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Buying a home this holiday season? Here are a few holiday homebuying tips and hints you should know!

The salary you must earn to buy a home in the 50 largest 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 the 50 most populous metropolitan areas.

Key takeaways:  Amid tight markets with little new supply, housing affordability continues to be a spreading problem. This remains the case even though the median price of homes sold in the third quarter of 2017 compared against the second quarter was actually lower in 29 of the 50 markets we reviewed. Lower quarter-to-quarter costs were most pronounced in the Virginia Beach (-6.63 percent), Nashville (-5.71 percent) and San Francisco metropolitan areas (-5.26 percent), reflecting increased sales of lower cost homes in those markets during the period relative to the second quarter.

While a majority of markets were less expensive on a quarter-to-quarter basis, that is simply not the case when we review median costs in the third quarter of this year versus the third quarter of 2016, where a year-over-year decline was seen in just 1 metro area (Hartford, CT). Even then, the dip was a slight -1.04 percent.

All other markets saw year-over-year price increase, some rather considerable. The most expensive market in our group got even more so, as the San Jose metro area posted a 16.5 percent annual rise in the median price, followed closely by the Seattle (+13.36 percent) and Los Angeles (+10.06 percent) metro areas. In fact, 34 of the 50 markets saw annual gains of over 5 percent.

As you likely know from your own income, overall wage gains continue to be muted, rising at about a 2.5 percent annual rate, so the ability of a potential homebuyer to keep up is increasingly difficult, if not impossible. Just to keep pace with rising prices, year-over-year income gains needed to be in excess of 10 percent in about one third of all metros (plus more than 9 percent in another nine). In fact, even in Hartford (where prices managed to ease) the influence of taxes and insurances means that the income needed to buy even that lower-priced median home was still some 3.56 per higher this year than last.

Somewhat lower mortgage rates during the period helped to improve affordability, but we may not be able to count on this offset much as we move into the fourth quarter of 2017 and beyond.

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 third-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 50 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.

Third-quarter analysis: The housing market continues to suffer from a combination of limited inventory and rising prices. Amid still-modest income gains, the combination continues to retard sales growth, and there are few signs that the situation will get better quickly or soon. As well, with potential changes afoot for tax dedcutions for both mortgage interest and capital gains on the sale of a home some housing markets could face additional challenges, too.

In the release that accompanied the quarterly report on metropolitan area home prices, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun didn't find much to be optimistic about, noting "Unfortunately, the pace of new listings were unable to replace what was quickly sold. Home shoppers had little to choose from, and many had out outbid others in order to close on a home. The end result was a slowdown in sales from earlier in the year, steadfast price growth and weakening affordability conditions.”

As we observed in our analysis, Mr. Yun also added that "While there was some moderation in price appreciation last quarter, home prices still far exceed incomes in several parts of the country...".

A lack of affordable housing isn't without impact on the economy. "Affordability pressures are frustratingly occurring in places where jobs are plentiful and incomes are rising,” added Yun. “Without a significant boost in new and existing inventory to alleviate price growth, job creation could slow in high cost areas in upcoming years if residents begin exiling to more affordable parts of the country," added Mr. Yun.

Existing home sales remain steady but without much traction. The annualized pace for sales in the third quarter of 2017 was 5.39 million, but a shade higher than last year's 5.38 million. Sales began this year with a relatively upbeat pace of 5.26 million in the first quarter but have since decelerated.

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.

National

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $254,000

  •  Quarterly change: -0.55 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.26 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,292.45

Salary:  $55,390.57

  •  Quarterly change: -$736.15
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If a homebuyer wants to buy the National median-priced home with only 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases to $63,941.21

Atlanta

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $204,300

  •  Quarterly change: -0.29 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.68 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,012.40

Salary:  $43,388.44

  •  Quarterly change: -$504.85
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Atlanta metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $43,388.44 to $50,105.27.

Austin

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $296,400

  •  Quarterly change: -3.77 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +4.44 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,573.61

Salary:  $67,440.63

  •  Quarterly change: -$2,512.11
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the Austin metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $67,440.63 to $77,025.77.

Baltimore

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $270,000

  •  Quarterly change: -2.53 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +2.16 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,377.46

Salary:  $59,034.12

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,696.75
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.06 percent

If homebuyers in the Baltimore metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $59,034.12 to $67,987.67.

Birmingham

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $198,700

  •  Quarterly change: -3.59 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.09 percent

Monthly payment:  $935.57

Salary:  $40,095.69

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,621.64
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Birmingham metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $40,095.69 to $46,724.01.

Boston

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $464,100

  •  Quarterly change: -0.17 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.62 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,274.19

Salary:  $97,465.24

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,053.47
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Boston metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $97,465.24 to $112,906.53.

Buffalo

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $151,600

  •  Quarterly change: +8.29 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +9.14 percent

Monthly payment:  $971.79

Salary:  $41,648.23

  •  Quarterly change: $1,623.28
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Buffalo metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $41,648.23 to $46,598.12.

Charlotte

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $233,200

  •  Quarterly change: -0.47 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +8.01 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,107.58

Salary:  $47,467.51

  •  Quarterly change: -$645.12
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.12 percent

If homebuyers in the Charlotte metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $47,467.51 to $55,146.52.

Chicago

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $255,600

  •  Quarterly change: -3.29 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +4.71 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,463.73

Salary:  $62,731.35

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,950.15
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.07 percent

If homebuyers in the Chicago metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $62,731.35 to $71,160.86.

Cincinnati

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $169,100

  •  Quarterly change: +0.3 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.71 percent

Monthly payment:  $926.21

Salary:  $39,694.76

  •  Quarterly change: -$252.56
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Cincinnati metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $39,694.76 to $45,265.90.

Cleveland

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $146,000

  •  Quarterly change: +0.83 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.11 percent

Monthly payment:  $850.79

Salary:  $36,462.63

  •  Quarterly change: -$90.62
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.07 percent

If homebuyers in the Cleveland metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $36,462.63 to $41,256.14.

Columbus

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $193,900

  •  Quarterly change: -1.92 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.77 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,041.04

Salary:  $44,616.20

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,014.99
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Columbus metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $44,616.20 to $51,022.21.

Dallas

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $249,000

  •  Quarterly change: -2.43 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +8.03 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,388.74

Salary:  $59,517.58

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,522.39
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Dallas metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $59,517.58 to $67,507.05.

Denver

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $418,100

  •  Quarterly change: -1.51 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +8.09 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,854.04

Salary:  $79,458.76

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,891.06
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.12 percent

If homebuyers in the Denver metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $79,458.76 to $93,130.09.

Detroit

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $183,040

  •  Quarterly change: +1.96 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.16 percent

Monthly payment:  $987.68

Salary:  $42,329.29

  •  Quarterly change: $219.21
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Detroit metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $42,329.29 to $48,398.28.

Hartford

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $238,700

  •  Quarterly change: -0.13 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: -1.04 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,437.61

Salary:  $61,611.73

  •  Quarterly change: -$523.34
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.04 percent

If homebuyers in the Hartford metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $61,611.73 to $69,422.31.

Houston

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $233,900

  •  Quarterly change: -0.72 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.59 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,320.67

Salary:  $56,600.09

  •  Quarterly change: -$746.03
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Houston metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $56,600.09 to $64,081.23.

Indianapolis

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $173,700

  •  Quarterly change: -1.42 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.85 percent

Monthly payment:  $855.63

Salary:  $36,670.05

  •  Quarterly change: -$759.29
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Indianapolis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $36,670.05 to $42,313.90.

Jacksonville

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $232,000

  •  Quarterly change: -0.22 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.94 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,190.49

Salary:  $51,020.85

  •  Quarterly change: -$543.22
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the Jacksonville metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $51,020.85 to $59,045.18.

Kansas City

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $197,800

  •  Quarterly change: -1.93 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.21 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,032.71

Salary:  $44,258.91

  •  Quarterly change: -$1,039.32
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Kansas City metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $44,258.91 to $50,717.64.

Las Vegas

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $261,600

  •  Quarterly change: +3.6 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.31 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,183.67

Salary:  $50,728.93

  •  Quarterly change: $990.38
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Las Vegas metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $50,728.93 to $59,535.42.

Los Angeles

Mortgage rate:  4.12 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.09 percent

Home price:  $595,100

  •  Quarterly change: +15.73 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +10.06 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,684.94

Salary:  $115,068.77

  •  Quarterly change: $13,537.11
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.14 percent

If homebuyers in the Los Angeles metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $115,068.77 to $135,236.01.

Louisville

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $175,700

  •  Quarterly change: -0.57 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +2.27 percent

Monthly payment:  $885.27

Salary:  $37,940.17

  •  Quarterly change: -$514.46
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.06 percent

If homebuyers in the Louisville metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $37,940.17 to $43,704.93.

Memphis

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $172,700

  •  Quarterly change: +0.7 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.67 percent

Monthly payment:  $882.48

Salary:  $37,820.45

  •  Quarterly change: -$143.60
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Memphis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $37,820.45 to $43,459.21.

Miami

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $340,000

  •  Quarterly change: +1.49 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.94 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,675.30

Salary:  $71,798.79

  •  Quarterly change: $154.78
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Miami metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $71,798.79 to $83,458.82.

Milwaukee

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $246,900

  •  Quarterly change: +0 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +3.74 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,328.30

Salary:  $56,927.00

  •  Quarterly change: -$489.85
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the Milwaukee metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $56,927.00 to $65,163.63.

Minneapolis

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $257,800

  •  Quarterly change: -0.46 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.28 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,312.39

Salary:  $56,245.46

  •  Quarterly change: -$710.52
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Minneapolis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $56,245.46 to $64,934.74.

Nashville

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $234,300

  •  Quarterly change: -5.71 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +1.87 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,106.78

Salary:  $47,433.50

  •  Quarterly change: -$2,820.16
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.06 percent

If homebuyers in the Nashville metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $47,433.50 to $55,145.96.

New Orleans

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $204,300

  •  Quarterly change: +1.14 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.8 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,029.73

Salary:  $44,131.30

  •  Quarterly change: -$23.84
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the New Orleans metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $44,131.30 to $50,919.55.

New York City

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $419,100

  •  Quarterly change: +1.23 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.41 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,313.53

Salary:  $99,151.22

  •  Quarterly change: $14.43
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the New York City metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $99,151.22 to $113,106.21.

Oklahoma City

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $158,800

  •  Quarterly change: -0.87 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +2.58 percent

Monthly payment:  $870.49

Salary:  $37,306.76

  •  Quarterly change: -$547.27
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the Oklahoma City metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $37,306.76 to $42,231.17.

Orlando

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $247,900

  •  Quarterly change: +1.18 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.83 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,263.45

Salary:  $54,148.02

  •  Quarterly change: -$10.82
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.09 percent

If homebuyers in the Orlando metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $54,148.02 to $62,707.60.

Philadelphia

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $238,900

  •  Quarterly change: -0.08 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +1.75 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,311.20

Salary:  $56,194.50

  •  Quarterly change: -$507.15
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.05 percent

If homebuyers in the Philadelphia metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $56,194.50 to $64,129.68.

Phoenix

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $248,900

  •  Quarterly change: +0.65 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +5.78 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,129.94

Salary:  $48,426.19

  •  Quarterly change: -$228.43
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Phoenix metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $48,426.19 to $56,658.72.

Pittsburgh

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $146,000

  •  Quarterly change: +0.69 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +4.29 percent

Monthly payment:  $821.46

Salary:  $35,205.49

  •  Quarterly change: -$123.80
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the Pittsburgh metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $35,205.49 to $40,013.28.

Portland

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $389,400

  •  Quarterly change: +0.08 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +8.62 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,793.96

Salary:  $76,883.89

  •  Quarterly change: -$722.81
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.11 percent

If homebuyers in the Portland metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $76,883.89 to $89,971.21.

Providence

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $287,000

  •  Quarterly change: +2.35 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +4.86 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,560.99

Salary:  $66,899.42

  •  Quarterly change: $525.31
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the Providence metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $66,899.42 to $76,332.40.

Raleigh

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $267,500

  •  Quarterly change: -3.88 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.91 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,263.32

Salary:  $54,142.27

  •  Quarterly change: -$2,322.08
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.11 percent

If homebuyers in the Raleigh metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $54,142.27 to $62,975.95.

Richmond

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $258,900

  •  Quarterly change: +1.93 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.96 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,215.93

Salary:  $52,111.45

  •  Quarterly change: $299.09
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.11 percent

If homebuyers in the Richmond metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $52,111.45 to $60,702.05.

Riverside/San Bernardino

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $339,900

  •  Quarterly change: -0.23 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +6.55 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,580.84

Salary:  $67,750.26

  •  Quarterly change: -$807.05
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Riverside/San Bernardino metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $67,750.26 to $79,164.06.

Sacramento

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $350,000

  •  Quarterly change: +2.94 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +7.03 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,664.71

Salary:  $71,344.76

  •  Quarterly change: $964.27
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Sacramento metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $71,344.76 to $83,098.57.

Salt Lake City

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $293,000

  •  Quarterly change: -4.15 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +8 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,315.91

Salary:  $56,396.29

  •  Quarterly change: -$2,687.82
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Salt Lake City metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $56,396.29 to $66,170.54.

San Antonio

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $220,700

  •  Quarterly change: -0.85 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +3.96 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,238.44

Salary:  $53,076.12

  •  Quarterly change: -$753.02
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the San Antonio metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $53,076.12 to $60,112.90.

San Diego

Mortgage rate:  4.12 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.09 percent

Home price:  $607,000

  •  Quarterly change: +0.33 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +3 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,709.47

Salary:  $116,119.96

  •  Quarterly change: -$755.15
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.06 percent

If homebuyers in the San Diego metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $116,119.96 to $137,861.68.

San Francisco

Mortgage rate:  4.12 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.09 percent

Home price:  $900,000

  •  Quarterly change: -5.26 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +8.28 percent

Monthly payment:  $3,997.72

Salary:  $171,330.88

  •  Quarterly change: -$10,010.61
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.12 percent

If homebuyers in the San Francisco metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $171,330.88 to $203,581.18.

San Jose

Mortgage rate:  4.12 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.09 percent

Home price:  $1,165,000

  •  Quarterly change: -1.55 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +16.5 percent

Monthly payment:  $5,044.23

Salary:  $216,181.25

  •  Quarterly change: -$5,182.38
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.2 percent

If homebuyers in the San Jose metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $216,181.25 to $255,689.08.

Seattle

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $478,500

  •  Quarterly change: +0.65 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +13.36 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,179.75

Salary:  $93,418.01

  •  Quarterly change: -$435.16
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.14 percent

If homebuyers in the Seattle metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $93,418.01 to $109,458.35.

St Louis

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $176,500

  •  Quarterly change: +1.44 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +3.82 percent

Monthly payment:  $952.51

Salary:  $40,821.78

  •  Quarterly change: $64.49
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the St Louis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $40,821.78 to $46,563.46.

Tampa

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $225,000

  •  Quarterly change: +2.18 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +9.76 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,154.39

Salary:  $49,473.67

  •  Quarterly change: $349.76
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.1 percent

If homebuyers in the Tampa metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $49,473.67 to $57,262.35.

Virginia Beach

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $224,000

  •  Quarterly change: -6.63 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +1.82 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,110.64

Salary:  $47,599.08

  •  Quarterly change: -$3,081.70
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.06 percent

If homebuyers in the Virginia Beach metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $47,599.08 to $55,014.80.

Washington, D.C.

Mortgage rate:  4.01 percent

  • Quarterly change: -0.1 percent

Home price:  $408,500

  •  Quarterly change: -4.71 percent
  •  Year-over-year change: +3.81 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,971.74

Salary:  $84,503.35

  •  Quarterly change: -$4,160.98
  •  Year-over-year change: +0.08 percent

If homebuyers in the Washington, D.C. metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $84,503.35 to $98,251.50.

Alaska

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 third-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 may 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.

Page /53

National data and all 50 metros, sorted alphabetically

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?

Metro Area 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate % Change from 2Q17 Median Home Price % Change from 2Q17 Monthly Payment (PITI) Salary Needed
National 4.01% -0.1% $254,000 -0.55% $1,292.45 $55,390.57
Atlanta 4.01% -0.1% $204,300 -0.29% $1,012.40 $43,388.44
Austin 4.01% -0.1% $296,400 -3.77% $1,573.61 $67,440.63
Baltimore 4.01% -0.1% $270,000 -2.53% $1,377.46 $59,034.12
Birmingham 4.01% -0.1% $198,700 -3.59% $935.57 $40,095.69
Boston 4.01% -0.1% $464,100 -0.17% $2,274.19 $97,465.24
Buffalo 4.01% -0.1% $151,600 +8.29% $971.79 $41,648.23
Charlotte 4.01% -0.1% $233,200 -0.47% $1,107.58 $47,467.51
Chicago 4.01% -0.1% $255,600 -3.29% $1,463.73 $62,731.35
Cincinnati 4.01% -0.1% $169,100 +0.3% $926.21 $39,694.76
Cleveland 4.01% -0.1% $146,000 +0.83% $850.79 $36,462.63
Columbus 4.01% -0.1% $193,900 -1.92% $1,041.04 $44,616.20
Dallas 4.01% -0.1% $249,000 -2.43% $1,388.74 $59,517.58
Denver 4.01% -0.1% $418,100 -1.51% $1,854.04 $79,458.76
Detroit 4.01% -0.1% $183,040 +1.96% $987.68 $42,329.29
Hartford 4.01% -0.1% $238,700 -0.13% $1,437.61 $61,611.73
Houston 4.01% -0.1% $233,900 -0.72% $1,320.67 $56,600.09
Indianapolis 4.01% -0.1% $173,700 -1.42% $855.63 $36,670.05
Jacksonville 4.01% -0.1% $232,000 -0.22% $1,190.49 $51,020.85
Kansas City 4.01% -0.1% $197,800 -1.93% $1,032.71 $44,258.91
Las Vegas 4.01% -0.1% $261,600 +3.6% $1,183.67 $50,728.93
Los Angeles 4.12% -0.09% $595,100 +15.73% $2,684.94 $115,068.77
Louisville 4.01% -0.1% $175,700 -0.57% $885.27 $37,940.17
Memphis 4.01% -0.1% $172,700 +0.7% $882.48 $37,820.45
Miami 4.01% -0.1% $340,000 +1.49% $1,675.30 $71,798.79
Milwaukee 4.01% -0.1% $246,900 +0% $1,328.30 $56,927.00
Minneapolis 4.01% -0.1% $257,800 -0.46% $1,312.39 $56,245.46
Nashville 4.01% -0.1% $234,300 -5.71% $1,106.78 $47,433.50
New Orleans 4.01% -0.1% $204,300 +1.14% $1,029.73 $44,131.30
New York City 4.01% -0.1% $419,100 +1.23% $2,313.53 $99,151.22
Oklahoma City 4.01% -0.1% $158,800 -0.87% $870.49 $37,306.76
Orlando 4.01% -0.1% $247,900 +1.18% $1,263.45 $54,148.02
Philadelphia 4.01% -0.1% $238,900 -0.08% $1,311.20 $56,194.50
Phoenix 4.01% -0.1% $248,900 +0.65% $1,129.94 $48,426.19
Pittsburgh 4.01% -0.1% $146,000 +0.69% $821.46 $35,205.49
Portland 4.01% -0.1% $389,400 +0.08% $1,793.96 $76,883.89
Providence 4.01% -0.1% $287,000 +2.35% $1,560.99 $66,899.42
Raleigh 4.01% -0.1% $267,500 -3.88% $1,263.32 $54,142.27
Richmond 4.01% -0.1% $258,900 +1.93% $1,215.93 $52,111.45
Riverside/San Bernardino 4.01% -0.1% $339,900 -0.23% $1,580.84 $67,750.26
Sacramento 4.01% -0.1% $350,000 +2.94% $1,664.71 $71,344.76
Salt Lake City 4.01% -0.1% $293,000 -4.15% $1,315.91 $56,396.29
San Antonio 4.01% -0.1% $220,700 -0.85% $1,238.44 $53,076.12
San Diego 4.12% -0.09% $607,000 +0.33% $2,709.47 $116,119.96
San Francisco 4.12% -0.09% $900,000 -5.26% $3,997.72 $171,330.88
San Jose 4.12% -0.09% $1,165,000 -1.55% $5,044.23 $216,181.25
Seattle 4.01% -0.1% $478,500 +0.65% $2,179.75 $93,418.01
St Louis 4.01% -0.1% $176,500 +1.44% $952.51 $40,821.78
Tampa 4.01% -0.1% $225,000 +2.18% $1,154.39 $49,473.67
Virginia Beach 4.01% -0.1% $224,000 -6.63% $1,110.64 $47,599.08
Washington, D.C. 4.01% -0.1% $408,500 -4.71% $1,971.74 $84,503.35

Comments

  1. Novacek September 08, 2017 8:44 am

    You (appropriately) include property taxes, but do you also include state/local income taxes? If one state takes 5k in property taxes, and another takes 5k from you in income taxes, it has an equal effect on affordability.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 27, 2017 8:59 am

      The calculation for mortgage qualification performed by lenders is done using pre-tax income, so this is the calculation we employ. Income taxes and other costs (utilities, commuting, etc) are part of the cost of living, and certainly can affect one's level of financial comfort, but play no role in mortgage qualification.

        Reply »  
  2. Queen June 20, 2017 5:45 am

    Great article. Atlanta 40k

      Reply»  
  3. Husband June 20, 2017 5:43 am

    This is a great article to read, it shows Atlanta at around $40K. Thought you might like to take a look at this

      Reply»  
  4. RJ May 25, 2017 5:56 am

    It's always interesting to me how these "National" surveys always skip over Indianapolis, in favor of dying markets like Cleveland, Cincinnati, St Louis, Pittsburg all of which are loosing population. Even Chicago has been loosing population since 2000. Indianapolis is the 14th largest city by population and has had a population growth of 9% from 2000 - 2015.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team May 30, 2017 1:30 pm

      Currently, we are covering only the 27 largest metro areas; according to the latest Census estimates, Indianapolis comes in at #32. However, it might interest you to know that based on the same methodology as the areas we do cover, that the Indianapolis metro area, with a median home price of $152,900 in the first quarter of 2017 would have required a salary of $34,979.46, good enough for fourth lowest of our group.

        Reply »  
  5. 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 »  
  6. 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 »  
  7. 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»  
  8. 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 »  
  9. 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 »  
  10. 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 »  

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