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Income Needed to Afford the Average Home in Every State

Buying a home is the epitome of the American dream. Over the last few decades however, it’s become increasingly harder to purchase one. In 23 of the 50 states, the median income is less than the income you need to afford a home.

How Much You Need to Earn in Each State

It is generally said that you can afford a home when the cost of owning and maintaining that home is less than 30% of your yearly income. Assuming you can put down 10% on a down payment at current mortgage rates (3.92%), an average home insurance cost of $1,200 a month and a 0.75% property tax, you would need the following incomes to afford a home in each state.

The Least Affordable States to Afford a Home

In about 1/2 of all states, the median income is greater than 30% of the average household cost. Notably all the most unaffordable states are in the west; both coastal west and mountain west. However, by far the least affordable state is Hawaii where the median income in the state requires you to pay upwards of 61% of your salary to afford the average home.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Mid-West & Appalachia are overall the most affordable places to own a home. In West Virginia, the median salary requires you only pay 17% of your income for the average home. Here is the full data:

Geographic Area NameMedian IncomeMedian Home ValueMonthly Housing CostsIncome You Need to Afford a HomeAverage Housing Costs/Median Income
Hawaii$78,084$646,931$3,962$152,67660.88%
California$71,228$580,473$3,555$130,40059.89%
District of Columbia$82,604$629,190$3,853$136,60055.97%
Oregon$59,393$371,628$2,276$87,28045.98%
Washington$70,116$437,170$2,677$107,08445.82%
Colorado$68,811$415,647$2,545$103,08044.39%
Idaho$53,089$307,135$1,881$74,80042.51%
Massachusetts$77,378$443,831$2,718$121,25542.15%
Montana$52,559$294,015$1,800$76,44441.11%
Nevada$57,598$312,650$1,915$80,03839.89%
Utah$68,374$368,630$2,257$90,29539.62%
Arizona$56,213$289,073$1,770$74,00337.79%
New York$65,323$333,446$2,042$96,69937.51%
Rhode Island$63,296$315,100$1,930$77,18336.58%
Florida$53,267$256,265$1,569$67,85935.35%
Maine$55,425$256,609$1,571$70,10634.02%
New Mexico$48,059$214,645$1,314$55,80832.82%
Vermont$60,076$265,361$1,625$65,00032.46%
New Jersey$79,363$349,170$2,138$107,54432.33%
New Hampshire$74,057$307,711$1,884$94,40630.53%
Virginia$71,564$295,041$1,807$72,27030.30%
Delaware$65,627$269,811$1,652$66,91330.21%
Wyoming$62,268$255,733$1,566$62,64130.18%
North Carolina$52,413$213,184$1,305$52,21929.89%
Minnesota$68,411$268,305$1,643$71,90628.82%
Maryland$81,868$320,640$1,964$84,90528.78%
South Dakota$56,499$217,359$1,331$53,24228.27%
Alaska$76,715$294,631$1,804$80,49328.22%
South Carolina$51,015$195,879$1,200$47,98028.22%
Tennessee$50,972$194,891$1,193$47,73828.10%
Georgia$55,679$211,532$1,295$56,01427.92%
North Dakota$63,473$236,714$1,450$62,68227.41%
Texas$59,570$214,579$1,314$52,56126.47%
Louisiana$47,942$170,729$1,045$42,34126.17%
Connecticut$76,106$266,641$1,633$65,31325.75%
Wisconsin$59,209$203,369$1,245$49,81525.24%
Pennsylvania$59,445$203,090$1,244$57,84025.11%
Michigan$54,938$180,880$1,108$51,51524.19%
Illinois$63,575$208,466$1,277$63,95724.10%
Missouri$53,560$169,459$1,038$44,87323.25%
Kentucky$48,392$152,690$935$37,40123.19%
Nebraska$59,116$182,316$1,116$52,87222.66%
Alabama$48,486$148,714$911$36,28622.54%
Indiana$54,325$163,629$1,002$40,08122.13%
Arkansas$45,726$135,229$828$34,07821.73%
Mississippi$43,567$127,366$780$33,11521.48%
Ohio$54,533$158,784$972$45,22221.40%
Kansas$57,422$155,264$951$42,85319.87%
Iowa$58,580$156,660$959$44,61719.65%
Oklahoma$51,424$135,378$829$35,84819.35%
West Virginia$44,921$107,751$660$26,39317.63%
Puerto Rico$20,166

Methodology

To see how much income you needed in every state to afford a home, we first took the median home value in each state from Zillow. We then took that number to determine how much it would take per month to afford that home.

We took into account insurance costs, the average property tax in each state, assumed the average person would pay a 10% down payment and a 30 year mortgage at a present day rate of 3.97%. Therefore, if interests rates increased, the cost to own a home in each state would go up.

We then took the monthly cost, multiplied by 12 and divided by 1/3 to get the minimum income you would need to afford the home.

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