In 2014, there were 186 counties with more than 5,000 homebuying households across the country. Of the 186 counties, there were 41 that had a median homebuyer income greater than $100,000. And of these 41 counties, each and every one was located in a metropolitan area, the Economists’ Outlook blog reports.
Many of these counties are located in or around the top 20 metro areas by population, with the exception of Philadelphia, Miami, Phoenix, Riverside, Minneapolis, Tampa, and St. Louis. However, many areas around those cities had incomes near, but not quite exceeding the $100,000 threshold.
While it may seem like an area with a median income of $100,000 would be filled with homebuyers who are financially comfortable and don’t have to worry about being able to afford a home, many of the areas with $100,000 incomes had homes that will still very costly and difficult for residents to afford, especially in California.
The typical home price to income ratio in the United States is between 2.3 to 2.8, but in the 41 counties with median incomes over $100,000, the ratio ranged from 3.5 to 3.7. Counties located in California had ratios that jumped all the way up to 4.0 or higher. The only other places that had ratios above 4.0 were New York, Nassau, and Kings counties in New York. New York County had the highest ratio of 6.4. Outside of California and New York, however, high incomes counties in Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, and Georgia have home price to income ratios less than 3.0.
As far as homeownership rates in these 41 counties, there isn’t much in the way of common ground as they occupy a wide range from 22.9 percent in New York, N.Y., to 81 percent in Williamson, Tenn.
For the full analysis of the breakdown of homebuying and homeownership rates in the countries high-income areas, click the link below.