|A report issued by the WV Tax department shows a wide gap in the average value of housing in West Virginia, from a high in Jefferson County of $229,000 to the impoverished coal fields of McDowell County at $20,000.|
The West Virginia average is $112,000.
McDowell County is West Virginia's poster county for poverty, linked to the economic axiom that the poorest places in America have the largest amount of natural resource extractables, in this case coal.
That means that the Eastern Panhandle's Jefferson County cost for housing is more than 11 times higher than in the southern coalfields.
With the average housing unit, McDowell being last in the 55 counties at $20,000; Calhoun is 50th at $51,693; Wirt is 51st at $51,177 and Clay County is 52nd at $49,332, all with a very high rate of home ownership.
Gilmer County, according to tax figures, is the highest of the regional county's at $69,690; Roane $56,310; Braxton $54,980.
The report is based on data from each county's assessor's office and the appraised market value of houses in those counties.