Rising prices for raw materials, labor, land and city government-required infrastructure such as sidewalks have made building new homes in Bloomington for less than $300,000 difficult, according to data from Habitat for Humanity and a local builder.

“The day of the $175,000 starter home is gone,” said Craig Bailey, co-founder of Bloomington home builder Bailey Weiler Design + Build.

While home prices are rising in most areas of the state, the relatively low household income and small raises in the Bloomington area are further shrinking the share of Monroe County residents who can afford homeownership.

Based on a Herald-Times analysis of home prices and income data, Monroe and neighboring Owen counties in May were the least affordable markets in the state for home buyers. 

Affordable building getting harder:3 Monroe County families get new Habitat homes

In Monroe and Owen counties, the median home price in May — $299,950 and $255,514 — was more than four times the median household income — $72,416 and $60,381, according to data from the Indiana Association of Realtors and the U.S. Census Bureau. In all other counties, home prices were less than four times local median incomes. In two-thirds of Indiana’s 92 counties, the price was less than three times as high as median incomes.

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