x
57 Shaker Heights 97.67 27,620 2.7x 81.2x
58 Grove City 98.33 40,171 2.5x 70.6x
59 Germantown 99.33 5,505 2.5x 61.3x
60 Ravenna 99.67 11,552 2.5x 52.8x
61 Ironton 99.83 10,912 2.7x 57.2x
62 Mason 100.0 32,749 2.6x 80.4x
63 Mentor-On-The-Lake 100.67 7,410 2.5x 60.9x
64 Streetsboro 100.67 16,395 2.3x 57.7x
65 Ada 101.33 5,970 2.6x 62.4x
66 East Cleveland 101.67 17,321 2.7x 34.5x
67 Chillicothe 101.83 21,717 2.6x 59.3x
68 Fairview Park 103.33 16,400 2.7x 75.5x
69 Cambridge 104.67 10,432 2.6x 50.4x
70 Wellington 104.67 5,249 2.6x 64.3x
71 Portsmouth 105.67 20,366 2.6x 49.9x
72 Springdale 105.67 11,228 2.3x 52.3x
73 Worthington 105.67 14,705 2.7x 98.0x
74 Findlay 107.0 41,276 2.6x 66.9x
75 Troy 108.33 25,894 2.5x 65.3x
76 Middletown 108.5 48,449 2.5x 51.3x
77 Mentor 109.0 47,062 2.5x 73.9x
78 Lebanon 109.33 20,584 2.6x 81.6x
79 Centerville 109.67 23,821 2.6x 80.4x
80 Medina 109.67 26,220 2.6x 80.4x
81 Washington Court House 109.67 14,135 2.5x 60.1x
82 Fairborn 109.83 33,433 2.4x 58.9x
83 North Canton 109.83 17,362 2.6x 72.8x
84 Geneva 110.0 5,989 2.6x 62.5x
85 Wyoming 110.0 8,535 2.6x 115.5x
86 Norwalk 110.33 16,881 2.7x 67.4x
87 Gahanna 110.83 35,061 2.5x 80.3x
88 Highland Heights 111.33 8,396 2.6x 100.9x
89 Fairfield 111.67 42,636 2.5x 68.9x
90 Eastlake 112.33 18,229 2.4x 62.0x
91 Salem 112.67 11,870 2.5x 58.3x
92 Westerville 113.0 39,242 2.5x 86.0x
93 Sharonville 113.33 13,942 2.4x 67.6x
94 Reynoldsburg 113.67 37,644 2.3x 65.0x
95 Hilliard 113.67 35,665 2.5x 86.9x
96 Stow 114.67 34,796 2.4x 72.8x
97 Powell 115.0 12,909 2.5x 93.4x
98 Hamilton 115.33 62,259 2.4x 55.0x
99 Broadview Heights 116.0 19,242 2.6x 105.2x
100 Chardon 117.67 5,171 2.6x 92.9x

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.