One of the traditional benchmarks for Americans as they get older is buying a new home. But in today's economy with inflation and larger income gaps, purchasing a home is becoming more difficult.

New research has been released by NBC News to find out what counties in the United States are the most versus least affordable for home buyers. Their analysis shows that the Cost Index has increased 89 percent over the last five years.

According to NBC News, the median home price in the United States is almost $70,000 and is now considered by economists to no longer be "affordable" for many Americans. For households with a $54,000 Annual Income can only afford to purchase a home in 47 percent of United States Counties (1,321 out of 2,801).

What is the most affordable county to buy a home in South Jersey

Based on NBC News’ Home Buyer Cost Index, they ranked every United States County by defining Home Affordability as a monthly mortgage payment of no more than 30 percent of a household's monthly income. So we are ranking South Jersey counties based on the annual Household Income required to afford a median-priced home in that county:

Google Maps
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1. Cumberland County: $53,987
The only county in the state of New Jersey with zero properties valued at $2 Million or more, it should surprise no one that this is the most affordable county to buy a home in New Jersey. The median income for Cumberland County residents is $66,239.

Salem County, New Jersey
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2. Salem County: $54,239
Featuring Mannington Township, rated one of the Best Places to Buy a House in New Jersey, Salem County is also home to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The median income for Salem County residents is $73,556.

Cherry Hill, New Jersey
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3. Camden County: $67,359
Home to three of the Top 50 Best Suburbs to Buy a House in New Jersey (Haddonfield, Springdale, Greentree), Camden is much more than just sharing their name with the City of Camden. The median income for Camden County residents is $89,170.

Gloucester County, New Jersey
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4. Gloucester County: $70,081
Featuring two of the Top 15 Suburbs with the Lowest Cost of Living in New Jersey (Turnersville, Mullica Hill), Gloucester County is uniquely positioned within short driving distance of Philadelphia, Delaware, and Atlantic City. The median income for Gloucester County residents is $106,671.

atlantic county, new jersey
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5. Atlantic County: $75,233
Home to two of the Top Ten Best Places to Retire in New Jersey (Linwood, Margate City), Atlantic County is one of the most diverse counties in New Jersey. The median income for Atlantic County residents is $82,640.

Medford, New Jersey
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6. Burlington County: $78,283
Featuring two of the Top 40 Best Places to Buy a House in New Jersey (Medford Township, Chesterfield Township), Burlington County border touches five neighboring New Jersey counties. The median income for Burlington County residents is $110,245.

Ocean County intersection in New Jersey
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7. Ocean County: $96,042
Home to three of the Top 40 Best Places to Retire in New Jersey (Bay Head, Lavallette, Beach Haven), Ocean County has some of the most popular Shore Towns in New Jersey. The median income for Ocean County residents is $89,283.

cape may county, new jersey
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8. Cape May County: $150,823
Featuring four of the Top 50 Best Places to Retire in New Jersey (Ocean City, Avalon, Cape May, Sea Isle City), Cape May County is the southernmost of New Jersey's 21 counties. The median income for Cape May County residents is $92,821.

All homeowners are concerned about the property tax rates in their municipality.  But the good news is these New Jersey communities have recently cut their Property Taxes:

New Jersey towns that cut their property taxes last year

In 2023, the average property tax bill declined in 44 municipalities in New Jersey. The rankings, listed from the smallest percentage decrease to the largest decrease, is based on recent state Department of Community Affairs analyzed by New Jersey 101.5.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5