Middle-Income Workers Struggle to Buy a Home
Median-priced homes in most United States metropolitan areas are unaffordable for many low- to moderate-income workers, according to a report by the nonprofit Center for Housing Policy.
The report compared the cost of homes and rental units in more than 200 U.S. cities to the average incomes for several occupations. Among its conclusions were:
- Home prices still out of reach. A median-priced home in the U.S. in the third quarter of 2006 cost $248,000, requiring a buyer to earn $84,957 annually to afford it.
- Teachers, public servants underpaid. Average pay of such occupations as elementary school teacher, $47,104; police officer, $45,780; licensed practical nurse, $37,127; retail salesperson, $24,597; and janitor, $23,724 is significantly below whatâ€™s required to buy or rent a home on their own income alone.
- Big salaries required in top metros. In the New York metropolitan area, a $500,000 median-priced home required a $171,000 annual salary. The median-priced home in San Francisco, the most expensive U.S. market, was $759,000, requiring income of $260,000. In less-expensive Chicago, the median-priced home cost $254,000, requiring an $87,000 salary.
- Some affordable markets exist. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mansfield, Ohio, homes cost a median $85,000, requiring $29,118 in income.
Source: Reuters News, Andrew Stern (01/10/2007)
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