Salaries Required To Own a Property In The 30 Best American Cities

By Simi
Salaries Required To Own a Property In The 30 Best American Cities

The housing market in America has seen some unexpected growth lately. Although growth in house prices was in the cards, most economists did not anticipate just how much. This was mainly due to the lack of housing supply, which dropped to record lows.

The National Association of Realtors tracked 150 housing markets in 2016 and found that 87% experienced increases in home prices. Perhaps even more impressive, 52% of those markets had a median sale price above or equal to the previous record highs.

The other determining factor was that buyer interest was still elevated in most areas due to interest rates below 4%. More than 1.4 million jobs were created, which brought the job market ever closer to being fully employed. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at NAR, also mentioned that the inability for the demand to be met by the supply of housing had driven prices upward.

The median family income rose to $70,831, but the increasing mortgage rates and home costs keep most buyers in a choke hold. The salary needed to buy a property in one of the top five metro areas exceeds $100,000.

Below is a list of the 25 most expensive housing markets, and how much you need to earn to afford an average house in each.

1. Wyoming

Wyoming screams outdoor living, with wide open spaces and unspoiled nature. It’s one of the largest states, and had the least amount of people. Just 579,315 people live there, and 63,335 of those live in the capital, Cheyenne.

The median home costs about $ 255,000, meaning you’ll need to make about $56,000 to afford a home. Luckily, Wyoming is one of the few states where the median income is at least $58,000, making homes affordable for the most part.

However, the area isn’t for everyone. Wyoming has very hot summers and very cold winters. The climate is semi-arid, and in some areas is even be classified as a desert. Nevertheless, it is a naturally beautiful state and anyone with an affinity for nature will feel right at home here.

2. South Carolina

This coastal state is quickly developing into one of the better places to live. The sub-tropical climate makes it easy to find the state alluring, not to mention the price.

The average home will cost you around $259,000. You would have to earn about $57,000 to buy it, but currently, the median income is only $54,000. However, don’t let this put you off. Compared to other coastal states, you would be buying a house for a steal.

Since the 1990s, South Carolina has seen some tremendous growth, and things are looking up financially. Many look forward to enjoying the 187 miles of coastline of the lush green gardens and natural flora typical of tropical coastal cities, and that at a third of the price of states like California.

3. Salt Lake City

When you think of Utah, expensive real estate probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. A desert is not exactly a landscape that appeals to the masses. However, Salt Lake City emerged as a diamond in the rough and has a booming population of around 1,170,266.

Part of the city’s appeal lies in the raw nature that surrounds it. This is one of the factors that has pushed the average home price to $282,100. Buying here is an expensive exercise, and you need to earn a salary of around $51,572 if you are looking to anchor yourself in the desert paradise.

Make no mistake, the city is booming and its economy is thriving. Home to two fortune 1000 companies – Zions Bancorporation and Questar Corporation – and other notable major companies, Salt Lake City is looking strong and growing rapidly.

4. Austin-Round Rock

Round Rock has been around for a while and is constantly pushing the bar in terms of great places to stay. In 2008, it was voted as the 7th-best small city to live in by Money magazine. In 2009, it was named the second-fastest growing city in the country.

Today, Round Rock boasts a population of more than 2,000,860. The median house prices of $287, 600, have also kept pace with the growth of the city. To afford a mortgage payment here, you’ll need to ear around $53 000.

Among other things, the educational system of Round Rock is of the best in the country. Of their 42 schools, 12 were rated as exemplary, and 11 were recognized. The economy is also sturdy, and the populous enjoys favorable tax rates, not to mention the major retailers like IKEA and Premium Outlet Mall.

5. Burlington-South Burlington

Vermont is one of the most picturesque states in the country. It boasts some of the most scenic locations and a range of outdoor activities. Burlington is the most populated city in Vermont, and it doesn’t seem like its residents are looking to move away any time soon. In 2015, it became the first U.S. city to run completely on renewable energy.

Burlington is not the biggest city. According to the latest census, it only has about 42,000 residents. The average home price is around $291,300 which means you’ll need to earn around $53,200 to afford it.

Even though it is a bit pricey to live in Burlington, it’s worth it. The city boasts some incredible schools and the University of Vermont. You also don’t have to worry about traveling. It is the home of the Burlington International Airport, and they have an excellent public transport system.

6. Phoenix

Phoenix is the fifth most populated city in the US. What started out as an agricultural city evolved into a tech mecca of sorts. However, it wasn’t until the invention of the aircon that the move away from agriculture happened. Phoenix has a desert climate, which can make things a bit uncomfortable at times.

Today, it has a population of 1,626,087. The median house sells for around $299,000, and you’ll need to make around $67 000 to buy a home. Unfortunately, the median income for the people of Phoenix is around $57,000.

Regardless, if you can afford a home in the desert and hot weather is your thing, you’ll get your money’s worth when you buy a home. Not to mention that when the Sunbelt is influenced by the recession, you could pick up a bargain here and there.

7. Reno

People seem to love the desert states. For one thing, “The Biggest Little City in the World” is known for its extravagant hotels and casinos. Reno is known for binge weekends where people often go for a wild time. However, there are a large number of people who have decided to make Reno their home.

If you are looking for cheap, look elsewhere. Reno has a population of 248,853, and residents are looking to fork out around $308,700 to get their own little slice of the city. That means that they will have to earn around $ 56,435 to cover their costs.

In terms of recreation, Reno offers year-round entertainment. Seeing that temperatures can soar into the hundreds in summer, water sports and activities are among the favorites. If casinos aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other options you can indulge in.

8. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, or the Miami metropolitan area, is the second most populous city in the southeastern United States and the most populous area in Florida. The tropical climate and sandy beaches make you feel as though you are on a permanent vacation. This is probably why so many people have flocked there.

Fort Lauderdale has a healthy population of 1,935,878, and its growth rate does not seem to be slowing, despite the fact that the average home prices have risen to $310,500. However, there is an abundance of opportunity to rake in a salary of $56,764, what you’ll need to buy an average home.

The one thing that is not a problem is transport. Miami has four seaports, three international airports and five interstate roads. It has one of the most efficient public transport systems as well. You don’t even need to own a car to get around.

9. DuPage County

DuPage is Chicago’s second most populated county with more than 916,000 people. It also has a very high percentage of foreign-born residents.

Buying a home in DuPage is not a cheap affair. You’ll need to spend around $316,749 to make it your permanent home. The good news is that the median household income is more than enough to buy a home. The average take-home salary is $81,521, and the average monthly mortgage payment is around $1,280.

DuPage has plenty of opportunity for people who work in the computer industry, as it is the primary location of Illinois Technology and Research Corridor. DuPage has a relaxed community with high family values, the perfect state to start a family and enjoy a bit of city living mixed with nature.

10. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario

This Californian city, also known as the Inland Empire, has a massive population of around 4 million people. Back in the day, the Inland Empire was economically fueled by a booming agricultural industry. However, since the 1970’s, agriculture has made way to more residential, industrial and commercial development.

Today, the median home prices are $317,700 and a salary of $58,081 is what’ll you’ll need if you are looking to buy. However, the Inland Empire is not a great employment center. Many residents commute to nearby Los Angeles and Orange County to earn their wages.

That is a small price to pay for the quality of living that you will find. The region is steadily growing its bicycle commuting trails, which translates to safer streets and great recreational activities. The Inland Empire seems to be evolving into a purely residential city with few high-end jobs to choose from.

11. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden Arcade

The greater Sacramento area has seen some crazy growth over the past couple of years. In 2000, this metropolitan area had a population of 1,930,875. In 2016, that number grew to around 2,296,418.

Today, you can expect to pay around $324,300 for an average home. That means that the combined family income needs to be around $59,287 to buy a house. You don’t have to go far to get a job that will ensure you have a decent enough income, though.

Sacramento has a booming transport industry. That is due to its central location between the Bay area and the Nevada border. However, don’t rely too much on the public transport system. People tend to get around themselves, using the super-efficient road network. Four freeways make their way through the metropolitan area, together with a number of California and Nevada state routes.

12. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro

The Portland metropolitan area is shared by Oregon and Washington. In 2017, the estimated population was 2,453,168. In the 1990s, the area saw a boom in population due to the technology industry that took root in the area. Companies like Intel brought investments worth $10 billion in 1995 alone.

Due to the ample opportunity that college-educated people have, many of them flocked to Portland. $354,700 is what you’ll expect to pay for an average home, and a salary of around $64,845 is what you’ll need to buy one.

The City of Roses, as it is popularly referred to, has an amazing climate that ranges between an oceanic and Mediterranean, with dry, hot summers and cool, rainy winters. They don’t experience snow often, which makes it ideal to start raising young children. This metropolitan area is truly one where you don’t have to look far for an opportunity to get ahead in life.

13. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk

Greater Bridgeport is a metropolitan area centered in Connecticut. This historic seaport city has gradually shifted from an industrial economy to a service-based economy, with healthcare, education and finance at the center.

The metropolitan area currently has a population of 948,053. The median price for a home is around $359,800. To afford a median home, you need a salary of roughly $65,777. The homes are modestly priced in terms of what you get in the neighborhood.

Bridgeport is known as the “Park City” because of the public park system. Recreation is at the top of the list of desirable features that lure prospective residents to make this metropolitan area their home. Like manay of the northern states, ice hockey is the sport of choice.

14. Barnstable Town

Barnstable Town is the most densely-populated area in Cape Cod. However, they still only have a population of roughly 46,000 people. In this historic city, expect to spend around $377,900 for a median house. That means that you need to earn a salary of $69,086 to buy here.

Barnstable Town started out as a small fishing village but quickly grew as agriculture and salt works were added to the economic makeup. However, ocean-going liners and the railroad killed the industry and made way for tourism.

To this day, tourism is the major economic activity that keeps the city alive. If you’re looking for a relaxed lifestyle with plenty of visitors to brighten up your day, look no further. Many famous people have made Barnstable their home – albeit a second or third home – where they go to blow off some steam.

15. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood

The Denver metro area is not a tiny city. With a massive population of nearly 3 million people, you can be sure there are plenty of reasons why you might want to move to Denver. Unfortunately, the quality of life comes at a price.

The median home in the Denver metropolitan area will cost $381,600. To afford an average house, you’ll need a basic salary of $69,763.

The major industry that drives the city is transport, which made it possible for excellent trade opportunities. In terms of entertainment, football is the sport of choice, with the Broncos leading the pack. However, if you’re looking for something a bit faster, you will not be disappointed with the hockey talent that takes over every now and then.

16. New York-Newark-Jersey City

No expensive real estate list would be complete without New York. The New York metropolitan area, or the tri-state area, is packed with development. It is the largest metropolitan area in the world, and the economic hub of the USA. This area also has the most foreign-born citizens of any metropolitan area.

It currently has a population of 20,128,305, and you can expect an average home to cost around $382,300. That translates to a salary of $69,891. However, don’t think you’ll be buying a palace: homes cost around $200 per square foot.

If you don’t mind living in a shoebox, there is no end to what you can do in the Tri-State area. You have the world at your fingertips, literally. If you need to go somewhere or do something, you are spoiled for choice.

17. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria

The Washington D.C. metro area is home to the U.S. President. It is the sixth-largest metropolitan in the country, and one of the most educated ones as well. People who stay in Washington take their education seriously.

This area has around 6,097,084 people. The median home costs $384,300, and the salary you need to earn to be able to afford it is around $70,256. However, the median home income is $72,800. That’s more than enough to cover your costs and then some.

If you’re a tech junkie, Washington is going to rock your world. It is rated the second-best high-tech metro in the U.S., behind only Silicon Valley. It comes to no surprise, seeing that they have the largest engineering and science workforce in the country. However, Washington is also beautiful, and a large part of its economy hinges on tourism.

18. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island

This metro area of Florida is one of comfort. The 357,307 people who live there are lavished with scenic beauty. Apart from the great views, it also has one of the most comfortable vibes of any state. It’s no wonder this area has such a low population, though: Not many people can afford a place here.

The median home is priced at $415,000. That means that you need to earn around $75,869. If you can afford a house here, you’ll always feel relaxed. The weather and the scenery give it a tropical-island feel giving you the illusion that you are on a permanent vacation.

However, don’t think you’re going to strike it rich and build your way to the top in this metro. The economic industry revolves around retail and basic service delivery. That basically means the people who work there don’t necessarily live there.

19. Boston-Cambridge-Newton

The historical nature of the greater Boston metro area is unsurpassed. However, don’t think that it’s stuck in the past: Massachusetts was the first state to make same-sex marriages legal.

This is the country’s 10th-largest metro, with a population of 4,774,321. When you’re looking to settle down in the metro, be prepared to pay around $417,400 for a median home. To cover the costs, you need to earn around $76,307. However, it is an investment that you probably won’t regret.

There is so much going for the metro. For one, MIT and Harvard are found there, and they are ranked among the top colleges in the world. This metro is big on education, technology, medicine and the law. They churn out more graduates than most other states, and these graduates are very sought after.

20. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue

Also ranking as one of the bigger metros in the states, the Seattle Metropolitan Area has a population of 3,733,580. The metro hinges on Seattle, a seaport city on the West coast. Their economy has shifted from logging to commercial and shipbuilding. However, today the metro is a tech center.

The industry in the metro area has had a very positive effect on the real estate market, pushing the median price for a home to $423,300. This leaves you to scrape a yearly income of $77,386 together if you want to buy one.

However, you get your money’s worth. The Seattle metro area is a vibrant and growing place with something for everyone. One of the standout features of the area is the performing arts and music industry. That is not surprising given the creative nature of the area. It almost seems as if everything is geared to highlight the creative side in you.

21. Monroe County

Monroe County is one of the smallest counties, yet you’ll pay an arm and a leg to get yourself a little slice of paradise here. It has a population of 73,090, 99% of which lives in the Florida Keys. However, you will be buying peace and tranquility you’ll struggle to find anywhere else.

A median home in Monroe goes for around $454,051, which means you’ll need to earn around $81,000 if you want to buy a house there. If you can afford it, you’ll be spoiled with natural beauty.

About two-thirds of the county’s mainland is uninhabitable because it is part of Everglades Natural Park. The population of Monroe County is all about nature and having an in-depth knowledge of the surrounding waters. They have dubbed their own cultural style as conch, which roughly equates to being open to an alternative lifestyle and respectful of nature.

22. Boulder

The Boulder municipality is the 11th-largest in Colorado and the most expensive one as well. This city has everything going for it. Not only is it picturesque, but it is rich in history and frequently receives praises for its art, education, wealth, health and quality of life.

Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder has a population of 319,372. With the Rocky Mountains as the feature view in the city, it is no surprise that the median home price is a whopping $494,800. To buy a house then means that you need to earn at least $90,000 a year, nearly twice as much as Salt Lake City.

Boulder is all about quality of living and what better way to express quality than the time to play around outside? The city has a huge outdoor culture, and was even voted as the happiest city in the country in 2011.

23. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale

Moving back to the coastal metros, the L.A. metro are is the second largest in the country, with only New York being bigger. The main attraction of the area is by far the entertainment industry. Home to Hollywood and some of the most amazing beaches in the country, you can spot a Californian a mile away.

With a massive population of 10,170,292, it’s kind of difficult to imagine how the median price of a home is $503,400. That makes buying a house extremely difficult, seeing that you need a yearly salary of $92,030 if you’re considering buying a place.

However, you’ll be buying into the entertainment hub of the U.S. Some of the world’s biggest movie studios are found here. However, if you are more of a beach lover, you are spoiled for choice. Long Beach is famous for a promenade that seems to stretch for miles on end.

24. Montgomery County

Sitting right next to Washington D.C, it’s easy to understand why Montgomery County is not one of the cheapest areas to live in. It is the most populated county in Maryland, with 1,058,810 residents. It has the highest percentage of individuals 25 years and older who hold post-graduate degrees.

When you decide to buy into the county, you can expect to pay around $516,442. Luckily, the median household income is high enough to afford the $ 2,087 mortgage payment.

If you are looking for an area focused on excellence and development, look no further. Montgomery County is a beacon of sophistication, and many of the country’s top research and development centers are located here. Education is a top priority, which is why more than half of the county’s budget is spent on education.

25. San Diego-Carlsbad

Another Californian metro area that made the cut is San Diego metro. Next only to L.A., it is the most populous county in California. If water sports are your thing, you’ll have a hard time finding a place that is better than here. Apart from the ocean, they also have lakes and lagoons, rivers and bay areas.

With a healthy population of 3,229,521, the demand for housing has gone up tremendously. The supply can’t keep pace with the demand, and therefore, you will pay, on average, $593,000 for a house. You will need a hefty salary of $108,410 to afford your mortgage payment. Unfortunately, the average combined salary is just more than $54,000.

The cost of living in the metro is also quite steep. They experience the occasional drought, which makes their water prices the most expensive in the U.S. If it weren’t for the water attractions in the city, they would have a hard time to keep up with the rest of the States.

26. Summit County

As the name suggests, Summit County sits in the middle of the mountainous and rugged areas of Utah. It has a very low population of 32,324. Due to its proximity to Salt Lake City and Park City, it has turned into an upmarket getaway destination for the more affluent side of the population.

Home buyers can expect to pay $653,466 for an average home. This makes it a little tough to buy, with the average household income at $91,470 and a monthly payment $2,641.

However, buying a home in Summit County feels like buying a home in a holiday resort. During the winter months, it is a prime skiing destination. During summer, those ski resorts turn into breathtaking hiking and mountain biking trails. You will never be bored if you love the outdoors.

27. Urban Honolulu

If you want to fly with the elite islanders, then there is no better place to try and see if you can afford a house. Honolulu is the capital city of Hawaii and has a population of 998,714. However, it’s difficult to think many people own their own houses.

The fact is, if you can afford a house on Honolulu, you are earning around $135,320. That will cover the house costs, which are around $740,200, but you’ll get your money’s worth. They have a tropical climate, but there are other states where the temperatures are much higher.

There is only one thing you’re after if you want to settle in Honolulu, and that’s the beach. The weather is unsurpassed, and the sea temperature is perfect for swimming year round.

28. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine

Another Californian metro area to make the cut is the Orange County area. It is the third-most populated county in California, and one of the most sought-after areas to stay in the U.S. In the early days, many celebrities would make weekend getaways to Orange County.

To date, it has a population of 3,169,377. The median home would set you back $745,200, and you would have to earn $136,123 annually to buy an average place. However, don’t let the term “average” put you off. There is nothing mediocre about the houses in Orange County.

It comes as no surprise seeing that many of the Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in the OC. Many Fortune 1000 companies who have headquarters there as well. Tourism and entertainment also play a major part in the county’s economy.

29. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward

The San Francisco metro area is one of the most expensive areas to live in in the U.S. Its artistic lure has brought many people to its shores. Many famous musicians, artists and actors have tasted of the artistic freedom and expression of the area.

However, the diverse populous of 4,656,132 is not only interested in the arts. The metro has deep sporting roots, of which baseball and football are among the favorites. To become a proud owner of a home, you’ll need to fork out around $837,500. That means you’ll need to earn around $153,108 to afford your monthly payments.

Three main activities that drive the metro are tourism, heavy industry and technology. For the connoisseur, the metro even has a strong wine industry. Next to New York, it is the home of the second most fortune 500 companies.

30. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara

California is by far the most coveted state to live in. With many of the most expensive places to stay in hailing from here, it is difficult to imagine how much people will pay to have their own little slice of Cali. The San Jose metro area is no different. In fact, it is the most expensive metro in the state.

The median home price is $1,005,000. What makes that number scary is the fact that there are so many people who can afford to stay there. The metro has a population of 1,976,836, and many of those residents own their own property. It means that the Average Joe earns around $183,730.

Are the streets made of gold? What makes this area so darn expensive? Exclusivity is what drives the home prices. Sure, the area is superb with an amazing climate and beautiful scenery. But to be able to say that you own a piece of the metro makes you the envy of many people.

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