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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. 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 »  
  2. 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 »  
  3. 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»  
  4. 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 »  
  5. 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 »  
  6. 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 »  
  7. 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 »  
  8. 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 »  
  9. 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»  
  10. 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 »  

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