The median U.S. household now earns about $61,372 a year, up nearly 2 percent from 2016. Still, in order to afford to buy a home in one of the country's hottest and most expensive cities, like San Jose, California, you'd need to make more than four times that amount.
That's according to financial website How Much, which crunched numbers from the National Association of Realtors and mortgage-information website HSH.com to determine where it's most expensive to buy an "average-sized home."
Researchers found the median price of homes in the 50 most populated metro areas across the country and "calculated monthly principal, interest, property tax and insurance payments buyers have to pay for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, " says How Much.
They then calculated what salary would be needed to afford each home, assuming a 20 percent down payment and that the total housing payment would not make up more than 28 percent of gross income.
How Much: Annual income needed to buy a home
Based on the data, here are the top 10 cities where you to earn the most money to buy a typical home:
Annual income needed to afford a home: $274,623
Annual income needed to afford a home: $213,727
Annual income needed to afford a home: $130,986
Annual income needed to afford a home: $114,908
Annual income needed to afford a home: $109,411
Annual income needed to afford a home: $109,275
Annual income needed to afford a home: $103,235
Annual income needed to afford a home: $96,144
Annual income needed to afford a home: $93,263
Annual income needed to afford a home: $85,369
"Median household income across the United States recently reached a record high, which is great news for workers," says How Much. "The bad news is that isn't enough to afford a typical home in 25 out of the 50 cities on our map." That's especially true on the West Coast.
"Our map reveals three tiers in annual income workers need to earn to afford a median home. First, the West Coast stands out as by far the most expensive market in the country, " the report says, "with four out of the top four markets in California alone."
In Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, California, median homes range in value from $618,000 to more than $1.3 million, according to real-estate site Zillow. The U.S. national median home value, by comparison, is just above $216,000.
In Portland and Denver, meanwhile, homes aren't as expensive as they are in California or New York, but workers would still need to make about $85,000 a year to afford to buy.
Some lower-profile American cities do still offer professional opportunities and good deals. In these three up-and-coming metro areas, for example, jobs are plentiful yet housing is affordable.
No matter where you fall on the map, though, living within your means and employing common-sense budgeting tactics can help you save in the long run. If you're looking to buy a home, be sure you're ready to transition from renting and if you're going to continue to rent, check out these savings hacks and other ways to make your money stretch further.
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