A median-income household can only afford a median-priced home in 10 of the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a new Interest.com report.
That’s actually an improvement from last year, when the median-income household fell short in all but eight of the 25 metros. And it's not totally out of line with similar findings. Homebuilders, for example, also say home affordability is slipping. They report the national median home price increased from $214,000 in the second quarter to $221,000 in the third quarter, while average mortgage interest rates decreased from 4.44% to 4.35% in the same period.
“Low mortgage rates are helping home affordability to some extent, but the key ingredient – which has been missing to this point – is substantial income growth,” according to Mike Sante, managing editor of Interest.com. “Millennials, in particular, are struggling to overcome their student loans and save enough money for a down payment.”
Baltimore was the biggest gainer over the past year, jumping from 17th-most affordable in 2013 to sixth-most affordable in 2014. Minneapolis and Atlanta swapped the top two spots, with Minneapolis taking the crown this year.
Sacramento experienced the biggest drop in home affordability over the past 12 months, sinking from 12th to 18th in the ranking. But it’s still more affordable than the other three California metro areas on the list. Los Angeles (22nd), San Diego (24th) and San Francisco (25th) join New York City among the four least affordable markets.
To see the list of the top 5 most and least affordable cities, click below