Second slide Second slide

The salary you must earn to buy a home in the 50 largest metros Updated on:

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 Area30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate% Change from 4Q19Median Home Price% Change from 4Q19Monthly Payment (PITI)Salary Needed
Kansas City3.70%-0.15%$219,900+1.99%$1,106.23$47,409.86
Las Vegas3.70%-0.15%$314,000+1.52%$1,348.31$57,784.90
Los Angeles3.70%-0.31%$592,800-3.97%$2,595.01$111,214.84
New Orleans3.70%-0.15%$226,700+1.43%$1,104.10$47,318.69
New York City3.70%-0.15%$420,300-1.80%$2,322.41$99,531.68
Oklahoma City3.70%-0.15%$157,800-0.50%$868.98$37,241.91
Riverside/San Bernardino3.70%-0.15%$393,000+3.42%$1,765.30$75,655.57
Salt Lake City3.70%-0.15%$372,100+3.05%$1,585.92$67,968.02
San Antonio3.70%-0.15%$238,800+0.63%$1,285.74$55,103.20
San Diego3.83%-0.18%$670,000+2.29%$2,913.03$124,844.04
San Francisco3.83%-0.18%$985,000-0.51%$4,282.91$183,553.49
San Jose3.83%-0.18%$1,350,000+8.35%$5,679.80$243,420.08
St Louis3.70%-0.15%$179,300-2.98%$959.98$41,142.00
Virginia Beach3.70%-0.15%$235,000-0.42%$1,135.92$48,682.09
Washington, D.C.3.70%-0.15%$438,900+0.62%$2,060.81$88,320.54
Leave a Comment

John September 13, 2015 9:46 pm    

This doesn't seem right. There was just an article published about how Long Island Nassau and Suffolk county, is the most expensive place in the United States to live.

Editorial Team September 14, 2015 2:28 pm

John, Thanks for your inquiry. We also saw that Nassau and Suffolk counties were voted most expensive earlier this year (Feb. 2015). However, there are a few things here that separate our distinctions from the one you mentioned: 1. We examined metro areas and not counties. 2. The distinction of most expensive for Nassau and Suffolk factored in far more than just housing costs. It included all types of cost of living factors. We simply looked at real estate and interest rates. 3. Our 27 metros are compiled via populations. We took the 27 metro areas with the highest populations. While there is a Nassau and Suffolk metro area ("Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division Nassau County, Suffolk County"), that wasn't in the top-27 in terms of population. There is no doubt that portion of New York state is an expensive place to live. Thanks again for writing in, Tim Manni,

Daniel September 12, 2015 7:59 pm    

MY $12,492.00 YEARLY INCOME GOT ME A $95k HOME IN MARTINSBURG WEST VIRGINIA . .thank you JesusI bought a home appraised for $95,000.00 which cost me $86,000.00 with $18,000.00 down and the sellers paid $4,000.00 closing cost and MY INCOME WAS $1,041.00 A MONTH veterans disability pension and i was supporting a child in Africa as my only debts. i am a Vietnam era veteran who always pays my bills. I lived out of my car for 17 months to be to save my down payment. My mortgage taxes and insurance are $453.00 a month plus trash and fire of $319.00 a yearIf i can do this anyone can ... I am not even allowed to rent rooms since my VA pension won't allow me to earn an income. I just grew enough veggies and canned 7 cases of them to last me all winter. Talk about being frugal and responsible HUMPH .. thank you Jesus for being my guide in my life PS: I am trying to save to get a hoop-house greenhouse so i can grow even more food and donate it to my local homeless mission as i was able to do with some of my veggies this summer. NOTE: If you want to help me help others get back to me at

chuck lanham sr November 30, 2015 7:59 pm

Your statement is full of holes. VA comp has nothing to do with income unless you are 100% and deemed unemployable in which case the payment is much much higher. VA comp is also not taxable as income or subject to payroll tax so being a net number is far different from being a gross number. There are many "REAL" disabled vets that will read your story and know you are a "WANNABE".

Editorial Team September 14, 2015 2:33 pm

Daniel, Thanks for writing in and sharing your story. Continued success as a homeowner. -Tim Manni,

Shay September 10, 2015 9:16 pm    

Thanks for the great work of putting this useful information together. Are you certain the monthly payment includes property taxes? I bought a $319,000 home in Houston. 5% down payment, 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 3.75%. My monthly payment is $2383.01 (P&I $1403.03, insurance $89, PMI $224.69, Tax $666.29). This seems much higher than monthly payments listed here. I am beginning to think I got a raw deal.

Editorial Team September 15, 2015 2:14 pm

Shay, No, you didn't get a raw deal, you only put 5% down so your monthly payment is going to be A LOT higher than our numbers since we are factoring 20% down. You bought a home at 3.75%. You may never see a lower rate in your time as a homeowner. Thanks for writing in, Tim Manni,

Tommy September 14, 2015 4:47 pm

Shay, 5% is a lot higher than 4%, so yes, the deal you got is a lot worse than those listed here.

Editorial Team September 15, 2015 2:17 pm

Tommy, Shay's reference to 5% was her down payment percentage not her interest rate. Her interest rate, 3.75%, is incredible. Shay's monthly payment is higher than what we have listed: she put 5% down, we factored 20% down. We love the conversation, thanks for leaving a comment, Tim Manni,

Mary September 02, 2015 7:53 am    

These mortgage payments are based on what type of downpayment? 20%? I do not see PMI incorporated and there is a higher percentage of buyers that do not have 20% to put down.

Editorial Team September 02, 2015 1:27 pm

Mary, Thanks for writing in. Yes, as the first slide explains we use 20% down because PMI costs complicate the calculations. But it's a fair point that smaller down payments are realistic options for borrowers these days. We're always looking for ways to improve this model so thanks again for your suggestion. -Tim Manni,

Gordon August 31, 2015 11:58 pm    

Good data and a basic feel for the differences / discrepancies nationwide between markets that have been growing since the "recovery". The reponses are stimulating and entertaining. Keep up the good work!

ALan August 30, 2015 6:27 pm    

Not sure if this data really works as it excludes taxes and insurance and related maintenance expenses and simply defines 28% of income as the affordability factor. These highly variable costs from market to market have a significant impact on affordability.

Editorial Team August 31, 2015 2:30 pm

Alan, Thanks for writing in. We disagree with you that our data doesn't work because it clearly states in the intro, in slide one, and even on the final slide that this is the salary you would need to earn in order to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments... This is just the salary you need to afford those items (not including maintenance, utility bills, spending money, etc.). You are correct in that utility bills and maintenance costs will vary with the location and condition of the home. That is why we could not include them. Borrowers must be cognoscente of those costs. Think of it this way, when applying for a loan, your lender doesn't factor in your cable or cellphone bill -- they don't care if you watch HBO or have the latest iphone. Again, you're spot on with the fact that all potential borrowers need to consider all the other costs that go into owning a home besides simply the monthly payment. Thanks again for writing in, Tim Manni (

jim September 02, 2015 1:43 am

I'm not sure if cognoscente is the word you meant to use. I believe that cognizant would be a better choice.

Editorial Team September 02, 2015 1:15 pm

Jim, Thanks for your sharp eyes. -Tim Manni,

Bill August 26, 2015 10:06 pm    

This is based on avg. home prices sold, which is good. However, do you have anything on new vs. used?

Editorial Team August 27, 2015 2:01 pm

Joe, Thanks for writing in. Just as a reminder, this is existing median home sales as reported by the Realtors. There are new-home sale numbers out there, but it's a national number, not broken down by metro. There is no new-vs-used comparison data that we know of. We try to utilize the best data sets that are available to us. Thanks again for writing in, Tim Manni,

Joe August 25, 2015 9:18 pm    

Given the disparity in home size, neighborhood etc, price /sf would be a more useful comparison in this analysis.

Editorial Team August 26, 2015 3:31 pm

Joe, Thanks for writing in. As I have mentioned in other comments, we are working with the data sets that are available -- the NAR doesn't publish home price and square footage, no home price source that I know of does. And if the NAR did publish price and square footage, it would likely be median square footage. If you have a home price you would like us to calculate a salary for just let us know. Thanks, Tim Manni,

William August 25, 2015 2:02 pm    

Charlotte is #17; above Seattle, Portland, Detroit or Denver.

Editorial Team August 25, 2015 2:10 pm

William,We are going to work on getting Charlotte in the next go round. Thanks for writing in, Tim Manni,

mark August 25, 2015 2:45 am    

So... this article is bogus... what about what you get for your money. Tiny House... What a joke.

Editorial Team August 25, 2015 2:18 pm

Mark, Sorry to hear that you found this content "bogus." The data speaks for itself, though: it's metro area median home prices. Half the houses sold for more, half sold for less. I'm not sure where you live, but this data doesn't produce a salary for just the city, but rather the surrounding areas which define the given metro area. If you have a home price in mind we could calculate the required salary for you in hopes of making this content more actionable for you. We're happy to oblige, thanks, Tim Manni,

budy July 22, 2015 6:58 am    

Weew.....Los Angles is fine...

usuck July 18, 2015 12:33 pm    

Put Indianapolis on your list. It's the 14th biggest city.

Elka Jaross July 17, 2015 3:28 pm    

Where are the statistics for Austin, Texas. It seemingly has the highest market but least affordable. Thank you for your answer

Editorial Team July 17, 2015 4:35 pm

Elka, thanks for your comment. We are always looking for ways to improve our salary slideshow. So far, we have examined 27 cities in the US with the highest populations. I'm not sure what you mean by "[Austin] seemingly has the highest market but least affordable." What did you mean by "highest market"? Thanks again for writing in, looking forward to hearing back from you. -Tim Manni (author)

Heather Wakefield August 25, 2015 5:30 pm

Elka is pointing out that Austin should be on your list. You state that you examined 27 cities in the US with the highest populations. Austin is the 11th largest city in the US. Many other cities with smaller populations are on your list yet you have excluded Austin.

Editorial Team August 25, 2015 6:10 pm

Heather, Thanks for writing in. We understand the point you and Elka are trying to make, but for this project we are using the largest metropolitan areas, since metro areas is what the National Association of Realtors uses to track their home prices. While Austin is the 11th largest city in the U.S., it is the 36th largest metro area. We truly appreciate your interest and we hope that we can start adding more metro areas to this slideshow. Thanks for writing, Tim

Mark June 29, 2015 10:50 am    

Very useful article

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