The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Ohio For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Ohio.

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 2021.

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.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Ohio for 2021:

  1. Oxford
  2. Beachwood
  3. Athens
  4. Bowling Green
  5. Kent
  6. Willoughby Hills
  7. Aurora
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Columbus
  10. Oberlin

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 Martins Ferry (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 2021

1. OxfordOxford, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 22,700
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.9x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 40.5x (3rd most expensive)
More on Oxford: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Oxford comes in at $31,546 and the median home value is $217,100 for 2021.

2. BeachwoodBeachwood, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 11,663
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.4x (29th most expensive)
More on Beachwood: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Beachwood comes in at $89,190 and the median home value is $302,500 for 2021.

3. AthensAthens, OH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,984
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.9x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 37.0x (2nd most expensive)
More on Athens: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Athens comes in at $32,360 and the median home value is $191,700 for 2021.

4. Bowling GreenBowling Green, OH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 31,526
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.6x (30th most expensive)
More on Bowling Green: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bowling Green comes in at $37,346 and the median home value is $168,000 for 2021.

5. KentKent, OH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 29,811
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.4x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.2x (4th most expensive)
More on Kent: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Kent comes in at $32,993 and the median home value is $146,700 for 2021.

6. Willoughby HillsWilloughby Hills, OH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 9,527
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 9)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.3x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 64.1x (94th most expensive)
More on Willoughby Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Willoughby Hills comes in at $59,328 and the median home value is $254,700 for 2021.

7. AuroraAurora, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,026
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (42nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.5x (10most expensive)
More on Aurora: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Aurora comes in at $97,848 and the median home value is $272,300 for 2021.

8. CincinnatiCincinnati, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 301,394
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.1x (44th most expensive)
More on Cincinnati: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Cincinnati comes in at $40,640 and the median home value is $138,000 for 2021.

9. ColumbusColumbus, OH

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 878,553
Rank Last Year: 10 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (36th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 55.9x (47th most expensive)
More on Columbus: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Columbus comes in at $53,745 and the median home value is $151,600 for 2021.

10. OberlinOberlin, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 8,296
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 8)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (17th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 60.6x (80th most expensive)
More on Oberlin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Oberlin comes in at $50,509 and the median home value is $160,900 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Buckeye State For 2021

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 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 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 250 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 2021

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. Martins Ferry
  2. Wapakoneta
  3. Bellevue

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 15.0 22,700 6.9x 40.5x
2 Beachwood 17.33 11,663 3.4x 51.4x
3 Athens 18.0 24,984 5.9x 37.0x
4 Bowling Green 35.67 31,526 4.5x 51.6x
5 Kent 36.33 29,811 4.4x 41.2x
6 Willoughby Hills 42.17 9,527 4.3x 64.1x
7 Aurora 55.0 16,026 2.8x 65.5x
8 Cincinnati 56.33 301,394 3.4x 55.1x
9 Columbus 59.0 878,553 2.8x 55.9x
10 Oberlin 59.33 8,296 3.2x 60.6x
11 Grandview Heights 59.67 7,895 3.5x 73.4x
12 Circleville 67.5 13,928 3.0x 53.3x
13 Mayfield Heights 68.0 18,669 2.7x 57.7x
14 Avon Lake 68.33 24,030 3.1x 73.1x
15 Westlake 69.33 32,275 3.0x 73.3x
16 Sunbury 69.67 5,573 3.1x 71.6x
17 Wilmington 69.67 12,392 3.0x 48.1x
18 Lancaster 70.33 40,159 2.9x 54.9x
19 Hillsboro 70.33 6,534 3.3x 50.2x
20 Twinsburg 71.0 18,707 2.8x 69.8x
21 Blue Ash 73.33 12,252 3.1x 77.1x
22 New Philadelphia 74.0 17,446 2.8x 56.3x
23 Lakewood 75.0 50,259 3.0x 66.9x
24 Brecksville 75.33 13,537 2.6x 68.7x
25 Norwood 76.17 19,883 3.0x 60.9x
26 John 78.67 5,237 2.9x 68.2x
27 Wooster 78.67 26,673 3.0x 65.9x
28 Milford 78.67 6,878 3.1x 69.6x
29 Loveland 79.0 13,485 2.8x 71.7x
30 Fairfield 79.67 42,634 2.6x 63.9x
31 Rocky River 80.33 20,198 3.3x 81.1x
32 Heath 81.67 10,745 2.7x 64.2x
33 Newark 82.67 49,470 2.7x 58.0x
34 Sharonville 82.67 14,133 2.6x 62.2x
35 Mason 84.0 33,224 2.7x 74.6x
36 Geneva 85.33 5,978 2.8x 53.8x
37 Upper Arlington 85.67 35,299 3.2x 97.0x
38 Bexley 86.0 13,786 3.5x 104.4x
39 Fairlawn 86.0 7,514 2.5x 66.2x
40 Richmond Heights 86.67 10,406 2.7x 65.9x
41 North Royalton 87.0 30,252 3.0x 78.9x
42 Hudson 88.33 22,263 2.6x 76.3x
43 Marietta 88.5 13,588 2.8x 57.5x
44 Granville 89.67 5,815 3.2x 120.4x
45 Willoughby 90.33 22,869 2.5x 64.2x
46 Mount Vernon 90.67 16,667 2.8x 60.4x
47 Delaware 90.83 40,568 2.7x 74.2x
48 Kirtland 93.0 6,822 3.2x 117.2x
49 Lebanon 93.67 20,642 2.8x 77.4x
50 Chillicothe 94.0 21,719 2.6x 58.2x
51 Findlay 94.0 41,335 2.7x 66.2x
52 Columbiana 94.33 6,247 3.4x 75.5x
53 Solon 95.33 22,947 2.7x 84.6x
54 Montgomery 95.67 10,782 2.9x 110.8x
55 Logan 96.83 6,836 2.8x 61.9x
56 Cambridge 97.0 10,360 2.7x 50.9x
57 Avon 97.0 22,999 2.7x 89.0x
58 East Cleveland 97.33 17,200 2.8x 32.5x
59 Dublin 98.0 46,499 2.7x 100.0x
60 Marysville 99.0 23,808 2.5x 74.1x
61 Portsmouth 99.33 20,311 2.7x 47.6x
62 Reynoldsburg 99.83 38,129 2.4x 65.3x
63 Middleburg Heights 100.0 15,573 2.5x 70.1x
64 Chardon 101.0 5,167 2.9x 88.0x
65 Grove City 101.0 40,797 2.5x 74.6x
66 Hilliard 101.5 36,411 2.6x 83.3x
67 Zanesville 101.5 25,200 2.6x 42.3x
68 Norwalk 101.67 16,857 2.8x 67.8x
69 Worthington 102.67 14,621 2.7x 101.3x
70 Fairborn 102.67 33,462 2.5x 58.4x
71 Huron 103.33 6,921 2.6x 70.8x
72 Ironton 103.33 10,599 2.7x 58.1x
73 Mentor-On-The-Lake 103.67 7,391 2.4x 60.6x
74 Shaker Heights 104.0 27,387 2.6x 85.0x
75 Stow 104.33 34,776 2.5x 72.4x
76 Mount Healthy 107.0 6,767 2.5x 46.7x
77 Troy 107.67 25,961 2.6x 68.7x
78 Wyoming 108.0 8,548 2.6x 112.8x
79 Eastlake 108.33 18,156 2.4x 62.9x
80 Canal Fulton 108.33 5,409 2.6x 72.5x
81 Springdale 108.5 11,217 2.3x 54.2x
82 Washington Court House 109.0 14,114 2.5x 58.9x
83 Westerville 109.33 39,877 2.5x 85.0x
84 Fairview Park 109.67 16,303 2.6x 77.7x
85 Madeira 110.33 9,147 2.5x 88.3x
86 Streetsboro 110.67 16,406 2.3x 60.8x
87 Medina 110.67 26,095 2.6x 82.9x
88 Middletown 111.0 48,621 2.4x 51.3x
89 Centerville 111.17 23,796 2.5x 80.4x
90 Green 111.33 25,760 2.7x 90.7x
91 North Canton 114.0 17,277 2.5x 74.0x
92 Ada 115.0 5,941 2.5x 66.0x
93 North Olmsted 115.33 31,710 2.4x 71.2x
94 New Albany 116.0 10,925 2.4x 106.8x
95 Gahanna 116.0 35,268 2.4x 82.2x
96 Belpre 116.67 6,421 2.5x 64.3x
97 Broadview Heights 116.67 19,195 2.6x 100.8x
98 Germantown 117.17 5,502 2.4x 66.9x
99 Ashtabula 117.67 18,171 2.4x 45.8x
100 Groveport 118.0 5,617 2.5x 78.8x

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.