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Ranking the Most Expensive, Most Affordable Housing Markets

San Francisco, California, USA city skyline.

HSH found that the average home price during Q3 2019 rose to $280,200 with the median mortgage payment being $1,383.41. An annual salary of $59,288.91 would be needed to afford the average home. 

The survey studied 50 of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation. 

California was home to four of the five most expensive markets: San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Of those markets, Los Angeles was the only one to report an increase in home prices at 14.57% to $649,600.

San Jose’s median-home price was $1.24 million, which is a 6.7% decline for the prior quarter. San Francisco saw prices fall 8% to $964,000 while San Diego has the smallest decline of 1.53% to $645,000.

San Jose had the highest-average mortgage payment of $5,343 and the highest salary needed to buy a home—$228,998.

Boston, Massachusetts, was reportedly the fifth-most expensive market with home prices just over $507,000—virtually unchanged from Q2 2019. 

On the affordable side, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was the most affordable market with an average home price of $163,600—an increase of 0.74% from the prior quarter. The average monthly payment is $890 and borrowers needed to earn just $38,143 to afford homes in the market. 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was the second most affordable market, with an average home price of $165,000. The average mortgage in Pittsburgh costs $891.73. Cleveland, Ohio, was close behind with the average price of $171,700, Buffalo, New York, had an average home price of $172,200, and the average home in Cincinnati, Ohio, was $192,100.

Buffalo reported the highest quarter-to-quarter increase in average home prices at 9.33%. 

The survey found there were “significant decreases” in required income in some of the more expensive markets. HSH calculated there was a year-over-year decline of $27,878.93 in income needed to buy a median-priced home in San Jose. 

After home-price growth slowed to 3.83% during Q1 2019, home-price growth in the 50 markets studied is up to 4.85% during the Q3 2019. Year-over-year affordability improved in 48 of the 50 markets studied and in 47 of the 50 markets when compared to Q2 2019.

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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