Home Ownership Not Possible for 20% of Americans, Except in Johnstown, Danville, Bay City, Racine and Terre Haute,

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The latest study on home affordability is very much the same as others this year. Home ownership is outside the economic boundaries of many Americans, primarily for income reasons and secondarily due to home prices.

A new study from MagnifyMoney concludes that 20% of Americans cannot afford a home. The analysis is traditional, based on prices in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), in this case 380 of them (virtually the entire universe).

According to the study:

Home Ownership is out of reach for 20% of Americans. In 79 out of 380 areas analyzed, workers of all age groups wouldn’t be able to qualify for a mortgage loan large enough to cover the cost of a median-priced home.

And it takes a very long time to save for a home, according to the same study:

Across all 380 metro areas analyzed…

  • 45 to 65 year-olds need an average of 4.69 years to save for a home.
  • 25 to 44 year-olds need an average of 5.63 years to save for a home.
  • 15 to 24 year-olds need an average of 27.2 years to save for a home.

One word of note: MSAs can be very large, so they do not necessarily represent the economic situation in every town and city in the area.

The five easiest places to buy a home:

  1. Johnstown, PA
  2. Danville, IL
  3. Bay City, MI
  4. Racine, WI
  5. Terre Haute, IN

The five hardest places to buy a home:

  1. Salinas, CA
  2. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
  3. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
  4. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
  5. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI

Although not a provable observation, most of the expensive markets (hardest places) are along the relatively rich California cost. The easiest are in rust belt cities.