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10 expensive cities where salaries are rising faster than housing costs

View of homes in San Francisco from Alamo Square park.
hanusst | iStock Editorial | Getty Images

Wages in the United States have been mostly stagnant over the past few decades, according to a study from the Pew Research Center. And since 1999, incomes for middle class families, specifically, have actually shrunk in all but two states, another study found.

At the same time, housing costs keep increasing.

Still, there are some cities where incomes are rising faster than housing costs. To determine exactly where, financial website Magnify Money used data from the U.S. Census Bureau to compare workers' incomes in the nation's 100 largest metros to the cost of housing in those same areas.

Here are the top 10 U.S. cities where incomes are outpacing housing.

10. Salt Lake City, Utah

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $6,309
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $456

9. Nashville, Tennessee

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $6,560
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $576

8. Bridgeport, Connecticut

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $6,610
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $432

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7. Boston, Massachusetts

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $7,344
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $1,008

6. Denver, Colorado

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $7,678
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $1,260

5. Portland, Oregon

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $7,825
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $1,092

4. Austin, Texas

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $7,817
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $1,080

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3. Seattle, Washington

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $8,300
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $1,164

2. San Jose, California

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $12,849
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $2,940

1. San Francisco, California

How much median incomes have risen (2014-2017): $12,706
How much median housing costs have risen (2014-2017): $2,064

"When income rises faster than housing costs," Magnify Money reports, it could put "thousands more dollars per year into people's pockets" that can be used for common expenses like student loan repayments or credit card debt. And it seems like that's what's happening in some places.

Compared to three years ago, the typical household in these cities has more money leftover after paying for housing. So, even though housing costs have increased, the report adds, wages have increased faster, exceeding price increases for both renting and owning.

In fact, "famously-expensive metros" such as San Francisco and San Jose, California, "saw the biggest jumps in the gap between income and housing costs."

Still, housing costs remain exorbitant in a number of these cities. In San Francisco, for example, the No. 1 ranked city on the list, the median home would cost you more than $1.3 million and the median rent is $4,500. That's compared to the national medians of about $227,000 and $1,700, respectively.

And according to the research, while the median rent in each metro falls below the expert-advised 30% of median gross income, "homeownership costs exceed the 30% rule in most places," which suggests that owning a home is still not within reach for most households in those metros.

If you're looking to buy a home, be sure you're ready to transition from renting and consider some of the markets where homes are most affordable for millennials. And if you're going to stick with renting, check out these budgeting hacks, credit tips and other ways to save.

Don't miss: 8 affordable U.S. cities for the middle class to buy a home

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