How much do you need to earn to afford a median-priced home in Texas? Mortgage tracking site HSH.com found out. Researchers calculated the annual before-tax income required to cover a median-priced home's mortgage principal, interest, tax and insurance payments in 27 major U.S. cities, including three in Texas.
HSH.com based estimates on the National Association of Realtors' fourth-quarter data for median home prices and used its own data on average interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages and a 20 percent down payment (although the author notes it's possible to buy a home with a down payment below 20 percent).
In Dallas, the annual income needed to afford a median-priced home is $48,786.53, making it the 12th most expensive out of the 27 cities on the list. With that salary, homebuyers can afford a $189,600 home with an average monthly payment of $1,138.35.
Houston remains the most expensive Texas metro: To afford a home priced at $199,300, with a monthly payment of $1,166.28, Houstonians need an annual salary of $49,983.37.
In contrast, San Antonio is the most affordable. Payments fall just above the $1,000 mark, and the necessary annual income to afford the median-priced home — $185,000 — is $45,374.30.
You might assume that New York City would be No. 1 on the list, but that honor goes to San Francisco. The median price for a home there is a stunning $742,900, which requires a salary of at least $142,448.33 to make the necessary monthly payments of $3,323.79.
New York City came in at No. 4 on the list of metro areas profiled, with a median home price of $390,000 and a required salary of at least $87,535.60 to afford such a home.
The study also identified several emerging trends in real estate.
"Home prices in metro areas throughout the country continue to show solid price growth, up 25 percent over the past three years on average," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. "Low interest rates helped preserve affordability last quarter, but it'll take stronger income gains and more housing supply to help meet the pent-up demand for buying."
Nationwide, a buyer would need an annual salary of $48,603.82 to purchase the median-priced American home.