Housing prices keep going up, faster than inflation and faster than wage growth. Combined with creeping mortgage rates, it's all left first-time buyers and middle-class earners in a tough spot when it comes to buying a good home.
However, a new study by Realtor.com finds 10 metro markets where a $60,000 annual income can afford more than half the homes on the market.
While homes in California won't be found on the list, you will, however, find Pittsburgh, which tops the list in terms of affordability. The city's median list price is $179,100, which makes 64 percent of the homes for sale there affordable to the $60,000 earner.
“Despite all the changes, home prices have stayed low here,” the report stated. “Many houses built in the early 20th century during the city's heyday were neglected during the city's years of population loss. But now, these places are getting investor attention.”
Young buyers, in particular, are flocking to Pittsburgh to “snag and remodel homes priced under $125,000,” the report stated.
Close behind is Western New York, where more than 60 percent of homes listed in Buffalo and Rochester are affordable to the middle class. Rochester's median list price is $177,500, while Buffalo's is $185,000, according to the report.
Like Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Rochester suffered the ills of manufacturing decline that led to a glut of houses left unattended after a high outflow of residents. But a resurgence in the downtowns has brought investors back, the report found.
In fact, the remaining six markets where a $60,000 annual income can afford at least half the homes on the market are heavy in cities that saw manufacturing dry up or which are making a comeback after years in trouble.
According to the report, more than 60 percent of homes listed are available to the average middle-class buyer in St. Louis and Cleveland. And more than 50 percent fit the criteria in Birmingham, Memphis, and Oklahoma City. Cincinnati and Detroit round up this list of cities.