Markets & Economy

How much salary is required to buy a home in the top metros?

While affordability improved in 22 out of 27 markets, many coastal cities maintain high salary requirements for buying
  • Home prices are higher in 25 out of 27 markets year-over-year, but only six metro areas saw increases over 1 percent.

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A homebuyer could buy six median-priced homes in Pittsburgh for the price of just one in San Francisco, according to a new salary homebuying study from HSH.com. The mortgage and consumer loan information company reviewed Realtors’ 2016 first-quarter data for median price and its own first-quarter average interest rates on 30-year fixed rate mortgages to see how much it would cost to afford the “base cost” of owning -- including the loan principal, interest taxes and insurance. Between Pittsburgh and San Francisco there's a $100,000 difference in salary needed to afford a median-price home, revealing just how much affordability fluctuates across the U.S. “We’ve seen prices moderating, so affordability is better. But when you look at the year-ago comparison, prices are still fairly elevated,” said Keith Gumbinger, mortgage expert at HSH.com. “It’s just a matter of thinking about where markets are growing most strongly at what times." Home prices are high...