10 Cheapest Places to Live in New York 

By PropertyClub Team
Jan 4th 2024
New York City is notoriously expensive, but plenty of smaller towns in upstate and western New York offer a high quality of life and affordable living. If you are willing to sacrifice the glitz and glam for a more laidback lifestyle, several towns all over New York state offer a comfortable lifestyle for young adults and families. Here is a closer look at the ten cheapest places to live in New York State. 

hash-mark10 Cheapest Places To Live In New York in 2024

  1. Celeron
  2. Ogdensburg
  3. Ilion
  4. Hornell
  5. Falconer
  6. Attica
  7. Mohawk
  8. Port Byron
  9. Olean
  10. Bridgeport

hash-markCeleron

Celeron is the cheapest place to live in New York. Celeron is a quiet village in Chautauqua County, located in the Western tip of the state, adjacent to the city of Jamestown. With shockingly low housing costs of only $725 for the average one-bedroom apartment and a media home price of $80,500, Celeron tops the list as the most affordable city in New York State.

Situated on Chautauqua Lake, about 40 minutes from Lake Erie, Celeron is a peaceful waterside village with a small-town atmosphere. It definitely isn’t the best destination for commuters as the closest cities, Buffalo and Cleveland, Ohio, are both over an hour away. But if you’re looking for a quaint village with a low cost of living, Celeron offers a tight-knit community and a high quality of life. 

hash-markOgdensburg

Another one of the most affordable cities in New York is Ogdensburg. Located in St. Lawrence County, on the New York and Canada border, Ogdensburg has a median home price of $104,500. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartmnet is also quite affordable at $815. Situated along the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Oswegatchie River, Ogdensburg is a bustling Port City with plenty to do.

The Ogdensburg-Prescott Bridge offers direct access to Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Property values in Ogdensburg are considerably cheaper than the rest of the country, and the cost of living is nearly 75% cheaper than the state overall. Ogdensburg’s northern location may make it a bit too cold for some. But it does offer scenic beauty and a proud local heritage.  

hash-markIlion

Illion is a village located in Herkimer County, just south of the Mohawk River and the Erie Canal. With median home values of $113,500, far below the country as a whole and a general cost of living at about 22% lower than the national average, Illion is one of the most affordable cities in New York State. It offers a low rate of crime, a high rate of homeownership, and plenty of family-friendly activities nearby. Plus, it offers a central location, just 20 minutes from Utica and about an hour from Syracuse or Albany. 

hash-markHornell

Hornell is an affordable New York city on the western edge of Steuben County, about 55 miles south of Rochester. Nicknamed the Maple City, Hornell is known for its large maple trees and pastoral beauty. The median home value in Hornell is $100,600, which is much lower than the country as a whole, and the cost of living is about 30% cheaper.

Unfortunately, due to its somewhat isolated location in the southwestern portion of the state, there aren’t as many job opportunities as in some other towns on the list. However, the local St. James Mercy Hospital does provide employment for those in the healthcare field. But Hornell does offer gorgeous scenery, excellent schools, and a tight-knit community where residents can rely on each other. 

hash-markFalconer

Falconer is a village in Chautauqua County, New York, within the town of Ellicott, east of Jamestown. It’s a quiet town with a family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of things to do close by. Chautauqua Lake and Lake Erie are both close by, and the town is just a short drive from the Pennsylvania border. Plus, the nearby city of Jamestown provides more amenities and employment opportunities. Home values and rents in Falconer are considerably lower than the state and country as a whole, and the overall cost of living is about 30% cheaper than the national average.  

hash-markAttica

Attica is also one of the most affordable towns in New York state. Located in Wyoming County in western New York, attica is known for the maximum-security prison that shares its name, and of which many residents are employed. But this creates a stable economy, where the cost of living is still quite low compared to the statewide average. The median home price in Attica is $152,250, while the average rent for a one-bedroom home is $950.

Attica is about 45 minutes from Buffalo and just under an hour from Rochester, providing more economic opportunities for residents. While not quite as cheap as some of the other towns on the list, the median household income in Attica is also closer to the national average, making the buying power of residents much higher as well. 

hash-markMohawk

Mohawk is a town in Herkimer County, named after the adjacent Mohawk River, which runs through central New York. In a prime location along the NY State Throughway, Mohawk is positioned halfway between Syracuse and Albany. Property values and rent in Mohawk are very affordable with a median home price of $151,900 and average rent of $1,100. The cost of living is also quite low, coming in approximately 16% lower than the national average and about 44% cheaper than the state as a whole. Mohawk is known for its breathtaking scenery and variety of parks, ponds, and other outdoor attractions. Plus, its close proximity to other local cities makes it great for families, retirees, and young professionals.  

hash-markPort Byron 

Port Byron is a small village in Cayuga County, situated just north of the Finger Lakes. Once a key port on the Erie Canal, Lock Complex Number 52 in Port Byron was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. Situated right along I-90 and Highway 31, residents of Port Byron enjoy easy access to Syracuse, Rochester, Oswego, and Lake Ontario. Plus, the city has been ranked among the best places in Cayuga County to raise a family with a low crime rate and high rate of homeownership.  

hash-markOlean

Olean is also one of the cheapest places to live in New York. Olean is the largest town in Cattaraugus County and is located along the Allegheny River, not far from the Pennsylvania border. Olean offers residents affordability, and a peaceful, small-town atmosphere with plenty of recreation. Housing prices in the town are pretty low, yet there are high employment and job growth rates, making the town very affordable. It may not be the best for your professionals and commuters, as the closest city, Buffalo, is over an hour and a half away by car. But Olean is a wonderful destination for families and retirees with a relaxed pace of life and excellent public schools. 

hash-markBridgeport

Bridgeport is a hamlet located in between the towns of Sullivan and Cicero in Madison and Onondaga Counties. Often considered a suburb of Syracuse, Bridgeport is home to roughly 1500 residents. With some of the lowest rents in the state and a median home value far below the national average, Bridgeport is among the cheapest places to live in New York. But the town also offers a variety of employment opportunities, and the median household income is not too far below the statewide average. Residents have easy access to Oneida Lake and the city of Syracuse, offering a good blend of outdoor recreation and urban conveniences. Bridgeport tops the list for the cheapest suburb in New York and offers the perfect atmosphere to raise a family. 

hash-markCheapest Places to Live in New York Compared

City Average Home Price

Median Rent for 1 Bedroom Apartment

Median Household Income
Celeron $80,500 $725 $51,000
Ogdensburg $104,500 $815 $54,100
Ilion $113,500 $850 $62,850
Hornell $100,600 $925 $48,650
Falconer $124,900 $925 $47,700
Attica $152,250 $950 $64,800
Mohawk $151,900 $1,100 $66,500
Port Byron $165,750 $1,120 $56,800
Olean $143,800 $975 $46,300
Bridgeport $205,700 $1,195 $59,600

hash-markMethodology for Selecting Cheapest Places to Live in New York

To determine the most affordable places to live in New York we analyzed local consumer price index, median home values, median rent prices, and household income. The rankings were based on the ratio between household income and home values. So, towns with slightly higher property values may rank higher on the list if median income is higher as well. Affordability is not only judged by a lower cost of living but the actual buying power of the average resident.