How Much You Need to Earn to Buy a Home in America’s Most Expensive Cities

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Buying a house is limited by your ability to pay the monthly mortgage, the property tax, and home insurance premium for that house. That’s one reason that getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important: it saves your time and your agent’s efforts to find your new home.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably well aware of how home prices have risen in the past few years. Affordability, particularly for first-time buyers, continues to be a problem.

HSH.com, which claims to be the nation’s largest publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, recently published a report on how much you need to earn to live in one of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. The good news is that the median price dropped in 29 markets quarter over quarter in the third quarter. The less-good news is that the median home price only fell in one market — Hartford, Connecticut — and then by only 1%.

Here’s how much you need to earn to buy a home in the country’s 10 most expensive metro areas. Included are the required salary assuming a 20% down payment, the monthly payment, the median home price, and the mortgage rate.

San Jose California
>Required salary: $216,181.25
>Monthly payment: $5,044.23
>Median home price: $1.165 million
>Mortgage rate: 4.12%

San Francisco, California
>Required salary: $171,330.88
>Monthly payment: $3,997.72
>Median home price: $900,000
>Mortgage rate: 4.12%

San Diego, California
>Required salary: $116,119.96
>Monthly payment: $2,709.47
>Median home price: $607,000
>Mortgage rate: 4.12%

Los Angeles, California
>Required salary: $115,068.77
>Monthly payment: $2,684.94
>Median home price: $595,100
>Mortgage rate: 4.12%

New York City, New York
>Required salary: $99,151.22
>Monthly payment: $2,313.53
>Median home price: $419,000
>Mortgage rate: 4.01%

Boston, Massachusetts
>Required salary: $97,465.24
>Monthly payment: $2,274.19
>Median home price: $464,100
>Mortgage rate: 4.01%

Seattle, Washington
>Required salary: $93,418.01
>Monthly payment: $2,179.75
>Median home price: $478,500
>Mortgage rate: 4.01%

Washington, D.C.
>Required salary: $84,503.35
>Monthly payment: $1,971.74
>Median home price: $408,500
>Mortgage rate: 4.01%

Denver, Colorado
>Required salary: $79,458.76
>Monthly payment: $1,854.04
>Median home price: $418,100
>Mortgage rate: 4.01%

Portland, Oregon
>Required salary: $76,883.89
>Monthly payment: $1,793.96
>Median home price: $389,400
>Mortgage rate: 4.01%

HSH.com has data on all 50 metro areas and sub-rankings of the 25 most and 25 least expensive cities. https://www.hsh.com/finance/mortgage/salary-home-buying-25-cities.html#_