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Here Are the Cities Where American Renters Can Actually Afford to Buy


Here Are the Cities Where American Renters Can Actually Afford to Buy

Pockets of affordability that offer U.S. renters opportunities for homeownership are few and far between

June 1, 2023
South side slopes in Pittsburgh
Image: steheap / stock.adobe.com

A recent study by Ksenia Potapov, an economist for First American Financial, reveals that the median renter can afford 50% or more of the homes for sale in just four U.S. markets—assuming one-third of their pre-tax income is used for a mortgage with a 5% down payment. The median renter could afford 59% of the for-sale homes in Buffalo, N.Y., and 56% of the homes in Pittsburgh, 54% in Detroit, and 54% in Cleveland. 

In contrast, the average U.S. renter can currently afford just 1% of available homes in Los Angeles, 2% in San Diego, 2% in San Francisco, and 4% in Salt Lake City, HousingWire reports.

“Pre-pandemic, Salt Lake City was an affordable market that fell in the middle of the pack out of the top 50 U.S. markets,” Potapov wrote. “However, rapid house price appreciation during the pandemic dragged Salt Lake City near the bottom of the affordability list. In the fourth quarter of 2019, the median renter could afford 69% of the homes for sale in Salt Lake City. Now, the median renter can only afford 4% of homes.”

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