Payette ranked most affordable place to live

An interactive map shows the top 10 most affordable places to live in Idaho. Payette ranked most affordable in Idaho according to SmartAsset, a ranking Mayor Jeff Williams acknowledged before the Payette City Council on July 20.

PAYETTE - People looking to relocate from more expensive places in the country to live in Payette County can rejoice. According to a study of the “Most affordable places to live in Idaho,” as conducted by, Payette ranked as the number one most affordable.

Mayor Jeff Williams acknowledged these findings in his comments during the Payette City Council’s regular meeting on July 20.

“I’m pretty proud of it,” said Williams. “You look at the Police Department; Crime is down. Yeah we have some challenges, but why do you think there are so many people moving here?”

The study, which pulls data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey, rated cities with a population of at least 5,000 people on the criteria of total home ownership costs against median income, over a five-year period.

The study factored in average home ownership costs in Payette against household income: 

• The median household income is $50,655

• Average closing costs for home buyers: $2,176

• Annual property tax: $1,090

• Annual homeowner’s insurance: $343

• Average annual mortgage payment: $5,606

• Payette’s affordability index score was 53.63

“Our cost of living and our conservative values is what’s bringing people here in droves,” Williams said.

The study also placed Payette at number 202 nationally, while Kuna ranked number 932.

According to Idaho Department of Labor Regional Economist Jan Roeser, for families the median is $62,260, married families is $70,340 and for non-family households the median is $38,701.

Kuna ranked second on the survey, with an affordability index rating of 43.89 and median household income of $64,456.

Williams, who is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Classic Properties in Payette, said business has remained brisk because people find the area’s affordability attractive.

“My business has not slowed down at all. It’s almost crazy.”

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