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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.

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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. 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 »  
  2. 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.

        Reply »  
  3. 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.

      Reply»  
  4. Laura September 12, 2016 4:20 pm

    Why isn't Kansas City, Missouri on here?

      Reply»  
    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

        Reply »  
  5. tada September 12, 2016 1:53 pm

    Guys, in Atlanta atleast, the pricing is very underestimated. in any reasonable neighborhood, prices are north of 400k atleast.

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 13, 2016 12:31 pm

      Tada, You're probably right. But we're using the data that is available to us and to everyone else: median home prices (half sold for more, half sold for less) in the metro area. The Atlanta metro area is defined here: http://www.hsh.com/finance/real-estate/metro-area-definitions.html. Thanks for commenting, Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  6. Mariano Cortes September 12, 2016 1:03 pm

    How disappointing, i want to buy a home in NY, Long Island, i think i need a huge raise to do so.

      Reply»  
  7. Erika September 10, 2016 3:58 pm

    $480,000 in Los Angeles?! Try doubling that! Where are these numbers coming from??

      Reply»  
    1. Editorial Team September 13, 2016 12:44 pm

      Erika, These home price numbers are coming from the National Association of Realtors. It is the median home price (half the homes sold for more, half sold for less) for the entire LA metro area. See metro definitions here: http://www.hsh.com/finance/real-estate/metro-area-definitions.html Thanks for commenting. Tim Manni, HSH.com

        Reply »  
  8. James Fountain September 04, 2016 4:37 pm

    You should check out home pricing in and around Austin Tx. It's very expensive there. The closer to the city the more it costs. Very expensive.

      Reply»  
  9. Rob September 02, 2016 11:43 pm

    Looks like SF is not treated as the "major metropolitan area" of the Bay Area. So this compares SF without Oakland or Alemeda to NYC with Bronx and Staten Island. I'm sure there are similar issues in other cities.

      Reply»  
    1. Melina M September 13, 2016 10:21 am

      Actually, it looks like "San Francisco" includes all of the city, Alameda county, Marin county, San Mateo county, and Contra Costa county. If it were San Francisco by itself, the median price goes up by over a quarter million dollars to about $1.15 million, which is actually down from the $1.3 million at the beginning of the year. Citation: http://www.hsh.com/finance/real-estate/metro-area-definitions.html and http://sf.curbed.com/2015/12/8/9893366/san-franciscos-median-house-price-holds-strong-at-1-3m

        Reply »  
  10. Mike September 01, 2016 8:01 pm

    What is Burlington, VT?

      Reply»  

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