For 5th year running, city rates highly in SmartAsset study

HORNELL — SmartAsset, a financial services monitoring organization, has named the City of Hornell one of the most affordable places to live in New York State for the fifth year in a row.

The study examined closing costs on home sales, property tax, homeowner's insurance, monthly mortgage payments and median income to crown the most affordable municipalities. Using Data from Bankrate, US Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, government websites and SmartAsset resources, Hornell was deemed to be third most affordable.

In 2018, Hornell was named 4th most affordable city based on similar criteria; in 2017, third most affordable; in 2016, the most affordable; and in 2015, fourth most affordable.

Hornell and Waterloo were the only places to be named to the top five in each of the five years. The top five for 2019 included Southport, West Elmira, Hornell, Grandyle Village and Waterloo.

The numbers broke down as follows:

The average closing costs were $3,458; annual property tax was $2,000; Annual Homeowner’s Insurance rates were $306; the average annual mortgage payment was $3,095; and the median income was calculated to be $40,400.

From last year’s rankings, closing costs rose $8; property taxes rose $136 in part due to a higher valuation in 2018; homeowner’s insurance rates dropped $6; mortgage payments rose $14; and the median income rose $953.

Most of the local figures compared very favorably to the statewide averages, which calculated average closing costs at $5,312; annual property tax at $3,796; homeowner's insurance rates at $912; average mortgage payments at $9,217 and median income at $62,765.

While the city can do little to influence the day to day fluctuations of the housing market, Hornell Mayor John Buckley said that the city works continuously to make its services and taxes affordable.

“It’s great to see the City of Hornell rank so high on the affordability list. To be third on a state-wide list is simply outstanding and something we all should be proud of. The City continues to be a leader throughout the entire state, offering affordable services across the board. Hornell has the lowest water and garbage rates in the region, provides residents with full-time police, fire, ambulance and public works services, not to mention our beautiful parks and public swimming pool.”

“These affordable services help keep Hornell so attractive. I can’t think of a better place to live and raise a family,” said the Hornell native and city's chief executive.

Compared with municipalities nationwide, Hornell rated 2,217th, down from 348th last year.

Hornell has also consistently been named among the most tax friendly in the state by SmartAsset.