Currently Reading

Salary Needed to Afford a Home in the Top 15 Metros

Regional Builders

Salary Needed to Afford a Home in the Top 15 Metros

February 5, 2021
Philadelphia homes
Photo: Spiroview Inc.

Housing costs are the biggest expense Americans have, with about one-third of the average American salary going toward these. SmartAsset identified the salaries needed in the 15 largest metros to afford an average home payment and not exceed the recommended 36% debt-to-income ratio. The site compared median home values, property tax rates, down payment, homeowners insurance, and other debt payments to calculate these results. The metro where residents need to make the most and least are San Jose, Calif. and Philadelphia.

Key Findings
California is expensive. Three California cities – San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego – are included in the 15 largest U.S. cities, and they all rank within the top four of this study, at first, third and fourth, respectively (with New York City claiming second place). Our findings show that living in California can be very costly if you want to own a home. The average salary (with no additional debt) needed to afford home payments across these three cities is $111,533.

Home prices vary by more than 5x. Homes in big cities are usually more expensive than homes in suburbs or small towns. But our study reveals that there is also a big difference among the 15 largest U.S. cities. The highest median home value on our list is higher than five times more expensive than the lowest. San Jose, California has a median home value of almost $1 million, while San Antonio, Texas has a median home value of just $171,100.

Read More


Related Stories

Housing Giants

2021 Housing Giants—New England Region

In the New England region, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, Toll Brothers, PulteGroup,…

Housing Giants

2021 Housing Giants—Mountain Region

In the Mountain region, which includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, D.R. Horton, Lennar, and M.D.C.…

Housing Giants

2021 Housing Giants—East South Central Region

In the East South Central region, which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, D.R. Horton, Clayton Properties Group, and Ole…


More in Category


Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.