The Most and Least Affordable Places to Buy Your First Home

Being a first-time homebuyer often comes with a lot of advice. Make sure you can afford your mortgage. Pick a real estate agent who knows the market. Scrape together a good-sized down payment.

We’ve got one more to add to the list: Don’t buy out West.

Bloomberg News analyzed the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas to determine the least and most affordable places for people between ages 25 and 44, a proxy for those in their prime home-buying years. We ranked places by the difference between the median household income for that age group and the estimated minimum earnings needed to purchase a single-family home in the region as of 2015.

So the formula is:

affordability gap = median wage - min wage to afford a house

Our beloved San Jose got beaten, just barely, by Honolulu. That’s just a gap of $130. SF is much more affordable than SJ by this measure, presumably because the median wage is higher in SF?

Actually no. Further down the article they have actual numbers:

San Jose has higher income and much higher house prices! Hmm…