Cumberland among cities with biggest jump in home prices (and still among most affordable)

The D.C. area is one of the nation’s most expensive housing markets, but Cumberland, Maryland, a two-and-a-half hour drive from D.C., ranks as one of the top 10 cities in the nation where home prices are rising the fastest. Surprisingly, it’s still extremely affordable.

Nestled in the mountain side of Allegany County in Western Maryland with a population of about 19,000, Cumberland had a median home selling price in April of just $141,000. That’s compared to the median price in the D.C. area in April, which was $640,000. Cumberland’s median selling price was up 18.2% from a year earlier, ranking No. 10 on the National Association of Realtors’ list of metro’s with the largest year-over-year increase.

Nationally, the median selling price in April was up $389,400, a 5% year-over-year increase.

The median household income in Cumberland is $43,699, compared to a median household income of almost $102,000 in the D.C. metro area, according to Census Bureau data.

Cumberland, which dates back to the 1780s, is known for its historic charm, arts and entertainment, as well as its outdoor events and festivals. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, which operates year-round trains, departs from Cumberland for sightseeing excursions. There are wineries, breweries and distilleries in the area.

Frostburg State University is nearby.

It is home to historic Fort Cumberland, which served an important military role during the French and Indian War.

Cumberland was also listed on USA Today’s 2024 list of Best Historic Small Towns.

In addition to Cumberland, other cities with the largest annual home price gains, which are between 18% and 24%, are:

  • Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Kankakee, Illinois
  • Rockford, Illinois
  • Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
  • Johnson City, Tennessee
  • Racine, Wisconsin
  • Newark, New Jersey
  • Bloomington, Illinois
  • White Plains, New York

EDITOR’S NOTE: This report has been updated to have the proper spelling of Allegany County. 

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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