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Real estate affordability problems in Southern states

Working-class incomes lag behind home prices, study finds

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Elementary school teachers, police officers, licensed practical nurses, retail salespersons and janitors cannot afford to purchase median-priced homes based on median income in a number of metropolitan areas of the country – and particularly in some Southern areas – according to "Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in Counties," a study produced by the Center for Housing Policy for the National Association of Counties. Atlanta, Ga.; Baton Rouge, La; Birmingham, Ala.; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Greensboro, N.C.; Jackson, Miss.; and Melbourne, Fla., were the most unaffordable metropolitan areas for people working in these occupations. On the rental side, the annual study found that, based on median income, retail salespersons and janitors must pay an excessive portion of their income in order to rent a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment in the majority of cities studied. While housing experts often focus on housing affordability ...