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Updated for the spring homebuying season - homebuyer mortgage assistance programs by state

The salary you must earn to buy a home in 27 metros

See below exactly how much salary you would need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in 27 metro areas.

Key takeaways:

  • Compared to the fourth quarter, the median value of a home sold in the first quarter of 2017 was lower in 17 of the 27 markets we review for our calculations. However, this decline in cost this wasn't enough to offset the considerable increase in 30-year fixed mortgage rates, so the salary needed to purchase that median home rose yet again in all but 5 markets.
  • Quarterly slippage notwithstanding, home prices were higher in all markets on a year-over-year basis, sometimes substantially so. Of the metro areas in our study, those increases ranged from 0.04 percent in the Pittsburgh metro to a whopping 13.3 percent gain in the Cleveland metro market. Four markets featured double-digit increases, but there are plenty of mid- and high single-digit gains to be seen as well.
  • Not surprisingly, rising home prices and higher mortgage rates meant that the income needed to purchase a median-priced single family home in the first quarter of 2017 was higher than the same period in 2016. In this comparison, salaries in all markets were higher, and the average increase for all markets covered was over 9 percent.
  • Mortgage rates rose considerably during the first quarter of 2017 relative to the last quarter of 2016.
  • For this quarter, our analysis includes updated cost factors for Private Mortgage Insurance.

PLEASE SEE: Metro area definitions

 

Chicago

How much salary do you need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, tax and insurance payments on a median-priced home in your metro area?

For our calculations, HSH.com uses the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 first-quarter data for median-home prices, national mortgage rate data derived from weekly surveys by Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and available property tax and homeowners insurance costs to determine the annual salary it takes to afford the base cost of owning a home (principal, interest, property tax and homeowner's insurance, or PITI) in the nation's 27 largest metropolitan areas. 

We used standard 28 percent "front-end" debt ratios and a 20 percent down payment subtracted from the NAR’s median-home-price data to arrive at our figures. We've incorporated available information on property taxes and homeowner’s insurance costs to more accurately reflect the income needed in a given market. Read more about the methodology and inputs on the final slide of this slideshow.

In the commentary section of each slide, we provide data to show how the required salary would change if you were to make a 10 percent down payment instead of a 20 percent. As we work from a fixed median home price, a smaller down payment means both a larger loan amount and the need to pay for private mortgage insurance, which in turn means even higher salary requirements.

First-quarter analysis: Winter months are usually a slower time for home sales, but that wasn't the case to start 2017. "The strongest quarterly sales pace in exactly a decade" noted the National Association of Realtors in their quarterly home-price release.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says continual supply shortages ignited faster price appreciation across the country in the first quarter. “Prospective buyers poured into the market to start the year, and while their increased presence led to a boost in sales, new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter,” he said. “Those able to successfully buy most likely had to outbid others – especially for those in the starter-home market – which in turn quickened price growth to the fastest quarterly pace in almost two years.”

That said, in at least 10 of the 27 markets for which we produce a salary needed to buy a median priced home, that median price was lower in the first quarter of 2017 than it was in the final quarter of last year. That said, prices to start 2017 are considerably above where they were in the first quarter of 2016, with a number of markets sporting double digit increases in price by that comparison.

Thin inventories of available homes remain; inventories have remained at 4 months or fewer for the last 4 months, so finding desirable, affordable homes will continue to be a challenge in a number of places.

Added Yun, “Several metro areas with the healthiest job gains in recent years continue to see a large upswing in buyer demand but lack the commensurate ramp up in new home construction. This is why many of these areas – in particular several parts of the South and West – are seeing unhealthy price appreciation that far exceeds incomes.”

Here’s a current look at how much salary you would need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in your metro area.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $120,000

  •  Quarterly change: -7.69 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.04 percent

Monthly payment:  $735.18

Salary:  $31,507.71

  •  Quarterly change: -$865.79
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.87 percent

If homebuyers in the Pittsburgh metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $31,507.71 to $35,631.17.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $126,100

  • Quarterly change: -3.74 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +13.30 percent

Monthly payment:  $788.30

Salary:  $33,784.32

  • Quarterly change: $4.88
  • Year-over-year change: +10.78 percent

If homebuyers in the Cleveland metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $33,784.32 to $38,117.40.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $145,400

  • Quarterly change: -3.84 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +5.52 percent

Monthly payment:  $851.70

Salary:  $36,501.50

  • Quarterly change: -$18.85
  • Year-over-year change: +8.04 percent

If homebuyers in the Cincinnati metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $36,501.50 to $41,741.21.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $145,000

  • Quarterly change: -11.93 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +2.09 percent

Monthly payment:  $858.95

Salary:  $36,812.29

  • Quarterly change: -$2,280.24
  • Year-over-year change: +3.59 percent

If homebuyers in the Detroit metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $36,812.29 to $41,794.81.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $154,900

  • Quarterly change: -3.67 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +4.80 percent

Monthly payment:  $885.43

Salary:  $37,947.17

  • Quarterly change: $25.42
  • Year-over-year change: +8.29 percent

If homebuyers in the St Louis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $37,947.17 to $43,269.88.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $182,800

  • Quarterly change: -0.05 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +8.94 percent

Monthly payment:  $950.26

Salary:  $40,725.36

  • Quarterly change: $1,149.25
  • Year-over-year change: +10.59 percent

If homebuyers in the Atlanta metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $40,725.36 to $47,006.77.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $237,900

  • Quarterly change: 0.98 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +6.63 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,115.47

Salary:  $47,805.95

  • Quarterly change: $1,892.00
  • Year-over-year change: +9.48 percent

If homebuyers in the Phoenix metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $47,805.95 to $55,980.72

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $207,500

  • Quarterly change: 1.22 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +14.01 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,119.51

Salary:  $47,979.10

  • Quarterly change: $1,730.78
  • Year-over-year change: +12.81 percent

If homebuyers in the Tampa metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $47,979.10 to $55,109.25.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $202,600

  • Quarterly change: -1.79 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +3.63 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,186.47

Salary:  $50,848.70

  • Quarterly change: $688.36
  • Year-over-year change: +8.20 percent

If homebuyers in the San Antonio metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $50,848.70 to $57,810.48.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $209,000

  • Quarterly change: -5.69 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +2.50 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,221.61

Salary:  $52,354.73

  • Quarterly change: -$722.36
  • Year-over-year change: +5.60 percent

If homebuyers in the Philadelphia metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $52,354.73 to $59,536.43.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $230,000

  • Quarterly change: 1.01 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +10.05 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,229.98

Salary:  $52,713.58

  • Quarterly change: $1,841.62
  • Year-over-year change: +10.06 percent

If homebuyers in the Orlando metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $52,713.58 to $60,616.88.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $234,700

  • Quarterly change: -0.21 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +5.96 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,254.90

Salary:  $53,781.51

  • Quarterly change: $1,414.93
  • Year-over-year change: +9.13 percent

If homebuyers in the Minneapolis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $53,781.51 to $61,846.32.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $237,600

  • Quarterly change: -3.38 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +3.66 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,281.37

Salary:  $54,915.83

  • Quarterly change: $161.30
  • Year-over-year change: +6.29 percent

If homebuyers in the Baltimore metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $54,915.83 to $63,080.29.

.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $222,300

  • Quarterly change: -0.98 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +6.88 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,296.12

Salary:  $55,547.95

  • Quarterly change: $1,058.61
  • Year-over-year change: +8.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Houston metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $55,547.95 to $63,186.67.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $236,500

  • Quarterly change: 2.56 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +12.57 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,362.60

Salary:  $58,397.27

  • Quarterly change: $2,470.20
  • Year-over-year change: +12.68 percent

If homebuyers in the Dallas metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $58,397.27 to $66,523.93.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $228,600

  • Quarterly change: 0.93 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +9.59 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,386.20

Salary:  $59,408.47

  • Quarterly change: $1,800.08
  • Year-over-year change: +3.92 percent

If homebuyers in the Chicago metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $59,408.47 to $67,263.66.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $319,700

  • Quarterly change: 0.22 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.64 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,589.85

Salary:  $68,136.37

  • Quarterly change: $2,152.61
  • Year-over-year change: +9.94 percent

If homebuyers in the Sacramento metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $68,136.37 to $79,121.97.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $318,000

  • Quarterly change: 2.42 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +10.96 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,637.63

Salary:  $70,183.99

  • Quarterly change: $3,250.81
  • Year-over-year change: +12.56 percent

If homebuyers in the Miami metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $70,183.99 to $81,111.17.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $359,900

  • Quarterly change: 1.47 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +10.16 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,727.56

Salary:  $74,038.31

  • Quarterly change: $3,142.85
  • Year-over-year change: +11.11 percent

If homebuyers in the Portland metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $74,038.31 to $86,405.26.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $396,100

  • Quarterly change: 3.80 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.34 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,812.12

Salary:  $77,662.37

  • Quarterly change: $4,890.43
  • Year-over-year change: +10.65 percent

If homebuyers in the Denver metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $77,662.37 to $91,273.24.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $383,500

  • Quarterly change: -0.21 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +4.10 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,926.05

Salary:  $82,544.92

  • Quarterly change: $2,314.77
  • Year-over-year change: +6.98 percent

If homebuyers in the Washington metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $82,544.92 to $95,722.82.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $422,100

  • Quarterly change: -0.28 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +10.18 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,017.52

Salary:  $86,465.00

  • Quarterly change: $2,495.65
  • Year-over-year change: +11.53 percent

If homebuyers in the Seattle metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $86,465.00 to $98,585.66.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $414,200

  • Quarterly change: -0.77 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +9.43 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,133.11

Salary:  $91,419.05

  • Quarterly change: $2,119.10
  • Year-over-year change: +14.88 percent

If homebuyers in the Boston metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $91,419.05 to $105,651.87.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $386,000

  • Quarterly change: 0.97 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +3.51 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,233.68

Salary:  $95,729.31

  • Quarterly change: $3,064.63
  • Year-over-year change: +14.10 percent

If homebuyers in the New York City metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $95,729.31 to $108,993.12.

Mortgage rate:  4.29 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $485,800

  • Quarterly change: -4.11 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +5.75 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,299.32

Salary:  $98,542.31

  • Quarterly change: -$294.81
  • Year-over-year change: +9.17 percent

If homebuyers in the Los Angeles metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $98,542.31 to $115,235.47.

Mortgage rate:  4.36 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.26 percent

Home price:  $564,000

  • Quarterly change: -0.70 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +5.03 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,605.53

Salary:  $111,665.80

  • Quarterly change: $2,277.07
  • Year-over-year change: +9.81 percent

If homebuyers in the San Diego metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $111,665.80 to $132,233.29.

Mortgage rate:  4.36 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.26 percent

Home price:  $815,000

  • Quarterly change: -1.81 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +6.54 percent

Monthly payment:  $3,759.24

Salary:  $161,110.33

  • Quarterly change: $1,763.01
  • Year-over-year change: +12.39 percent

If homebuyers in the San Francisco metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $161,110.33 to $190,831.09.

To compile these results, HSH.com calculates the annual before-tax income required to cover the mortgage's principal, interest, property tax and homeowner's insurance payment. We use standard 28 percent "front-end" debt ratios and a 20 percent down payment subtracted from the median-home-price data to arrive at our figures. Loans with less than a 20 percent down payment will incur mortgage insurance, which would in turn increase the required salary and require Private Mortgage Insurance. Results using smaller down payments and including PMI costs are provided on each market's slide.

We utilized the National Association of Realtors 2017 first-quarter data for median home prices. For mortgage data, we create a quarterly average of mortgage rates from survey data published by Freddie Mac (conforming loans) and the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (jumbo loans) for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage.

The average mortgage rate information we used was for purchase-money mortgages made to borrowers with good to excellent credit.

Into our calculations, we incorporate metropolitan-area average property tax information using data made available from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). We use 2010-2015 ACS 5-year estimates, which are the latest available data.

For homeowner's insurance costs, we use the latest available data for statewide average homeowner insurance premium costs from the Insurance Information Institute (http://www.iii.org), whose mission is to improve public understanding of insurance.

Note: Property taxes and insurance costs are specific to an individual property itself and will be different for any single property in which you may have an interest. Also, if other personal debts exceed 8 percent of one's given monthly gross income, this will increase the salary needed to qualify.

PMI costs used in our calculations are for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. For conforming loan amounts, these are costs for FICO scores of greater than 740 but less than 759; for jumbo loan amounts, these costs are for FICO scores of 760 or greater. You can calculate mortgage insurance costs for other credit scores, down payment amounts and mortgage types using HSH.com's PMI Cost Calculator.

Data for the Pittsburgh metro area was provided by RealSTATs, a locally owned and operated real estate information company. Home-price data for Detroit was provided by Realcomp II Ltd., Michigan's largest Multiple Listing Service.

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How much salary do you need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in your metro area?

salary you need to earn in order to afford home in 27 metro areas
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Metro Area 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate % Change from 4Q16 Median Home Price % Change from 4Q16 Monthly Payment (PITI) Salary Needed
National 4.29% 0.32% $232,100 -1.40 $1,235.95 $52,969.46
Pittsburgh 4.29% 0.32% $120,000 -7.69 $735.18 $31,507.71
Cleveland 4.29% 0.32% $126,100 -3.74 $788.30 $33,784.32
Cincinnati 4.29% 0.32% $145,400 -3.84 $851.70 $36,501.50
Detroit 4.29% 0.32% $145,000 -11.93 $858.95 $36,812.29
St Louis 4.29% 0.32% $154,900 -3.67 $885.43 $37,947.17
Atlanta 4.29% 0.32% $182,800 -0.05 $950.26 $40,725.36
Phoenix 4.29% 0.32% $237,900 +0.98 $1,115.47 $47,805.95
Tampa 4.29% 0.32% $207,500 +1.22 $1,119.51 $47,979.10
San Antonio 4.29% 0.32% $202,600 -1.79 $1,186.47 $50,848.70
Philadelphia 4.29% 0.32% $209,000 -5.69 $1,221.61 $52,354.73
Orlando 4.29% 0.32% $230,000 +1.01 $1,229.98 $52,713.58
Minneapolis 4.29% 0.32% $234,700 -0.21 $1,254.90 $53,781.51
Baltimore 4.29% 0.32% $237,600 -3.38 $1,281.37 $54,915.83
Houston 4.29% 0.32% $222,300 -0.98 $1,296.12 $55,547.95
Dallas 4.29% 0.32% $236,500 +2.56 $1,362.60 $58,397.27
Chicago 4.29% 0.32% $228,600 +0.93 $1,386.20 $59,408.47
Sacramento 4.29% 0.32% $319,700 +0.22 $1,589.85 $68,136.37
Miami 4.29% 0.32% $318,000 +2.42 $1,637.63 $70,183.99
Portland 4.29% 0.32% $359,900 +1.47 $1,727.56 $74,038.31
Denver 4.29% 0.32% $396,100 +3.80 $1,812.12 $77,662.37
Washington 4.29% 0.32% $383,500 -0.21 $1,926.05 $82,544.92
Seattle 4.29% 0.32% $422,100 -0.28 $2,017.52 $86,465.00
Boston 4.29% 0.32% $414,200 -0.77 $2,133.11 $91,419.05
New York 4.29% 0.32% $386,000 +0.97 $2,233.68 $95,729.31
Los Angeles 4.29% 0.32% $485,800 -4.11 $2,299.32 $98,542.31
San Diego 4.36% 0.26% $564,000 -0.70 $2,605.53 $111,665.80
San Francisco 4.36% 0.26% $815,000 -1.81 $3,759.24 $161,110.33

Comments

  1. Ken January 31, 2017 12:43 pm

    When I purchased a home 20 years ago, the going rate was 3X salary, so $50,000 salary would equate to $150,000 home and that took into account a small down payment (

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team February 07, 2017 11:59 am

      You can check the methodology slide at the end of the show, but we use the industry standard 28 percent "front end" ratio for the PITI calculation. One considerable difference between years ago and today are much lower mortgage rates, which materially improve a given income's debt-carrying ability (aka as "lower mortgage rates increase borrowing ability").

        Reply »  
  2. Kersten January 05, 2017 5:09 pm

    Is this based on 20% down? These numbers (especially in Texas) are inaccurate. Did your methods consider 3% property tax? I don't know anyone with a 1,200/month payment on a home in Dallas.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team January 11, 2017 1:36 pm

      Yes, the calculations are done with 20 percent down (you can see calcs at a 10% down payment on the individual slide for Dallas). Please know that the metro area is considerably larger than just Dallas -- see the metro definitions here http://www.hsh.com/finance/real-estate/metro-area-definitions.html and the methodology can be found on the "About" slide at the end of the group.

        Reply »  
  3. Jerri December 31, 2016 9:12 pm

    Cincinnati, you have got to be kidding, property taxes are ridiculous for new homeowners unless there is an abatement. Not too many of those.

      Reply»  
  4. Michael H December 06, 2016 4:10 pm

    What's your down payment for each of these loans, and is this median list price, or median reported list price, and does it take into account any immediate sweat equity work (fixer-uppers which have real costs higher than what they sell for)?

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team January 05, 2017 6:55 am

      You can find our methodology for calculating these salaries on the last slide. Here's a link: http://www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/salary-home-buying-25-cities.html#how-did-we-come-up-with-these-salaries

        Reply »  
  5. jennifer November 21, 2016 5:35 am

    Having worked in this industry, I am shocked that the "standard"front and back end ratios are still being touted and promoted as a means of what is affordable for a person or a family (regardless of geographical location)...I would never allow a client to base their affordability on their Gross income and not take taxes, household expenses (basics like electricity, gas, water, cable, etc), emergency fund, and some level of retirement planning into consideration (even as low as 6% of gross income). And yes, debt should also play a role (though that is an individual variable). If we as a country are looking for another housing bubble/crash, using these sorts of calculations will definitely help in making that happen. Either wages need to rise, home prices need to adjust downward, or taxes/expenses need to decrease.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team January 05, 2017 7:14 am

      The "standard" 28%/36% ratios have been in place for a long, long time and the market performed well with them (when adhered to, and in conjunction with items such as proper income documentation) in both good times and bad. Also, please know that our calculation does take into account available tax and insurance information. It's admirable that you look deeper into a client's finances, and of course you know that debts do play a role in qualification. However, items such as cable, emergency funds and retirement planning have always been beyond the scope of mortgage qualification and likely always will be.

        Reply »  
  6. JP November 20, 2016 7:14 am

    I'm not sure why you're even in business. These numbers are bogus. Let's start with NY :) If you can't differentiate between LI and NYC you obviously have no idea what you're doing or what you're talking about. A one bedroom in NYC averages around 750K....

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team January 05, 2017 7:23 am

      While we realize that midtown Manhattan real estate is of course more expensive (as it usually is any center-city review) the information we use is provided by the National Association of Realtors, who uses the Office of Management and Budget definition to define the area covered. We provide this information here: http://www.hsh.com/finance/real-estate/metro-area-definitions.htmlThis covers the "New York City" metro area on which our calculations are based.

        Reply »  
  7. Joe Gomes November 16, 2016 2:56 pm

    Is there a reason Hawaiian and Alaskan metro areas were not considered in this article?

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team January 05, 2017 7:25 am

      Yes. We provide information covering the 27 largest metropolitan areas (in terms of population, ranked by Census) as a basis for the feature.

        Reply »  
  8. Philip S. Moore October 24, 2016 6:13 pm

    Is there any calculation of standard deviation for these numbers? Since some of these urban areas have a vast difference between median and mean, it would be interesting to know whether the "average" is consistent with the "normal".

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team October 25, 2016 7:26 am

      Phillip,Thanks for all your comments. No, we do not take standard deviation into account. We can only use the data that is readily available to us: The NAR's median home prices by metro area. -Tim Manni, HSH.com

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  9. Oak Laurel October 22, 2016 2:47 am

    Spare a thought for us Aussies in Sydney where the median hose price is over $1 million Australian dollars. Melbourne houses are almost as expensive with a median price of over $800,000.

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  10. Jordan K September 21, 2016 3:06 pm

    I think the bigger issue is the assumption that the family has no student debt and has the money required to make a down payment. Even if we assume no student debt, a family making 160k in the Bay Area will, amidst ever rising rents and cost of living, have a very difficult time saving the 180k needed to put down to buy that 885k house. This needs to be more prominently addressed in order for this article to be helpful to most people.

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    1. Editorial Team September 22, 2016 7:49 am

      Jordan, Thanks for your comment. You're right in the sense that yes, debts are missing as part of our equation. We have no way of knowing how much debt one person has versus another. And we mention in the introduction that this is the BASE cost of owning a home, you will need to earn more to cover the total cost of owning a home. We can only work with the data that is available. Also, we provide numbers for a 10% down payment in the commentary of each slide. Given the salary break between 20% and 10%, you can assume a needed salary if you need to go down to 5%. Thanks for your comment, Tim Manni, HSH.com

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