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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 third quarter, the median value of a home sold in the fourth quarter of 2016 was lower in 21 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 1.56 percent in the Pittsburgh metro to a whopping 14.85 percent gain in the Tampa market. Seven markets featured double-digit increases, but there are plenty of high single-digit gains to be seen as well.
  • Not surprisingly, rising home prices mean that the income needed to purchase a median-priced single family home in the fourth quarter of 2016 was higher than the same period in 2015 year. In this comparison, only one market (Chicago) was barely lower, and the average increase for all markets was almost 6 percent.
  • Mortgage rates rose considerably during the fourth quarter of 2016. 
  • In the Los Angeles metro, the dip in the median cost of homes sold in the fourth quarter meant that it could again be financed with a conforming loan. A flare in prices in third-quarter saw the median-priced home requiring a jumbo mortgage during that period.
  • For this quarter, our analysis includes updated tax and insurance data.

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’ 2016 fourth-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 discuss how the required salary would change if you were to put 10 percent down instead of 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.

Fourth-quarter analysis: Irrespective of quarterly wobbles, thin levels of unsold inventory continue to press home prices higher. The National Association of Realtors reported tightening supplies of unsold homes during the last three months of the year, with 4.6, 3.9 and 3.6 months of stock available to buy October, November and December, respectively. Six months of supply is considered to be an optimal level. Tight supplies mean strong competition for available homes, driving prices up. Nationally, median prices rose by 5.7 percent when compared against the 4th quarter of 2015, with some markets such as Dallas TX, Portland OR and several other markets posting double-digit increases.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted: "Depressed new and existing inventory conditions led to several of the largest metro areas seeing near or above double-digit appreciation, which has pushed home values to record highs in a slight majority of markets." Markets remain very competitive for potential home buyers and a lack of desirable homes to buy coupled with somewhat higher mortgage rates may put a crimp into the traditional spring home buying season.

NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, says prospective buyers will likely see competition in their market increase even more this spring. "The prospect of higher mortgage rates and more home shoppers in coming months should be enough of an incentive for those serious about buying to start their search now," he said.

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:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.48 percent

Home price:  $130,000

  • Quarterly change: -7.14 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +1.56 percent

Monthly payment:  $755.38

Salary:  $32,373.50

  • Quarterly change: $411.13
  • Year-over-year change: +3.98 percent

If homebuyers in the Pittsburgh metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $32,373.50 to $36,862.33.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.39 percent

Home price:  $131,000

  • Quarterly change: -5.69 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.55 percent

Monthly payment:  $788.19

Salary:  $33,779.45

  • Quarterly change: -$405.19
  • Year-over-year change: +3.86 percent

If homebuyers in the Cleveland metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $33,779.45 to $38,302.81.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.34 percent

Home price:  $151,200

  • Quarterly change: -3.69 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +10.69 percent

Monthly payment:  $852.14

Salary:  $36,520.35

  • Quarterly change: $403.04
  • Year-over-year change: +7.52 percent

If homebuyers in the Cincinnati metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $36,520.35 to $41,741.21.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.44 percent

Home price:  $160,800

  • Quarterly change: -5.41 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +6.07 percent

Monthly payment:  $884.84

Salary:  $37,921.76

  • Quarterly change: $395.21
  • Year-over-year change: +5.13 percent

If homebuyers in the St Louis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $37,921.76 to $43,474.10.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.36 percent

Home price:  $164,650

  • Quarterly change: -3.61 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +10.75 percent

Monthly payment:  $912.16

Salary:  $39,092.52

  • Quarterly change: $59.11
  • Year-over-year change: +5.90 percent

If homebuyers in the Detroit metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $39,092.52 to $44,777.80.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.43 percent

Home price:  $182,900

  • Quarterly change: -4.49 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +8.10 percent

Monthly payment:  $923.44

Salary:  $39,576.11

  • Quarterly change: $191.21
  • Year-over-year change: +5.39 percent

If homebuyers in the Atlanta metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $39,576.11 to $45,891.55.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.41 percent

Home price:  $235,600

  • Quarterly change: 0.13 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +6.61 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,071.33

Salary:  $45,913.96

  • Quarterly change: $1,784.71
  • Year-over-year change: +4.50 percent

If homebuyers in the Phoenix metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $45,913.96 to $54,049.10.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.31 percent

Home price:  $205,000

  • Quarterly change: 0.00 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +14.85 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,079.13

Salary:  $46,248.32

  • Quarterly change: $1,351.04
  • Year-over-year change: +8.85 percent

If homebuyers in the Tampa metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $46,248.32 to $53,326.86.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.43 percent

Home price:  $206,300

  • Quarterly change: -2.83 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.39 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,170.41

Salary:  $50,160.34

  • Quarterly change: $1,819.41
  • Year-over-year change: +6.78 percent

If homebuyers in the San Antonio metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $50,160.34 to $57,283.77.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.36 percent

Home price:  $227,700

  • Quarterly change: -0.96 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +11.07 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,187.01

Salary:  $50,871.95

  • Quarterly change: $1,060.84
  • Year-over-year change: +6.40 percent

If homebuyers in the Orlando metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $50,871.95 to $58,734.31.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.47 percent

Home price:  $235,200

  • Quarterly change: -2.12 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +5.85 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,221.89

Salary:  $52,366.58

  • Quarterly change: $1,736.14
  • Year-over-year change: +4.72 percent

If homebuyers in the Minneapolis metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $52,366.58 to $60,487.91.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.40 percent

Home price:  $221,600

  • Quarterly change: -5.62 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +3.70 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,238.47

Salary:  $53,077.09

  • Quarterly change: -$30.45
  • Year-over-year change: +2.82 percent

If homebuyers in the Philadelphia metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $53,077.09 to $60,728.82.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.39 percent

Home price:  $224,500

  • Quarterly change: 3.27 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.31 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,271.42

Salary:  $54,489.34

  • Quarterly change: $2,929.73
  • Year-over-year change: +4.46 percent

If homebuyers in the Houston metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $54,489.34 to $62,241.21.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.37 percent

Home price:  $245,900

  • Quarterly change: -6.96 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +5.31 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,277.61

Salary:  $54,754.53

  • Quarterly change: -$1,180.45
  • Year-over-year change: +3.58 percent

If homebuyers in the Baltimore metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $54,754.53 to $63,245.32.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.36 percent

Home price:  $230,600

  • Quarterly change: 0.04 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +11.83 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,304.96

Salary:  $55,927.07

  • Quarterly change: $2,102.67
  • Year-over-year change: +7.95 percent

If homebuyers in the Dallas metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $55,927.07 to $63,889.56.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.42 percent

Home price:  $226,500

  • Quarterly change: -7.21 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.96 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,344.20

Salary:  $57,608.39

  • Quarterly change: -$3,682.38
  • Year-over-year change: -0.65 percent

If homebuyers in the Chicago metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $57,608.39 to $65,429.31.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.36 percent

Home price:  $324,300

  • Quarterly change: -0.83 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +10.27 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,559.79

Salary:  $66,848.15

  • Quarterly change: $2,100.38
  • Year-over-year change: +7.57 percent

If homebuyers in the Sacramento metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $66,848.15 to $78,046.06.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.38 percent

Home price:  $310,500

  • Quarterly change: -1.43 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +8.95 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,561.77

Salary:  $66,933.18

  • Quarterly change: $2,054.65
  • Year-over-year change: +6.44 percent

If homebuyers in the Miami metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $66,933.18 to $77,654.58.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.30 percent

Home price:  $354,700

  • Quarterly change: -1.06 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +11.26 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,654.23

Salary:  $70,895.46

  • Quarterly change: $1,109.41
  • Year-over-year change: +7.55 percent

If homebuyers in the Portland metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $70,895.46 to $83,143.06.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.34 percent

Home price:  $381,600

  • Quarterly change: -1.34 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.95 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,698.01

Salary:  $72,771.94

  • Quarterly change: $2,030.81
  • Year-over-year change: +6.34 percent

If homebuyers in the Denver metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $72,771.94 to $85,948.38.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.45 percent

Home price:  $384,300

  • Quarterly change: -2.34 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +3.86 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,872.04

Salary:  $80,230.15

  • Quarterly change: $1,770.09
  • Year-over-year change: +2.38 percent

If homebuyers in the Washington metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $80,230.15 to $93,499.82.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.21 percent

Home price:  $423,300

  • Quarterly change: 0.28 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +9.86 percent

Monthly payment:  $1,959.28

Salary:  $83,969.34

  • Quarterly change: $2,195.45
  • Year-over-year change: +7.07 percent

If homebuyers in the Seattle metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $83,969.34 to $98,585.66.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.47 percent

Home price:  $417,400

  • Quarterly change: -4.11 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +6.05 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,083.67

Salary:  $89,299.95

  • Quarterly change: $3,246.23
  • Year-over-year change: +7.39 percent

If homebuyers in the Boston metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $89,299.95 to $103,712.55.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.41 percent

Home price:  $382,300

  • Quarterly change: -3.85 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +2.38 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,162.18

Salary:  $92,664.68

  • Quarterly change: $7,176.58
  • Year-over-year change: +9.10 percent

If homebuyers in the New York City metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $92,664.68 to $105,865.29.

Mortgage rate:  3.97 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $503,400

  • Quarterly change: -6.20 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +4.46 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,294.02

Salary:  $98,315.22

  • Quarterly change: -$1,832.22
  • Year-over-year change: +3.45 percent

If homebuyers in the Los Angeles metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $98,315.22 to $115,697.35.

Mortgage rate:  4.10 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.32 percent

Home price:  $593,000

  • Quarterly change: 0.63 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +8.45 percent

Monthly payment:  $2,649.04

Salary:  $113,530.43

  • Quarterly change: $4,876.33
  • Year-over-year change: +10.05 percent

If homebuyers in the San Diego metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $113,530.43 to $137,056.40.

Mortgage rate:  4.10 percent

  • Quarterly change: 0.44 percent

Home price:  $837,500

  • Quarterly change: 0.76 percent
  • Year-over-year change: +7.15 percent

Monthly payment:  $3,747.10

Salary:  $160,589.84

  • Quarterly change: $9,075.97
  • Year-over-year change: +8.51 percent

If homebuyers in the San Francisco metro put 10 percent down instead of 20 percent, the required salary increases from $160,589.84 to $193,815.80.

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 NAR's 2016 fourth-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 720 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 3Q16 Median Home Price % Change from 3Q16 Monthly Payment (PITI) Salary Needed
National 3.97% 0.40% $235,000 -2.61 $1,212.46 $51,962.53
Pittsburgh 3.97% 0.48% $130,000 -7.14 $755.38 $32,373.50
Cleveland 3.97% 0.39% $131,000 -5.69 $788.19 $33,779.45
Cincinnati 3.97% 0.34% $151,200 -3.69 $852.14 $36,520.35
St Louis 3.97% 0.44% $160,800 -5.41 $884.84 $37,921.76
Detroit 3.97% 0.36% $164,650 -3.61 $912.16 $39,092.52
Atlanta 3.97% 0.43% $182,900 -4.49 $923.44 $39,576.11
Phoenix 3.97% 0.41% $235,600 +0.13 $1,071.33 $45,913.96
Tampa 3.97% 0.31% $205,000 +0.00 $1,079.13 $46,248.32
San Antonio 3.97% 0.43% $206,300 -2.83 $1,170.41 $50,160.34
Orlando 3.97% 0.36% $227,700 -0.96 $1,187.01 $50,871.95
Minneapolis 3.97% 0.47% $235,200 -2.12 $1,221.89 $52,366.58
Philadelphia 3.97% 0.40% $221,600 -5.62 $1,238.47 $53,077.09
Houston 3.97% 0.39% $224,500 +3.27 $1,271.42 $54,489.34
Baltimore 3.97% 0.37% $245,900 -6.96 $1,277.61 $54,754.53
Dallas 3.97% 0.36% $230,600 +0.04 $1,304.96 $55,927.07
Chicago 3.97% 0.42% $226,500 -7.21 $1,344.20 $57,608.39
Sacramento 3.97% 0.36% $324,300 -0.83 $1,559.79 $66,848.15
Miami 3.97% 0.38% $310,500 -1.43 $1,561.77 $66,933.18
Portland 3.97% 0.30% $354,700 -1.06 $1,654.23 $70,895.46
Denver 3.97% 0.34% $381,600 -1.34 $1,698.01 $72,771.94
Washington DC 3.97% 0.45% $384,300 -2.34 $1,872.04 $80,230.15
Seattle 3.97% 0.21% $423,300 +0.28 $1,959.28 $83,969.34
Boston 3.97% 0.47% $417,400 -4.11 $2,083.67 $89,299.95
New York City 3.97% 0.41% $382,300 -3.85 $2,162.18 $92,664.68
Los Angeles 3.97% 0.32% $503,400 -6.20 $2,294.02 $98,315.22
San Diego 4.10% 0.32% $593,000 +0.63 $2,649.04 $113,530.43
San Francisco 4.10% 0.44% $837,500 +0.76 $3,747.10 $160,589.84

Comments

  1. 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 »  
  2. 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 »  
  3. 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 »  
  4. 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 »  
  5. 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»  
  6. 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 »  
  7. 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 »  
  8. Kirsten September 12, 2016 8:34 pm

    I wish you could make $160k a year and afford a house in the Bay Area. Ha!!!

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 13, 2016 12:27 pm

      Kirsten, This salary number is based of the median-price home (half the homes sold for more, half sold for less) as provided by the National Association of Realtors for the entire metro area, defined here: http://www.hsh.com/finance/real-estate/metro-area-definitions.html Thanks for commenting,Tim Manni, HSH.com.

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  9. AJ Johnston September 12, 2016 6:31 pm

    We live in Indy. It's $72 per sqaure foot in the city and around $89 per square foot in the suburbs... so my 2600ft colonial with 4 beds, 2 1/2 baths on a quarter acre overlooking a pond costs me $973 every month. Taxes are capped at 1% and my HOA is $200 a year.

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  10. Laura September 12, 2016 4:20 pm

    Why isn't Kansas City, Missouri on here?

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    1. Editorial Team September 13, 2016 12:30 pm

      Laura, Because we are utilizing the 27-largest metro areas (as defined by the OMB). Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

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