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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. 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

        Reply »  
  2. 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.

      Reply»  
  3. 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.

      Reply»  
    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

        Reply »  
  4. Naomi September 20, 2016 11:34 am

    This article would be much better if you included/compared houses that you could buy at the "median" price in each city - otherwise these numbers are meaningless. A one BR walk up condo in NYC does not compare to 4BR home .. even if they are both median prices. As difficult as it may be, why don't you do the same analysis using a comparable home ..

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 22, 2016 7:56 am

      Naomi, Thanks for your comment. You're right, a 1-BR condo is NYC is not the same as a 4-BR home in Ohio. But the locations are extremely different and money buys many different things depending on where you live. We have to use the median price data from the NAR -- there is no other data. And, we compare entire metro areas, not just cities, so what you can buy in NYC vs. what you can buy on Long Island will vary greatly. Thanks for your comment, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  5. Richard September 20, 2016 7:32 am

    Using the values in your table, I see that you divided monthly annual PITI (monthly PITI * 12) by 0.28 to arrive at the value for Salary Needed. Stated differently, you assume that the maximum percentage of income that should be used for PITI is 28 percent. It is wrong to assume that this value should be fixed across income. To show this, note that the household earning $32,390 in Pittsburgh has $23,320 remaining for other expenses, while the household earning $161,947 in San Francisco has $116,602 remaining for other expenses in addition to more favorable income tax deductions. Clearly, the household in San Francisco can afford to spend a somewhat higher percentage of their income on housing, and this implies that Salaries Needed at the high end of this table are somewhat inflated.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 22, 2016 7:59 am

      Richard, Thanks for your comment. The 28% ratio we use are industry standards, the same thing any lender would calculate. Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  6. Liisa Lippincott September 19, 2016 10:49 am

    What about Honolulu, Hawaii?

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 22, 2016 8:01 am

      Liisa, Up until now, we have not had metro-area mortgage rate data in Honolulu. We are considering using a national number so we can add more metros to our list. Thanks, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  7. FN September 17, 2016 3:12 pm

    Next time, how about including at least one metropolitan area from EACH OF THE 50 states? You covered 4 areas just in CA here while leaving out more than half of the states in the union.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 22, 2016 8:05 am

      FN, The reason is because, up until now, we have been using HSH's metro area mortgage rates which did not have data for all 50 states. We also compiled a list of metros based on population. We are considering using a national number so we can include more metros. Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  8. Jeff September 16, 2016 9:17 pm

    I bought a house in Hillcrest (San Diego) with an income of just under $50k. Of course this was 2003 and much easier to obtain loans back then. Sold it 3 years later same condition at a $240k profit. Took that money invested and doubled over the next 3 years and used that money to repurchase the same house in cash as it had been forclosed and the price was same as i had paid in 2003. Life is good!

      Reply»  
  9. Richard September 16, 2016 12:53 pm

    These numbers seem to assume a ratio of home price to annual salary of about 4.5 - that seems rather high to me. I think most households would be really pushing their budget at that ratio. A more widely accepted ratio is 2.5-3.5. Thus, at a ratio of 3.5, the home price of 240,700 (nationwide median) would require a salary of $68,771. The home price of $885,600 in San Francisco would require a salary of $253,028.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 22, 2016 8:10 am

      Richard, We used industry standard front and back-end ratios. Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  10. B September 13, 2016 9:30 am

    Oh look! The South has been excluded again. Yes I see the Florida cities and and Atlanta. I guess that's what corporate America considers the South.

      Reply»  
    1. Rick Dykema September 21, 2016 7:16 am

      So you don't consider Texas to be in the South, B?

        Reply »  
    2. Editorial Team September 13, 2016 12:25 pm

      B: This list is based on the 27 largest metro areas, not favoritism to one region of the country over another. Thanks for your comment. Tim Manni, HSH.com.

        Reply »  

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