Affordable housing among benefits of living here

A reputation for having cheap housing may be a mixed blessing. But Rock Hill’s ranking as one of the best small cities in the nation for affordable housing undoubtedly is a big plus for the city.

In this month’s issue, the magazine CNNMoney listed Rock Hill as 17th among the top-25 cities in the nation where residents “see their incomes go the furthest” in real estate investment. On average, a home in Rock Hill sells for $119,000 – well below the $269,768 average price tag in other towns in the study.

Whether that seems like good news may depend on whether you are buying or selling a house in Rock Hill. And it would definitely be bad news if the low prices were simply a result of a sorely depressed housing market.

But as the survey indicates, there’s a lot more to the story. Among Rock Hill’s attributes, CNNMoney notes, are lower state tax rates than those in North Carolina, strong schools and a parks and recreation focus “way ahead of its time.”

The magazine also cites Rock Hill’s proximity to Charlotte as a benefit. Rock Hill officials note that residents can take advantage of Charlotte’s urban attractions without having the cope with the day-to-day difficulties of living in a big city.

In the CNNMoney survey, Rock Hill ranked close to average with the other small cities in categories such job growth last year (up 21 percent), air quality index and demographic statistics, including age and divorce rate. Rock Hill also was the only South Carolina city in any of the magazine’s rankings of best small cities.

The report was not entirely glowing. For example, the average family income in Rock Hill is well below the average income CNNMoney estimated for its top 100 cities. And Rock Hill’s crime rate was above the average.

Those factors also might help account for the lower cost of housing. Again, though, most of the analysis was positive.

Rock Hill has invested more than $120 million in its business parks, which has paid off in attracting hundreds of new jobs. The city also has continued to expand its sports venues, including the latest addition of a bicycling center with a world-class velodrome at Riverwalk Park. also ranked the city fourth in its list of “Top 10 Soccer Cities.” The Manchester Meadows soccer complex was the site of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in July.

In other words, Rock Hill has a great deal more to offer than just affordable housing. Getting more for your money in a house is just one of many advantages of living in the city.

In fact, if you’re hoping to take advantage of that particular perk, you may want to act quickly before the housing market takes off again.

Article taken from The Herald