In this November edition of the RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index, we examine what American households across the 100 largest cities need to spend on housing to find out:
Is homeownership affordable or possible for the average American family?
While homeownership remains unaffordable in many markets nationwide, several cities became more affordable for buyers this month. In most cities, homeowners still must allocate at least 30% of their income toward mortgage payments and property taxes. Those looking to purchase a home before year-end will still face low inventory and high interest rates.
- Homeowners in 67 out of the 100 major cities we analyzed spend over 30% of their annual income on homeownership; that’s one more than last month.
- In the 25 most unaffordable housing markets nationwide, homeowners still spend 40% or more of their income on homeownership costs.
- 4 of the top 5 least affordable housing markets became less expensive this month – Miami, FL, Los Angeles, CA, Newark, NJ, and New York City, NY.
- Housing costs became more affordable in 3 of the more affordable housing markets this month – Wichita, KS, St. Louis, MI, and Cleveland, OH.
The 5 Least Affordable Housing Markets
1. Miami, FL
Miami remains the least affordable housing market this November. Despite the median list price for a home decreasing to $619,000, an average family will still need to spend 81.96% of their income on mortgage payments and property taxes. As 2023 winds down, local professionals predict an increase in inventory next year.
2. Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles is again the second least affordable housing market. Homeowners with the median household income of $74,242 should expect to spend over 77% of it on the cost of owning a home. And with seven of the country’s 100 most expensive zip codes, buyers must still navigate a costly road to homeownership.
3. Newark, NJ
Newark continues to be the third most cost-burdened housing market. The median purchase price for a home decreased to $399,999, meaning homeowners can expect to spend $2,536.50 monthly on homeownership costs. Some good news on the supply front: Newark this month passed zoning changes to increase inventory, now allowing three-family homes in more areas.
4. New York, NY
New York City rose one spot in the rankings to become the fourth least affordable housing market. Home prices increased to a median of $825,000, with buyers now needing to spend $4,210 on monthly payments to own.
5. Hialeah, FL
Hialeah is now fifth on our least affordable housing market list. Median homebuyers with an annual income of $43,219 in the area should expect to allocate 66.75% of their pay towards homeownership costs.
The 5 Most Affordable Housing Markets
1. Detroit, MI
Detroit is again the most affordable housing market this November. The median purchase price for a home in the city increased slightly to $80,000, meaning the average family would now only need to spend $474 monthly on mortgage and tax payments. Additionally, more households can now purchase a home with the help of a new down payment assistance initiative.
2. Wichita, KS
Wichita is the second most affordable housing market nationwide. Housing became more affordable this month, as homeowners can expect to allocate just 19.45% of their income to own a home.
3. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis is again the third most affordable housing market. Home prices decreased to $172,250, meaning a household with an average income needs to only spend $930 monthly on homeownership costs.
4. Cleveland, OH
Cleveland comes in fourth on our most affordable ranking. A household with a median income of $37,743 would only need to spend 21.28% of the pay in order to own a home in the city.
5. Kansas City, MO</span>
Kansas City became the country’s fifth most affordable housing market. The median purchase price for a home decreased to $228,000, with households needing to spend a reasonable $1,268 per month in order to own.
Housing Markets to Watch
The following housing markets witnessed significant changes this month.
Tampa dropped six spots in the rankings this month to become 32nd on our list. The median home price decreased to $389,000, meaning homeowners spend, on average, 36.96% of their income on housing costs each month.
Milwaukee jumped seven spots and is now 80th in our ranking. Homeowners with a median income of $51,259 can expect to spend $1,210 monthly on homeownership. The city continues creating more housing opportunities for residents with new developments like a 32-story sustainable timber tower.
Durham also became more affordable for homeowners this month, becoming the 46th least affordable market. The median purchase price for a home decreased 3.76% to $384,000.
The RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index analyzes proprietary and ACS Census data to provide an index of housing affordability and homeownership burden across the 100 most populous cities in the country. Median home prices are calculated using over 300,000 listings in the RealtyHop database over the month prior to publication.
To calculate the index, the following statistics are used:
1) Projected median household income
2) Median for-sale home listing prices via RealtyHop data
3) Local property taxes via ACS Census data
4) Mortgage expenses, assuming a 30-year mortgage, 5.5% interest rate, and 20% down payment.
To better reflect the current housing market for the general America homebuyers, we have updated our methodology to include only the following property types: single-family homes, module homes, condos, co-ops, and townhouses. You may therefore see discrepancies between prior reports based on this change.
See below for previous RealtyHop Housing Affordability Studies:
- RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index: October 2023
- RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index: September 2023
- RealtyHop Housing Affordability Index: August 2023