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Median Prices Rise in the Least Affordable Metros

San Diego recently surpassed San Francisco as the nation’s least affordable metro area, as home prices rose 14.3% year-over-year. The latest OJO Labs unaffordability report showed San Diego bypass both San Francisco and Los Angeles to become the nation’s least affordable metro by comparing median home prices to local household incomes.  

The median home price sold in San Diego rose to $764,000 in January, bringing the city’s unaffordability score to 8.1. Despite San Francisco having the most expensive housing stock of any metro in the U.S., a 4.2% home sold price decrease in January on an annual basis drove San Francisco’s unaffordability score below 8 for the first time since OJO Labs began tracking data in July 2021. In January, San Francisco’s unaffordability score fell to 7.9, down from 9.2 last month. 

The top five least affordable U.S. metros were: 

  1. Los Angeles 
  2. Mobile, Alabama 
  3. Pensacola, Florida 
  4. Boise, Idaho 
  5. Austin, Texas  

Data found Austin, TX saw the biggest home price increase of any metro area in the U.S., with home prices rising 35.5% year-over-year, according to the data from OJO Labs real estate search site Movoto. The steep rise in home prices also moved Austin ahead of Seattle on the list in terms of unaffordability, however, the hot Texas market still sits outside the top 10 in terms of least affordable metros areas in the U.S.  

Green Bay-Appleton, Wisconsin continued to be the most affordable of the top 50 metro areas in the nation in terms of homes sold. The median home sold price in Green Bay-Appleton in January was $149,900, an increase of 11.9% from last year.  

The remaining affordable markets in the top 50 metros were: 

  1. Cleveland-Akron, Ohio 
  2. Buffalo, New York 
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
  4. Detroit, Michigan 

Outside of San Francisco, the only other metro area to see prices fall year-over-year was Fort Myers, Florida, which saw the median home price sold fall 0.2%. Although Fort Myers was the 8th most affordable metropolitan area, San Francisco was the second least affordable, sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum. 

Nationally, the median annual home price increase dropped significantly from last month, but still remained high. Home prices rose an overall 10.5% year-over-year in January to $376,730, which is a significant drop from the 14.9% annual increase reported in December. The national unaffordability score also fell to 4.5 in January, after coming in at 4.9 last month.  

To view the full list, including prices and percentages, click here. 

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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