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HousingWire Annual Virtual Summit

Sessions from HousingWire Annual 2021 are going to be virtually streamed on October 25. Register now for FREE to tune into what housing industry leaders had to say this year!

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Real Estate

Where are the least affordable places to live in America?

Chances are, it's either California or New York

Home prices are going up all across the U.S., and as demand also increases, affordability is a growing problem.

Home prices continue to increase nationwide, even hitting new highs in several large housing markets in April, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices Case-Shiller Home Prices Indices. 

Homes sales in California increased again in May above 400,000 for the third straight month, according to information the California Association of Realtors collected from more than 90 local Realtor associations and MLSs statewide.

The least affordable place to live in America is not San Francisco, or even Manhattan, as one might expect, but rather, Brooklyn, according to an article by Catey Hill for realtor.com.

In fact, residents couldn’t afford a median-priced home in Brooklyn even if they used 100% of their income, according to the article.

From the article:

Many people — priced out of Manhattan, San Francisco and San Jose — are moving from the pricey city center to Brooklyn, Marin County and Santa Cruz, respectively, which is pushing prices there up, says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. Meanwhile, wages in those counties aren’t keeping pace with the home price appreciation, which makes these three areas the most unaffordable in the nation for residents looking to buy. (Note that the average home prices in Manhattan, San Francisco and San Jose are still higher than in Brooklyn, Marin and Santa Cruz, but so are the wages.)

This list is the top ten most unaffordable places to live in the U.S., and what percentage of their wage is required to buy a median priced home in that area.

  1. Brooklyn, New York: 121.7%
  2. Marin County, California: 118.1%
  3. Santa Cruz, California: 113.5%
  4. San Francisco, California: 94.6%
  5. Maui, Hawaii: 92.8%
  6. San Luis Obispo, California: 90.4%
  7. Napa, California: 86.9%
  8. Monterey, California: 84.5%
  9. Queens, New York: 83.6%
  10. Sonoma, California: 82.1%

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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