20 most expensive U.S. metro areas for homeownership

20 most expensive U.S. metro areas for homeownership

When it comes to the price of owning a home, it’s not just about how much money homeowners pay in mortgage and other costs. It’s also about how much money they make.

Using Census data, I compared the average homeowner’s housing costs to the average homeowner’sĀ income for every metropolitan area in America.

Ideally, I would’ve just analyzed what portion of homeowners’ income pays for housing costs, but as far as I can tell, the Census doesn’t collect such data directly. (But if I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments!)

So comparing median housing costs to median income is the next best thing.

The result: A list dominated by California and Florida.

The most expensive place for homeowners: Miami, where half of homeowners with a mortgage pay more than $1,880 a month in housing costs and make less than $5,796 a month. That’s about one-third of their paychecks going just to living under a roof.

In second place: Los Angeles. For half the homeowners in America’s second biggest metro area, housing costs more than $2,512 a month while the average homeowner has a monthly income of around $8,096. That’s a cost-income ratio of 31 percent.

In most cases, the higher the housing costs, the higher the cost-income ratio.

But big exceptions exist, like in Cape Coral, Fla.

In the southwest Florida metro, where the median monthly housing cost is $1,560 and homeowners’ median monthly income is $5,324, the cost-income ratio is 29 percent — about the same as San Francisco, where the median monthly housing cost is $2,902 and homeowners’ median monthly income is $9,956, making the cost-income ratio also 29 percent.

Below are 20 maps that show in which of America’s biggest metros the median housing cost is highest compared to homeowners’ median income. The maps’ boundaries are zip codes, the data come from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey and a link to the raw data is below the maps. Click each map to embiggen them.

And you can always check the front page if you want to browse your own city.

#1: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $5,796.00
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,880.00 (32.4 percent of median income)


#2: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $8,095.58
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,512.00 (31.0 percent of median income)


#3: San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $8,105.17
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,470.00 (30.5 percent of median income)


#4: New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $9,116.92
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,741.00 (30.1 percent of median income)


#5: Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $6,610.17
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,982.00 (30.0 percent of median income)


#6: Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $5,324.08
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,560.00 (29.3 percent of median income)


#7: San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $9,955.67
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,902.00 (29.1 percent of median income)


#8: Stockton, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $6,804.33
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,978.00 (29.1 percent of median income)


#9: Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $8,907.75
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,582.00 (29.0 percent of median income)


#10: North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, Fla.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $5,566.17
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,606.00 (28.9 percent of median income)


#11: Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Fla.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $5,708.42
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,629.00 (28.5 percent of median income)


#12: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $9,964.92
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,837.00 (28.5 percent of median income)


#13: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $10,851.08
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $3,085.00 (28.4 percent of median income)


#14: Honolulu, Hawaii

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $8,634.08
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,450.00 (28.4 percent of median income)


#15: Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, Calif.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $7,425.08
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,087.00 (28.1 percent of median income)


#16: Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $4,953.08
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,390.00 (28.1 percent of median income)


#17: Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $6,243.83
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,718.00 (27.5 percent of median income)


#18: Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.Y.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $8,390.50
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $2,301.00 (27.4 percent of median income)


#19: Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $5,662.42
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,529.00 (27.0 percent of median income)


#20: Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

Homeowners’ median monthly income: $7,283.58
Homeowners’ median monthly housing cost: $1,936.00 (26.6 percent of median income)



You can get the raw data from this GitHub repo.

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