Economy

What You Need to Earn to Afford a Home in These 20 Cities

March 11th 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

If you have plans to buy a home in the near future, now seems to be a good time. Home prices and mortgage rates were lower in the fourth quarter of 2015, so owing a home in many major U.S. cities is currently more affordable.

The mortgage site HSH.com keeps track of housing statistics and trends, and it recently updated its list to reflect changes in the median home prices from the National Association of Realtors. The site also estimated what it'd take to afford a home in each city considering the costs of interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, property taxes and insurance.

Here's what you need to earn annually to afford a home in these 20 cities.

1. New York

New York

Home price: $384,600

Annual salary: $86,770

2. Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Home price: $481,900

Annual salary: $95,040

3. Chicago

Chicago

Home price: $209,800

Annual salary: $57,982

4. Houston

Houston

Home price: $209,200

Annual salary: $52,163

5. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

Home price: $128,000

Annual salary: $31,134

6. Phoenix

Phoenix

Home price: $221,000

Annual salary: $43,937

7. San Antonio

San Antonio

Home price: $192,100

Annual salary: $46,974

8. San Diego

San Diego

Home price: $546,800

Annual salary: $103,164

9. Dallas

Dallas

Home price: $206,200

Annual salary: $51,806

10. San Francisco

San Francisco

Home price: $781,600

Annual salary: $147,996

11. Boston

Boston

Home price: $393,600

Annual salary: $83,151

12. Denver

Denver

Home price: $353,500

Annual salary: $68,436

13. Seattle

Seattle

Home price: $385,300

Annual salary: $78,424

14. Portland

Portland

Home price: $318,800

Annual salary: $65,917

15. Miami

Miami

Home price: $286,000

Annual salary: $63,048

16. Atlanta

Atlanta

Home price: $169,200

Annual salary: $37,551

17. St. Louis

st. louis

Home price: $143,700

Annual salary: $34,777

18. Cleveland

Cleveland

Home price: $121,800

Annual salary: $32,523

19. Detroit

Detroit

Home price: $148,667

Annual salary: $36,914

20. Sacramento

Sacramento

Home price: $294,100

Annual salary: $62,143

Remember, these numbers change on a quarterly basis — and the National Association of Realtors doesn't expect these mortgage and home price rates to remain this low — so there's no way to tell if your annual income will still make the cut when the next round of quarterly figures are released.

The housing affordability crisis

Unfortunately, affording a home in a major metropolitan city is increasingly difficult in the U.S., regardless of the lower median home prices. For people who work full-time at minimum wage, it's not even possible to afford a one-bedroom apartment at the fair market rent in any state.

A recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition estimated that you'd have to make $15.50 at full-time to afford a one-bedroom and $19.35 for a two-bedroom unit. And given the fact that the median annual income for Millennials in the U.S. ranges from a low of $18,000 to a high of $43,000, the options for young people are especially limited.

RELATED: America Has an Affordable Housing Crisis