Special Report

Cities Where Americans Struggle to Afford Their Homes

Source: Getty Images

11. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
> Cost-burdened households: 37.6%
> Cost-burdened low income households: 57.0%
> Median single-family home value: $250,491
> Median household income: $55,000
> Homeownership rate: 52.3%

The Las Vegas metro area reported one of the steepest housing price increases in 2017. Area home prices rose by 14% last year compared to a 6.2% average increase nationwide. Renters in the metro area are not spared either, over 50% are moderately or severely burdened by rent prices. Currently, Las Vegas is one of just a handful of major metro areas with fewer than 20 affordable rental units available for every 100 low-income households.

Across Las Vegas, 37.6% of households pay more than they can afford on housing. Almost half of those burdened spend over 50% of their income on housing.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

10. Bakersfield, CA
> Cost-burdened households: 38.8%
> Cost-burdened low income households: 44.5%
> Median single-family home value: $204,670
> Median household income: $50,000
> Homeownership rate: 57.0%

Bakersfield is one of 10 California metro areas to rank on this list. A relatively large share of Bakersfield residents face serious financial hardship. Some 22.7% live below the poverty line, one of the highest poverty rates of any U.S. metro area and well above the 14.0% U.S. poverty rate. Low income Americans are the most vulnerable to housing cost burdens and likely account for a large share of Bakersfield’s high housing cost burden rate. Some 38.8% of households in the area spend at least 30% of their income on housing, the 10th largest share of any U.S. metro area.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

9. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
> Cost-burdened households: 38.9%
> Cost-burdened low income households: 76.6%
> Median single-family home value: $323,589
> Median household income: $89,700
> Homeownership rate: 65.3%

The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area is one of the less affordable cities in the United States. The typical single-family home in Bridgeport is worth $323,589, one of the higher median home values of the 100 largest metro areas. Overall, some 38.9% of households spend more than 30% of incomes on housing, far more than the 32.0% of households that spend more than 30% of incomes nationwide.

Housing is particularly unaffordable for the area’s low income residents. Bridgeport has the highest income inequality of any major metro area, and 76.6% of low income households — earning between $30,000 and $45,000 — spend at least 30% of their incomes on housing, the largest share nationwide.

Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

8. Urban Honolulu, HI
> Cost-burdened households: 40.3%
> Cost-burdened low income households: 68.8%
> Median single-family home value: N/A
> Median household income: $78,800
> Homeownership rate: 54.1%

Home prices have risen far faster than incomes in the Honolulu metro area. San Jose and Los Angeles are the only U.S. metro areas with higher median home sale price-to-income ratios than Honolulu. The the typical home in Honolulu sells for 9.2 times the area’s median household income, more than double the national sale price-to-income ratio of 4.2.

For many in the Honolulu metro area, the high housing costs leave little disposable income for other expenses. More than two out of every three households in the $30,000-$44,999 income bracket are housing cost-burdened, as are more than half of households in the $45,000-$74,999 income range. Though the implications of being housing cost-burdened may be less grave for higher income Americans, 18.8% of Honolulu households earning at least $75,000 spend 30% or more of their income on housing, the largest share of any U.S. metro area.

Source: Thinkstock

7. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
> Cost-burdened households: 40.4%
> Cost-burdened low income households: 73.3%
> Median single-family home value: $578,148
> Median household income: $78,000
> Homeownership rate: 62.1%

The Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura metro area has some of the most expensive real estate in the country. The typical area home is worth $578,148, the fourth highest median home value of metro areas considered. As a result, it is one of only five metro areas nationwide where most residents who financed their home spend over $4,000 per month on mortgage payments.

There is also a shortage of affordable, low-income housing in the metro area. Some 73.3% of households earning $30,000-$44,999 a year are strained by housing costs. The majority of those cost burdened low-income households spend over half of their income on housing.