- Rafael Ramirez Lee/Shutterstock
- Four of the five most expensive housing markets in the country are in California.
- In these markets, buyers need to make more than $110,000 to qualify for a mortgage with a 20% down payment.
- In the San Jose metro area, buyers need to make over $210,000.
Several of the priciest housing markets in the country are in the American West.
In the third quarter of 2017, the median cost of a single-family home in the region rose to $373,700, up 7% from the previous year and a greater increase than any other region, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
By contrast, the current US median home price is $247,000.
As supply lags behind demand, and prices and mortgage rates continue to rise, homebuyers entering the market may find it increasingly unaffordable to buy a home.
Looking at NAR’s data on housing affordability, there are five US metro areas where the minimum salary required to qualify for a mortgage, with 20% down, is above $110,000. NAR assumes a mortgage rate of 3.9% for all areas, with the monthly principle and interest payment limited to 25% of income.
While the salary needed to buy in these areas is exceptional, purchasing a home in a number of markets across the country remains affordable, with required salaries at or below the median household income of $71,775 . The average qualifying income for the US as a whole is $46,435 .
Below, check out how much you need to earn to buy a home, and what the median home will cost you, in the most expensive markets.
5. San Diego-Carlsbad, California
- Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Median sale price: $607,000
Salary needed to buy: $110,969
4. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii
- Edmund Garman/Flickr
Median sale price: $760,200
Salary needed to buy: $138,977
3. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California
Median sale price: $790,000
Salary needed to buy: $144,425
2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
- Benny Marty/Shutterstock
Median sale price: $900,000
Salary needed to buy: $164,534
1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
- Wikimedia Commons
Median sale price: $1,165,000
Salary needed to buy: $212,981