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The spread of work-from-home arrangements amplified homeowners’ desire to upsize, with American condo-dwellers rethinking their space, as well as their proximity to neighbors. But is this attainable? Can condo owners even dream about upsizing to a detached home in the same city?

With this question in mind, Point2 analysts looked at the country’s major cities to determine where transitioning from a condo to a house would be easier. Specifically, we analyzed the median price for sold condo and house units in the 200 largest cities, 150 of which happen to be core cities within their metros, as well as 50 that are non-main cities, defined in our study as “secondary.”

Considering the local median household income, we then calculated the price-difference-to-income ratio. Simply put, the equivalent to the number of years’ worth of income that it would take to match the difference between a condo and a detached home. As it turns out, such a move would not only be possible but also profitable in some core cities:

  • The cities where houses cost less than condos are all core cities within their respective metros: Houses sell cheaper in Detroit (75%), Akron, OH (39%), Cleveland (36%), and many more main cities.
  • Core city Rochester, NY, is the only place where single-family homes and condos display the same median price: $183,000.
  • Upsizing comes easy in Providence, RI: It takes less than a month’s salary to cover the $3,000 price difference between a condo and a detached home.
  • In 10 cities, the price-difference-to-income ratio is between 0.1 and 0.4, meaning it would take less than half of the yearly income to cover the price difference between a condo and a house.
  • Fontana, CA, Joliet, IL, Chesapeake, VA, and McKinney, TX, are the only secondary cities where it would take a maximum of one year’s income to match the price difference.
  • Upsizing is also achievable in the core cities of Killeen, TX, Kansas City, KS, and Norfolk, VA, all of which boast a 0.1 ratio and net differences of less than $8,000.
  • But, not all large cities make upsizing easy: Houses are more than twice the median price of condos in Bellevue, WA (185%), Arlington, VA (173%), and more.
  • Honolulu claims the highest ratio (10.1), meaning the $744,000 price difference between a condo and a house is the equivalent of 10 years’ income here.

Single-Family Homes Cheaper Than Condos in Core Cities

4 houses for the median price of 1 condo in Detroit, where a single-family home is $171k cheaper 

Surprisingly, going from a condo to a house is more than possible in 21 of the 200 largest U.S. cities where single-family homes are either cheaper or equally priced to condos.

Coincidentally, all of them are the main cities in their respective metro — from urban hubs like Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Memphis, or Cleveland to less buzzing areas, such as Jackson, MS, Macon, GA, or Rockford, IL. Even more interesting is that most of these core cities have experienced either decreases or minimal increases in population, according to the latest Census data. For example, the population declined by almost 9% in Jackson, MS, an area that’s seen its fair share of challenges leading to the drastic demographic dip.