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This is how much you need to earn to live in America’s most expensive cities

Here's how much cash you need to pull in to live in the priciest U.S. markets

The most expensive cities to live in are – you guessed it – in California. But how much, exactly, do you have to make in order to afford to live there?

A recent study by HSH.com revealed the least and most affordable U.S. cities and what salary you’d need to pull in to live there.

Interestingly, the study revealed that while the salary gap between the most and least affordable cities (Pittsburgh and San Jose, respectively) is more than $200,000 per year, affordability is actually improving across the nation.

Lower mortgage rates and smaller overall price increases lowered the salaries needed to afford a median-priced home in most metros from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of this year, HSH.com revealed.

Nationally, the year-over-year increase in median-priced homes sold was 3.87% in Q4 – down from 4.93% half a year earlier.

Assuming a 20% down payment is required, these are the cities where you have to make the most money to afford a median-priced home:


Annual salary required

  1. San Jose


  1. San Francisco


  1. San Diego


  1. Los Angeles


  1. Boston



These are the most affordable metros, where the lowest salaries are required to afford a median-priced home with a 20% down payment:


Annual salary required

  1. Pittsburgh


  1. Oklahoma City


  1. Cleveland


  1. Memphis


  1. Louisville



Here is a map illustrating the salaries needed to live in the 25 most-expensive metros:

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