The 10 easiest places to buy a home in America

If your dream of homeownership feels out of reach, you're certainly not alone. In a new study on housing affordability in the U.S.

If your dream of homeownership feels out of reach, you’re certainly not alone.

In a new study on housing affordability in the U.S., the MagnifyMoney team found it would take the average American worker more than six years to save enough to buy a home today.

In our study, we analyzed median listing prices for homes in 380 metro areas and median annual household income levels. Then, we crunched the numbers to find out how much workers would need to save in order to afford all the upfront costs of homeownership — the down payment, closing costs, and a small emergency savings fund.

While six years was the average time it would take a worker to save enough funds for a new home, the outlook got much better — and in some cases much worse — depending on the age of the homebuyer.

Use this calculator to see how long it would take you to save for a home.

 

Of course, location matters. California metros were among the most expensive places to save for a new home, according to our findings. Homebuyers would have a much better chance of saving for a home in a reasonable amount of time in Midwest cities, which dominated our list of the most affordable metros.

Millennials would need roughly 5.6 years to save for a home, while boomers could realistically save enough for a new home in less than five years. The youngest generation had it worst. The average worker under age 25 would need a staggering 27.2 years to save for a new home.

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Here’s how the metros stacked up:

The easiest places to buy a home

 

#10 Muncie, IN

Median household income: $37,900

Median listing price: $84,900

Years needed to save: 2.87

 

#9 Kokomo, IN

Median household income: $42,078

Median listing price: $89,900

Years needed to save: 2.75

 

#8 Mansfield, OH (Tie)

Median household income: $89,900

Median listing price: $42,042

Years needed to save: 2.74

 

#8 Decatur, IL (Tie)

Median household income: $46,696

Median listing price: $99,900

Years needed to save: 2.74

 

#7 Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH

Median household income: $40,973

Median listing price: $84,900

Years needed to save: 2.67

 

#6 Saginaw, MI

Median household income: $43,566

Median listing price: $90,050

Years needed to save: 2.66

 

#5 Terre Haute, IN

Median household income: $42,780

Median listing price: $87,200

Years needed to save: 2.63

 

#4 Racine, WI

Median household income: $55,055

Median listing price: $109,900

Years needed to save: 2.56

 

#3 Bay City, MI

Median household income: $45,715

Median listing price: $84,900

Years needed to save: 2.40

 

#2 Johnstown, PA

Median household income: $42,304

Median listing price: $74,900

Years needed to save: 2.29

 

#1 Danville, IL

Median household income: $42,548

Median listing price: $68,200

Years needed to save: 2.08

Danville, Ill., is the easiest place for workers to save for a home. The key? Affordable housing is in abundance. A median-priced home in Danville is just $68,200. With a goal of saving enough to cover a 20% down payment, closing costs, and a one-month mortgage payment reserve, the total amount the median-earning worker would need to save is $17,737. Earning the median annual income for that area of $42,548, they would need just over two years to save.

The hardest places to save for a home

#10 Salinas, CA

Median household income: $58,582

Median listing price: $750,000

Years needed to save: 41.26

 

#9 Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA

Median household income: $63,409

Median listing price: $799,000

Years needed to save: 40.38

 

#8 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA

Median household income: $66,923

Median listing price: $769,500

Years needed to save: 35.46

 

#7 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Median household income: $60,337

Median listing price: $640,000

Years needed to save: 30.93

 

#6 San Luis-Obispo-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Median household income: $59,454

Median listing price: $599,000

Years needed to save: 27.75

 

#5 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Median household income: $80,008

Median listing price: $799,000

Years needed to save: 27.61

 

#4 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Median household income: $92,960

Median listing price: $899,000

Years needed to save: 25.57

 

#3 Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI

Median household income: $64,563

Median listing price: $675,000

Years needed to save: 25.35

 

#2 Napa, CA

Median household income: $70,925

Median listing price: $688,500

Years needed to save: 25.15

 

#1 Santa Rosa, CA

Median household income: $63,799

Median listing price: $610,000

Years needed to save: 24.71

The least affordable metro area: Salinas, Calif., is the most difficult place to save for a home for workers in the U.S. It would take the median-earning worker more than four decades to save up for a median-priced home of $750,000. 

MagnifyMoney is a price comparison and financial education website, founded by former bankers who use their knowledge of how the system works to help you save money.

KGW


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