Real Estate Report

New report ranks Austin among least affordable cities for average buyer

New report ranks Austin among least affordable cities for buyers

Austin aerial skyline with downtown
The average household can afford 83.8 percent of Austin's median home value. Photo by dszc/Getty Images

A new real estate report reveals how much home the average household can afford in the country's 50 largest cities, and Austin, unsurprisingly, falls to the bottom of the list. 

The Capital City ranks No. 36 out of 50 on SmartAsset's 2020 edition of "Where the average household can afford the most and least home."

The financial website crunched the numbers by looking at the median household income in each city and the average non-mortgage debt of each state to estimate how much home the average household could afford. That figure was then compared to the area's median home value to determine affordability. 

With a local median household income of $75,413 and Texas' average non-mortgage debt of $27,193, SmartAsset reports that the average Austin household can afford a home priced at $317,000.

However, the median home value in the area, according to the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey, is $378,300, meaning the median-priced home is out of reach. The study presents this as an affordability ratio of 83.8 percent.

Austin is the least affordable of the seven Texas cities included in the study. El Paso ranks No. 9 in the U.S., with an affordability ratio of 133.23 percent. Fort Worth (No. 13) and San Antonio (No. 14) are right behind with ratios of 122.73 percent and 121.57 percent, respectively. Arlington comes in at No. 20 (112.25 percent), and Houston, No. 28, boasts an affordability ratio just above 100 percent.

Dallas, No. 30, is the only other Texas city where the median home price is out of reach for the average household. There, the median income of $55,332 and average debt of $27,193 equates to affording a home priced at $215,000. The average home value, however, is $231,400, for an affordability ratio of 92.91 percent.

The least affordable place in the U.S. is New York City, where the average household can afford only 42.45 percent of the median home value.