What does it take to be rich in America?

This is the salary you need to buy a house in 50 US cities

Depending on where you live, owning a home may seem like a distant dream or it may be quite realistic. In New York, for example, a person has to earn at least six figures to buy a house, but in Cleveland you could do so for just over $ 45,000 a year.

This image, using data from Home Sweet Home, plots the annual salary you would need for home ownership in 50 different cities across the United States.

Note: The map above is for entire metropolitan areas and uses Q1 2022 data on median house prices. The required salary was calculated from the source, considering the basic cost of capital, interest, property tax and homeowner’s insurance.

Home ownership in the United States

San Jose is by far the most expensive city when it comes to buying a home. A person would need to earn $ 330,000 annually to pay off the mortgage at a monthly rate of $ 7,718.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers:

rank Metropolitan area Average house price Salary needed
# 1 San Jose $ 1,875,000 $ 330,758
#2 San Francisco $ 1,380,000 $ 249,685
# 3 San Diego $ 905,000 $ 166,828
# 4 Los Angeles $ 792,500 $ 149,127
# 5 Seattle $ 746,200 $ 140,768
# 6 Boston $ 639,000 $ 130,203
# 7 New York $ 578,100 $ 129,459
# 8 Denver $ 662,200 $ 121,888
# 9 Austin $ 540,700 $ 114,679
# 10 Washington DC $ 553,000 $ 110,327
# 11 Portland $ 570,500 $ 109,267
# 12 Riverside / San Bernardino $ 560,000 $ 106,192
# 13 sacrament $ 545,000 $ 105,934
# 14 You love me $ 530,000 $ 103,744
# 15 Salt Lake City $ 556,900 $ 100,970
# 16 Providence $ 406,700 $ 88,477
# 17 Phoenix $ 474,500 $ 86,295
# 18 Las Vegas $ 461,100 $ 84,116
# 19 Raleigh $ 439,100 $ 83,561
# 20 Dallas $ 365,400 $ 81,165
# 21 Orlando $ 399,900 $ 79,573
# 22 Chicago $ 325,400 $ 76,463
# 23 Tampa $ 379,900 $ 75,416
# 24 Houston $ 330,800 $ 74,673
# 25 Minneapolis $ 355,800 $ 74,145
# 26 Baltimore $ 350,900 $ 73,803
# 27 Nashville $ 387,200 $ 73,502
# 28 Jacksonville $ 365,900 $ 73,465
# 29 Hartford $ 291,000 $ 73,165
# 30 Carlotta $ 379,900 $ 72,348
# 31 Sant ‘Antonio $ 321,100 $ 70.901
# 32 Atlanta $ 350,300 $ 69,619
# 33 Philadelphia $ 297,900 $ 69,569
# 34 Richmond $ 354,500 $ 68,629
# 35 Milwaukee $ 298,800 $ 65,922
# 36 Kansas City $ 287,400 $ 60,507
# 37 Colombo $ 274,300 $ 59,321
# 38 Virginia Beach $ 289,900 $ 59,245
# 39 New Orleans $ 281,100 $ 57,853
# 40 Birmingham $ 289,500 $ 55,662
# 41 Indianapolis $ 271,600 $ 53,586
# 42 Memphis $ 259,300 $ 52,691
# 43 Cincinnati $ 244,300 $ 51,840
# 44 buffalo $ 202,300 $ 51,525
# 45 Detroit $ 224,300 $ 50,302
# 46 St. Louis $ 216,700 $ 48,988
# 47 Louisville $ 235,400 $ 48,121
# 48 Cleveland $ 192,700 $ 45,448
# 49 Oklahoma City $ 198,200 $ 45,299
# 50 Pittsburgh $ 185,700 $ 42,858

Perhaps surprisingly, Boston residents need slightly higher earnings than New Yorkers to buy a home. The same is also true in Seattle and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, some of the cheapest cities to start buying real estate in are Oklahoma City and Cleveland.

In April, the home ownership rate in the United States is 65%. This number represents the share of owner-occupied homes, rather than rented or vacant.

The home of American dreams

At the time of these data (Q1 2022), the national annual fixed mortgage rate was 4% and the average house price was $ 368,200. This put the salary needed to buy a house at almost $ 76,000⁠ — the median national household income falls nearly $ 9,000 below that.

But what kind of homes are people looking to buy? Depending on where you live, the type of home and square footage you can get will be very different.

In New York City, for example, there are quite a few freestanding single-family homes in the traditional sense – only about 4,000 are ever on the market. People in the Big Apple tend to buy condos or multi-family units.

Plus, if you’re looking for luxury, not even seven figures will give you much in big cities. In Miami, a million dollars will just buy you 833 square feet or first-rate properties.

One thing is certain: the typical American dream home of the big house with a white yard and fence is more attainable in smaller metropolitan areas with large suburbs.

buy vs. Rent

The median family income in the United States is $ 67,500, which means that the typical family today can afford a home in only about 15 of 50 metropolitan areas highlighted above, including New Orleans, Buffalo, and Indianapolis.

As the income gap in the United States widens, the rental market remains a more attractive option for many, especially as prices are finally falling. The national average rental price had almost dropped 3% from June to July for two-room apartments.

Ultimately, buying a home can be a major investment and can give you a sense of security, but it will be much easier to do in some types of cities.

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