Report Shows Salary Needed to
Buy Homes in 27 Cities
HSH, a mortgage research site, used data from the National Association of Realtors’ fourth quarter for home median prices and data from HSH’s fourth-quarter average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to determine how much of a person’s salary it would take to afford the principal interest, interest taxes, and insurance of owning a home
On a national scale, with 20 percent down, a buyer would need to earn a salary of $48,603.82 to afford the median-priced home. Of course it is possible to buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment, but a lower down payment means the buyer’s salary must be higher to afford the same home. In the national example above, a purchase of a median-priced home with only 10 percent down and including the cost of PMI increases the income needed to $56,140.44, an increase of $7,500.
However, buyers can buy homes with a salary less than the national average depending on the city. Pittsburg sat high on the list in terms of affordability. The average salary needed to purchase a home in Pittsburg is $31, 716.32 and the average home price is 135,000. The Steel City tied Washington D.C. with the lowest mortgage rates at 3.98 percent. Cleveland, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and St. Louis also ranked high for affordability.
Dallas, Miami, Denver and Baltimore all hit the middle of the lists with numbers closer to the national average. The required salary in the Dallas metro finally stopped at increasing $48,786.53 after rising for three straight quarters in 2014. Home buyers need $10,000 more to purchase a home in Miami, where the average home price is $265,000. Housing conditions continue to grow more affordable in the Denver area, where the average salary needed to buy a home is $61,642.15.
New York, Los Angeles, and San Diego had the least affordable home markets with the average salary needed to purchase a home near $90,000 or more. However, San Francisco had the highest salary needed by far at $142,448.33. That’s almost $50,000 more than the salary need to buy a home in San Diego, the second highest on the list. In the city of San Francisco itself, a one bed-room condo can easily run a buyer upwards of $900,000.