The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2021


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the cheapest places to live in New Hampshire.

There's a reason New Hampshire is one of the best places for retirees, this New England state has some of the most affordable places to call home.

With New Hampshire's life expectancy on the rise, HomeSnacks thought we would create the ultimate guide for all retirees and anyone else wishing to live in New Hampshire on a budget. So, we set out to determine the top ten most affordable places to live in the Granite State for 2021.

How did we determine the most affordable place in New Hampshire? We took a look at the US Census and the cost of living data for the Beehive State. We were especially interested in home and rental prices. We also looked at safety, education, and amenities in the 26 cities with more than 5,000 residents.

We determined that New Hampshire has affordable retirement communities in Suncook, hip millennial cities like Manchester, and family oriented places like Portsmouth. More importantly, we determined that when you choose one of New Hampshire's most affordable places to call home, you free up money on your cost of living; thus, leaving more money for the fun things to do and see in New Hampshire. Like, a Saturday tee time at Mystic Meadows in Laconia or a family staycation at Wallis Sands State Beach in Rye.

So, want to know where you can get the most bang for your buck in New Hampshire? Keep reading.

The 10 Most Affordable Places To Live In New Hampshire

  1. Somersworth
  2. Newport
  3. Franklin
  4. Rochester
  5. Berlin
  6. South Hooksett
  7. Hudson
  8. Claremont
  9. Laconia
  10. Milford

It's simple economics, folks. When you choose to live in one of New Hampshire's cheapest places, you're choosing to live where you won't have general sales tax or personal income tax. You're choosing to live where your New Hampshire dollar will go the furthest.

So, what's the most affordable place to live in New Hampshire for 2021? The most affordable place in New Hampshire is Somersworth.

To see how your favorite place compared, take a look at the list below or head to the bottom.

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

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Hampshire For 2021

Somersworth, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,925
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (3rd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.2x (2cheapest)
More On Somersworth: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Coming in as the cheapest place to live in New Hampshire is Somersworth, a small city a half hour north of Portsmouth. We gave Somersworth an 8/10 on our overall SnackAbility score, with an emphasis on solid schools, a strong market for jobs and housing, and being one of the most diverse cities in New Hampshire. Oh, and affordability of course. Somersworth has the sixth least expensive homes statewide, with a median price tag of $184,700. The median income in Somersworth is $66,663, giving the city the third best home price to income ratio in New Hampshire. Not to mention that if you go fishing at Willand Pond, you can cut down on your food and entertainment budget at the same time.

Newport, NH

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,240
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (2nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.2x (19th cheapest)
More On Newport: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

We'll kick off our tour of the most affordable places to live in New Hampshire with Newport, a small town an hour outside of Concord. Homes in Newport go for a median price of $138,600, the third cheapest in the state. Even more importantly, Newport residents spend the second smallest percentage of their on homes statewide. Newport is also in the top ten for income to rent ratio, with a median rent of $882. As for keeping yourself occupied on a budget, Mt. Sunapee State Park is just a short drive away and has all the hiking, boating, fishing, and alpine skiing you could want.

Franklin, NH

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,623
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (10th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 62.3x (16th cheapest)
More On Franklin: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Franklin ranks as the third least expensive place to call home in the Granite State thanks to strong affordabiliy numbers across the board. Franklin's got some of the cheapest homes for sale you'll find in New Hampshire, with a median price tag of $164,800. If you're not ready to settle down here just yet, renting in Franklin costs about $847/month. Renting or buying, Franklin has excellent housing to income ratios. Not to mention that it's one of the best cities for singles in New Hampshire thanks to great date spots like Tarbin Gardens. Looking for love has never been so affordable!

Franklin is about a half hour north of Concord.

Rochester, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,955
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (4th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.7x (17th cheapest)
More On Rochester: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

We're going to take a very short drive west from Somersworth to arrive at our fourth most affordable city in New Hampshire, Rochester. If you decide to move to Rochester, you'll have no trouble getting friends to visit thanks to all the concerts and shows put on at the Rochester Opera House. Homes in Rochester go for about $172,300, the fifth lowest price in New Hampshire. Additionally, Rochester's residents pay the fourth smallest portion of their income on homes statewide. That's all the good news; the bad news is that Rochester was also named the most dangerous city and overall worst place to live in New Hampshire.

Berlin, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,221
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.2x (26th cheapest)
More On Berlin: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

You don't need to book a flight to Germany to get a sweet deal in Berlin. It might help to know some French though, because, as a city near Quebec, around 65% of Berlin's population speaks a variant of New England French. Berlin's the type of place you'll want to settle down in for the long haul, because it's where you'll find the cheapest homes and, more importantly, the best home price to income ratio in the state. Add to that the fact that Berlin is one of the best places for families in New Hampshire, and you've got a recipe for a successful long-term stay. On the downside, Berlin is the least economical place to rent on this list. But we promise that once you see the stunning views from Jericho Mountain, your financial anxieties will be far from your mind.

South Hooksett, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,831
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 89.7x (12th cheapest)
More On South Hooksett: Real Estate | Cost Of Living

We turn now to South Hooksett, an affluent suburb of Manchester. As one of the richest places in New Hampshire, South Hooksett's affordability statistics are a little different than most places listed here. For example, don't get hung up on the fact that, at a cost of $269,200, South Hooksett has the priciest homes on this list. Because, thanks to a median income of $96,440, South Hooksett residents spend the fifth lowest proportion on their income on homes statewide. The deal is even better for renters, who get the best rent to income ratio in New Hampshire.

Hudson, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,486
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 66.0x (10th cheapest)
More On Hudson: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Located across the Merrimack river from Nashua, Hudson is a town of 7,486 with a penchant for affordability.

Hudson already featured on our list of the best cities for families in New Hampshire - an incredibly low crime rate, great local schools, and plenty of family-friendly amenities all played a role in it landing on that list.

The playground, fishing pond, and walking trails at Benson Park are all top quality, so don't think a cheap place skimps on quality. Plus you can be at Nashua's Mine Falls Park in no time if you want even more outdoor options.

In addition to all those great things, the cost of living in Hudson is relatively low. Part of that's down to residents earning a median household income of $77,628, making everything feel that much cheaper.

The median home price in Hudson is $237,000, but if you just want to try it out, rent typically goes for around $1,177. Both income and property values went up by about 5% over the last year, so keep your eye on Hudson for an up-and-coming town.

Claremont, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,977
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (6th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.5x (5th cheapest)
More On Claremont: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Claremont's story is very similar to that of Berlin; super affordable homes, with less impressive prices on rent. Claremont's median home price of $133,500 is the second lowest in New Hampshire and residents spend the sixth smallest proportion of their income on homes statewide. Plus there are tons of parks around for every type of activity -- skateboarding, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, ice-skating. You name it, Claremont's got a park for it.

Laconia, NH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 16,476
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (13th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.2x (13th cheapest)
More On Laconia: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Next up on our list of super inexpensive spots in New Hampshire is Laconia. Don't let the city's affordability fool you into thinking Laconia's boring though; whether you're just kicking it at Weirs Beach or zipping from tree to tree at Monkey Trunks Park, there's something for every speed here. Laconia has the ninth cheapest homes in New Hampshire, with a median price of $193,300. Folks buying a home in Laconia enjoy the 13th best home price to income ratio, while those renting get the 14th best deal in New Hampshire.

Milford, NH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,892
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (11th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.6x (6th cheapest)
More On Milford: Real Estate | Crime Rate | Cost Of Living

Next up our tour of New Hampshire's most affordable places is Milford, a town of 8,892 located about 10 miles northwest of Nashua. Milford is one of the wealthiest places in New Hampshire, and a median household income of $73,772 makes housing here easy to pay for.

The median home price in Milford is $233,800, which is the 14th lowest in New Hampshire. Rent here is a bit steeper than elsewhere on this list, but it's around the statewide average at $1,198.

All in all, Milford is a quaint but vibrant town - there's the Milford Drive-In Theater for weekend fun, and everyone looks forward to the annual Pumpkin Festival.

As a bonus, the overall crime rate in Milford is 75% below the national average, so don't worry about trading security for affordability here. There are no strings attached when we tell you that Milford offers a high quality of life for a low cost of living.

How We Determined The Most Affordable Places To Live In The Granite State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In New Hampshire
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 2015-2019 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 Hampshire 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 26 places in New Hampshire that have more than 5,000 people.

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

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

If you're looking at the cost of living numbers in New Hampshire, this is an accurate list of the most affordable places to live in New Hampshire for 2021.

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

  1. Durham
  2. Newmarket
  3. Manchester

For more New Hampshire reading, check out:

The Most Affordable Places To Live In New Hampshire

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Somersworth 5.67 11,925 2.8x 62.2x
2 Newport 6.0 5,240 2.6x 61.2x
3 Franklin 7.0 8,623 3.1x 62.3x
4 Rochester 8.0 30,955 2.8x 59.7x
5 Berlin 8.67 10,221 2.4x 52.2x
6 South Hooksett 9.0 5,831 2.8x 89.7x
7 Hudson 10.0 7,486 3.1x 66.0x
8 Claremont 11.33 12,977 2.8x 48.5x
9 Laconia 11.67 16,476 3.3x 60.2x
10 Milford 12.33 8,892 3.2x 61.6x
11 Pinardville 12.67 5,208 3.0x 56.4x
12 Londonderry 12.67 11,841 3.2x 66.9x
13 Keene 12.67 22,953 3.3x 58.0x
14 Concord 13.67 43,244 3.5x 61.6x
15 Hooksett 14.0 5,355 2.9x 48.9x
16 Derry 14.67 21,817 3.4x 57.1x
17 Lebanon 15.33 13,623 3.6x 61.7x
18 Dover 16.0 31,577 3.7x 62.0x
19 Hampton 16.33 9,166 4.0x 78.2x
20 Exeter 16.67 9,244 3.4x 56.8x
21 Hanover 18.0 8,508 5.5x 77.4x
22 Nashua 18.0 88,815 3.6x 58.5x
23 Portsmouth 18.33 21,775 5.1x 64.3x
24 Manchester 19.0 112,109 3.7x 53.5x
25 Newmarket 20.33 5,660 3.7x 53.6x
26 Durham 23.0 11,159 6.5x 56.8x

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.