The Cities Where Median Income Can Get You a Home

August 20, 2019
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Photo: Unsplash/Nadine Shaabana

Redfin analyzed the 88 largest U.S. metros and found where it’s affordable to buy a median-priced home with the local median-income.

The five least affordable metros by that measure—percentage of the area’s median household income a family would need to buy a local median-priced home—are all in California. In the Anaheim metro, which encompasses Orange County, a household would need to earn $135,554 per year to afford the typical home. That’s more than double the area’s median household income of $65,331. The story is similar in San Jose, where a household would need to earn more than $215,000 annually to afford the typical home. That’s more than double San Jose’s median household income. Next come Los Angeles and San Diego, where households need to earn 186 percent and 156 percent of the areas’ median household incomes, respectively, to afford the typical home.

On the other end of the spectrum, a family in the Detroit metro would only need to earn $26,690 per year to purchase a home at the area’s median price point. That’s less than half of the area’s $56,339 median income, making it the most affordable metro by the measure described above. It’s followed by western New York’s Rochester and Buffalo, along with Dayton, Ohio, all places where families need to earn about $30,000 annually—only about half of each area’s median household income—to buy the typical home. Rounding out the top five is Pittsburgh, where households need to earn just over $30,000—much less than the area’s median income—to purchase a median-priced home.

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