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Top 10 Cities Where Home Affordability is Lacking

By Natalie Wise

While home prices are still bouncing back from the recession across the board, there are some cities where the average family cannot afford to purchase a home. A recently released study reveals the top 10 cities where home affordability is suffering.

RealtyTrac looked at incomes vs. home prices to see where the income increase required to purchase a home is outpacing the means of most homebuyers. Home prices increased about 11 percent last year. Median incomes are hardly increasing, so the rise in home prices can exclude the average family from purchasing a home.

The top region where home affordability is lacking is Northern California, encompassing the cities of San Francisco, Santa Rosa, San Jose and Salinas. The annual percentage increase in income required to buy a home in these areas was between 29 and 58.

The Southern California region ranked second, including cities such as: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Santa Barbara, where a home buyer would need an income increase of 15-26 percent yearly.

Tallahassee, Fla., No. 3, requires an increase of 28 percent for a median-priced home to be affordable, followed closely by Eugene, Ore., where a 27 percent increase in income is necessary.

Seattle, No. 5, requires an income increase of 25 percent to keep a home within reach.

In Portland, Ore., No. 6, income would need to increase 20 percent to keep a median-priced home affordable for the average buyer.

Income needs to rise 17 percent in Denver, the No. 7 city, to keep home prices within the means of the average home buyer.

In Asheville, N.C., No. 8, an 11 percent increase would be necessary.

To purchase a home in the No. 9 city, New York City, you’d need an annual income increase of at least 7 percent.

Lastly, Charleston, S.C., features high home prices that would need an annual income increase of 5 percent.

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