Saving for a home is challenging, but it’s even tougher when a local market is stacked against you.
For example, assuming you make San Francisco’s median income and can pay a 10 percent down payment, just one percent of homes in San Francisco are affordable for you. That’s according to the new Home Affordability Report released by home financing company Unison, which analyzes the cost of buying a home in 22 major U.S. cities.
Though some of the results of the report are disheartening, there are some brighter spots: The majority of homes in Phoenix, for example, are actually attainable for people earning median incomes.
The above map shows affordability at median salary with a 10 percent down payment, though most experts recommend putting down 20 percent for the best chances of closing the sale and avoiding mortgage insurance, Unison spokesperson Michael Micheletti told HuffPost. However, that gold standard can be tough to achieve: Homebuyers under 35 muster only an eight percent downpayment on average, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Unison’s report used data from the 2015 U.S. Census American Community Survey. Their results jive with another recent housing report from mortgage site HSH.com, which used data from late 2016 to conclude that San Francisco requires the highest income from prospective homebuyers. Both reports peg the Midwest as especially affordable, though HSH says you’ll need a slightly higher salary to afford a home than Unison concluded below, no matter where you go.
Unison’s number-crunching yielded data on the average home prices in each city and the annual salary needed to purchase a home with both 10 and 20 percent down payments. Contrary to what you might think, a 10 percent downpayment requires a higher salary, because it almost always comes with monthly mortgage insurance payments, Micheletti said. Here are Unison’s results, ranked from most affordable to least: