The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In West Virginia For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in West Virginia 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 West Virginia.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and West Virginia does this very well. Families love the Mountain State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in West Virginia that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in West Virginia for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in West Virginia? That would be Morgantown.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 27 places in West Virginia with more than 5,000 people.

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

  1. Morgantown
  2. Martinsburg
  3. Buckhannon
  4. Charleston
  5. Huntington
  6. Keyser
  7. Beckley
  8. Elkins
  9. Fairmont
  10. Charles Town

What's the most expensive place to live in West Virginia? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Morgantown is the most expensive place to live in West Virginia.

So hopefully Grafton (the cheapest place to live in West Virginia) 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 West Virginia and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In West Virginia For 2021

1. MorgantownMorgantown, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 30,712
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.5x (3rd most expensive)
More on Morgantown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Morgantown comes in at $42,966 and the median home value is $210,300 for 2021.

2. MartinsburgMartinsburg, WV

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 17,475
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.2x (2nd most expensive)
More on Martinsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Martinsburg comes in at $42,835 and the median home value is $157,200 for 2021.

3. BuckhannonBuckhannon, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,486
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.7x (13th most expensive)
More on Buckhannon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Buckhannon comes in at $39,709 and the median home value is $134,500 for 2021.

4. CharlestonCharleston, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 48,006
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.4x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 59.0x (14th most expensive)
More on Charleston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Charleston comes in at $43,344 and the median home value is $145,800 for 2021.

5. HuntingtonHuntington, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 46,667
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.8x (most expensive)
More on Huntington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Huntington comes in at $31,162 and the median home value is $98,200 for 2021.

6. KeyserKeyser, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,050
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.7x (5th most expensive)
More on Keyser: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Keyser comes in at $36,448 and the median home value is $99,300 for 2021.

7. BeckleyBeckley, WV

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 16,452
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.6x (10th most expensive)
More on Beckley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Beckley comes in at $39,455 and the median home value is $110,000 for 2021.

8. ElkinsElkins, WV

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,072
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.0x (18th most expensive)
More on Elkins: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Elkins comes in at $38,506 and the median home value is $122,800 for 2021.

9. FairmontFairmont, WV

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 18,458
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (12th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.5x (9th most expensive)
More on Fairmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fairmont comes in at $43,319 and the median home value is $110,900 for 2021.

10. Charles TownCharles Town, WV

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,943
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 86.5x (27th most expensive)
More on Charles Town: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Charles Town comes in at $80,278 and the median home value is $255,600 for 2021.

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

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In West Virginia
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 West Virginia 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 27 places in West Virginia that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in West Virginia according to the data is Morgantown. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In West Virginia For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in West Virginia that have the highest cost of living, with Morgantown ranking as the most expensive city in the Mountain State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in West Virginia according to the data:

  1. Grafton
  2. Weirton
  3. Clarksburg

For more West Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In West Virginia

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Morgantown 2.33 30,712 4.9x 50.5x
2 Martinsburg 2.67 17,475 3.7x 45.2x
3 Buckhannon 8.0 5,486 3.4x 58.7x
4 Charleston 8.0 48,006 3.4x 59.0x
5 Huntington 8.33 46,667 3.2x 43.8x
6 Keyser 9.67 5,050 2.7x 52.7x
7 Beckley 10.67 16,452 2.8x 57.6x
8 Elkins 11.0 7,072 3.2x 61.0x
9 Fairmont 11.0 18,458 2.6x 57.5x
10 Charles Town 11.33 5,943 3.2x 86.5x
11 Bridgeport 12.33 8,556 2.6x 76.4x
12 Hurricane 12.67 6,482 2.7x 72.9x
13 Dunbar 13.67 7,333 2.2x 51.4x
14 Parkersburg 14.0 30,021 2.5x 53.1x
15 Nitro 14.67 5,997 2.4x 55.6x
16 Wheeling 15.67 27,062 2.5x 67.1x
17 South Charleston 16.67 12,475 2.4x 76.5x
18 Vienna 16.67 10,348 2.4x 84.6x
19 Oak Hill 17.0 8,336 2.5x 60.5x
20 St. Albans 17.33 10,270 2.2x 66.1x
21 Bluefield 17.33 9,889 2.3x 55.4x
22 Moundsville 18.67 8,486 2.3x 58.1x
23 New Martinsville 20.0 5,162 2.2x 60.1x
24 Princeton 20.0 5,831 2.2x 59.1x
25 Clarksburg 20.67 15,553 2.0x 58.5x
26 Weirton 23.33 18,670 1.9x 70.3x
27 Grafton 24.33 5,061 2.1x 67.1x

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.