$51,000 Salary Needed To Buy Median-Priced House

Buying a house more difficult with rising national costs

$51,000 Salary Needed To Buy Median-Priced House
March 7, 2016

A study by mortgage information website HSH.com has shown that the average American needs a $51,000-plus annual salary to afford an average home.

It found that in many cities in the United States, the average home cost of a single-family home has continued to rise. While the East and West Coasts have much higher average home costs, even states in the middle of the United States have seen their median home cost increase over the last year.

As these averages continue to rise and wages stagnate, fewer people will be able to purchase homes. Even with the lower interest rates, it’s still difficult for some people to make a 20 percent down payment and then continue to make a high monthly mortgage payment.

Unfortunately, even an annual salary of $51,000 a year is still not enough to buy a median-priced house in the U.S today. A great credit score is also necessary in order to secure an interest rate of 4 percent or so. Then there is the fact that the buyer would need to put down a payment of at least 20 percent. Even after that, there is a good chance that most would be spending more than 30 percent of their income on the mortgage’s principal balance and its interest.

Below is a list that shows the annual salary you will need to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median-priced home in selected cities across the U.S:

  • Boston: $83,151
  • Minneapolis: $50,251
  • Seattle: $78,425
  • Portland: $65,917
  • San Francisco: $147,996
  • Los Angeles: $95,040
  • San Diego: $103,165
  • San Antonio: $46,975
  • Chicago: $57,983
  • Denver: $68,436
  • Houston: $52,164
  • Miami: $63,048
  • Orlando: $47,811
  • Atlanta: $37,551
  • Washington, D.C.: $78,626
  • Philadelphia: $51,622
  • Boston: $83,151
  • New York City: $86,770

Moneytips can help you refinance your existing home loan.

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/ktmoffitt

  Conversation   |   9 Comments

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Steffanie | 03.07.16 @ 15:24
Wow some of those numbers are really high. I am thinking we will stay out of the market for awhile.
Carla | 03.07.16 @ 15:27
I'm glad we live in a rural area. Our home isnt even a big house and the payments are crazy. I guess in a big city We would still be renting.
irene | 03.07.16 @ 15:28
It is getting harder and harder for first time buyers.
trish | 03.07.16 @ 15:29
Funny. I don't see our town/state on the list but I know we are high up there as well Luckily we are happy where we are so we do not have to venture out in that world of real estate again...
Jackie | 03.07.16 @ 15:30
We had considered selling and buying another house but with the crazy prices we've decided to stay in our current home.
Erin | 03.07.16 @ 15:30
Housing prices have really gotten a bit out of control. I know when we bought our house, I thought the price was ridiculous, and that was almost 15 years ago. It's only gotten worse since.
Alec | 03.07.16 @ 15:31
The amount listed for my city actually made me do a double take. My husband and I were planning on buying a house once he has a full time job but we may not be able to as soon as we hoped. These numbers are crazy!
Heather | 03.07.16 @ 15:32
It's crazy how much you need to make in some of these areas. Glad the area I want to move is on the lower end.
FRANK WALDER | 03.07.16 @ 15:40
luckily we are not in the market for a new home. The numbers are high in those areas. Its amazing anyone is able to afford to purchase a house in those towns.
$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 12.01.20 @ 18:25