DataMarkets & Economy

Want to buy a home in a big city? Here’s how much you’ll need to make

  • U.S. homebuyers need to make a salary of $52,699.17 to afford a median priced home of $240,700 with a monthly mortgage payment of $1,229.65.
  • The most expensive metros to purchase a home are all in California: San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, respectively.
  • The least expensive metros for homebuyers are Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

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Unless you like the heat of Phoenix, buying a home in major metros on the West Coast requires one hefty salary. Affordability, or lack thereof, continues to put a damper on the housing market in many major metros. recently calculated the specific salary requirements in 27 metros throughout the nation based on median priced homes and mortgage rates. Using data from the National Association of Realtors' quarterly report for the second quarter of 2016, the national median home price was $240,700. With a national 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 3.73 percent, HSH says an annual salary of $52,699.17 is needed to purchase a home at that mark, leaving homebuyers to pay about $1,229 each month. To determine the salary amount needed, HSH used its own second quarter average interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (which fell across the board in the second quarter of 2016) and measured considering a 20 percent standard down payment. The base cost of owning and affo...