Carpe Diem

Chart of the day: Most/least affordable US housing markets

Metro Area Median Household Income Median Home Price median Home Price / Median Income Ratio
Wash., DC $61,835 $1,037,500 16.78
Brooklyn, NY $43,567 $722,500 16.58
San Francisco $63,024 $870,250 13.81
San Diego $47,067 $640,000 13.60
Los Angeles $55,476 $750,000 13.52
Miami $38,632 $468,000 12.11
Orange Cty. $74,344 $790,000 10.63
Boston $52,792 $500,000 9.47
Westchester $79,619 $740,000 9.29
Baltimore $39,386 $337,000 8.56
Tucson $36,758 $305,750 8.32
Seattle $50,733 $416,000 8.20
Palm Beach $45,062 $360,000 7.99
Portland $46,090 $350,500 7.60
Sacramento $46,106 $337,500 7.35
Tampa $37,406 $274,963 7.35
Philadelphia $47,528 $348,000 7.32
Long Island $89,060 $610,000 6.85
Chicago $51,046 $344,500 6.75
Richmond $46,800 $310,000 6.62
Phoenix $44,752 $295,000 6.59
Nashville $44,223 $286,000 6.47
Denver $51,088 $322,616 6.31
Austin $48,950 $300,000 6.13
Raleigh $48,845 $294,500 6.03
Las Vegas $42,468 $254,000 5.98
Orlando $41,871 $246,503 5.89
Minneapolis $54,304 $298,642 5.50
Houston $44,761 $243,000 5.43
Dallas $47,418 $249,950 5.27

From ZipRealty’s analysis of 30 US metro areas, based on the ratio of the median home price for the three months ending February 1, 2013 to the median household income. Among the metro areas analyzed, the Dallas area is the most affordable city with a median home price to median income ratio of only 5.27, while Washington, D.C. is the least affordable at a ratio of almost 17.

13 thoughts on “Chart of the day: Most/least affordable US housing markets

  1. In the late ’80s, you could buy a mansion in Denver for $50,000, and there were lots of “For Rent” signs in front of apartments in nice neighborhoods. You could rent a spacious one-bedroom apartment with wooden floors and a view of the mountains for less than $300 a month.

    Then, beginning in the ’90s, many people moved to Colorado, e.g. from California. The “For Rent” signs disappeared and rents gradually rose (to over $400 a month by 2000). The Denver Tech Center expanded, there was a homebuilding boom, and many impressive shopping malls were built.

    In Downtown Denver, government and business worked well together. There was little hostility (e.g. compared to California). Consequently, in the ’90s, a new international airport was built, three new pro sports stadiums, a light rail system, a new convention center and main library (where the G-8 meeting was held one year), lower downtown was renovated to look like the 1920s when it was new, sidewalks were replaced, etc..

    The costs of the improvements were shared by government and business, and socialized by taxpayers in the Denver Metro area. I think, most taxpayers were satisfied with paying maybe $10 a week more for the massive improvements in the city.

    • And those city improvements drove up property values, causing new construction and improvements, and attracted upper income or affluent people, not only from the suburbs, but also from other states, in the Midwest, California, Texas, etc., and perhaps other countries.

    • Yeah, and a once free-market, free-enterprise, capitalist Red state, skipped Purple and then suddenly turned Blue thanks to the Calimexico infestation. Libs, hornos, Boulder, angry socialists and Hickengrooper took over.

      Boy, the Grand Teton area of WY sure is beckoning.

    • Just spent a week with my CO relatives — You have Denver/Boulder and the rest of the state. Given the libs track record it won’t be long before Denver/Boulder and Detroit have some in common — there is something about running out of other peoples money.

    • In the late ’80s, you could buy a mansion in Denver for $50,000,

      That’s interesting. How do you define “mansion”?

      Your FRED chart for CO shows a current index value 345, and an index value for most of the ’80s and early ’90s of approximately 130. That’s a ratio of 2.7, meaning a median priced house now costs 2.7 times what it did in the late 80s.

      ZipRealty’s chart above shows a median price in Denver of $323k.

      If I divide that $323k by 2.7 I can estimate the median price during the late 1980s at roughly $120k.

      Would you care to explain the difference between a $120k median priced home and a $50k “mansion”, or would you prefer to retract your original comment?

      • Ron, around a hundred years ago, there were many mansions within a few miles of central Denver. Today, many of them remain, although some were torn down. In 1990, many of these mansions needed work. Yet, you could still live in them and some were being sold for $50,000.

  2. Brooklyn…Brooklyn?

    Hello…folks actually pay-up to live in Brooklyn? The “Garden Spot” of New York is just a few short miles (think breaths) from Staten Island and NJ’s crude refineries and Mayor Beams seagull (flying-rat)/garbage-dump capital of the planet–Staten Island. Brooklyn?

    Brooklyn should pay you to occupy space and breathe their foul air. Bedford Styversant–Mike Tyson’s home town? Greenpoint? And Harlem is close by and next door, just over the bridge. Coney Island….ppfffaarrtt! The Brooklyn Dodgers were decades ahead of their time.

    Brooklyn Heights maybe, but the rest of Brooklyn is….is….is just Brooklyn. Excuse me, I just fartted. Brooklyn is a world-class sh@t hole.

    Gazundheit !!!


  3. I’ve always been bothered by this metric. Tampa and Tucson both have a large portion of retiree households. As I understand it, such households are included in the calculation of median household income. But many if not most retirees own their homes free and clear. And such households have no need for the higher incomes of working age households.

    IMO, Tucson and Tampa should be considered as afforable as Austin and Dallas, and more affordable than northern cities which likely have much higher home maintenance costs.

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