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West Coast Markets Not Friendly to Affordability

A new report by Trulia found that there is at least one ZIP code in each of the country’s 50 largest markets where more than half of the homes are considered affordable to a buyer earning an average income.  

The report, however, does outline extremes in the marketplace, as 261 of the more than 8,000 ZIP codes examined had homes that were “completely out of reach for the typical income earner.”

To assemble the data, Trulia took the value of homes as of April 2019 in the largest 50 metro areas and calculated the share affordable in each ZIP code to a would-be buyer who earns the local median income. Homes were considered affordable if 30% or less of the metro’s median monthly income was required to afford a mortgage payment and other expenses, including property taxes, on that home.

Trulia added that there are 604 ZIP codes across the nation where all homes are considered affordable.

The west coast was home to five of the seven priciest metros—San Francisco; San Jose, California; Los Angeles; San Diego, California; and Portland, Oregon. Florida metros Miami and Tampa Bay were also included.

With a median home value of $590,700 and a median income of $75,110, only 8% of the ZIP codes in San Diego had 100% of homes that could be considered affordable. New York, New York was a close second, with just 9.3% of ZIP codes had homes all could deem affordable.

When it comes to affordability, Trulia found that 22.5% of all ZIP codes in Pittsburgh had 100% of homes that were affordable. Columbus, Ohio (19.1%), and St. Louis (18.2%) followed.

Living near a large metro is considered less affordable in some markets, according to the report. Trulia states that homes determined to affordable in ZIP codes within 30 miles of a downtown area is, on average, 14% lower than those farther from downtown.

“A location closer to the center of the city tends to fetch a premium since that often means lower commuting costs (in both time and money), and land values tend to be higher closer to a given metro’s center of gravity,” the report states.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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