Salaries are having a hard time keeping pace with home prices, even as prices continue to decline in many metro areas across the country, a group recently found.
The research website HSH.com released an analysis in February that used industry data to track the relationship between salaries and prices in 27 major cities across the United States. The industry data came from organizations like the National Association of Realtors.
The news isn’t too great for salary-dependent homeowners.
According to the website, the salaries needed to pay for higher-priced homes increased once more in all but five metro areas.
Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Cincinnati topped the list of the most affordable cities, with homebuyers who make over $30,000 each year more able to buy homes.
The least affordable cities included the Californian cities San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles, where homebuyers needed salaries that ranged from the upper five figures to six figures.
According to HSH.com, the median value of a home bought in the fourth quarter dipped in 21 of the 27 markets, but not by enough overall to alleviate the strain on salaries.
Mortgage rates were also up during the fourth quarter last year, with the 30-year fixed-rate home loan climbing high in cost and stretching more paychecks.
The analysts also found that home prices inched higher in markets nationwide.
The website quoted National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun as saying, "Depressed new and existing inventory conditions led to several of the largest metro areas seeing near or above double-digit appreciation, which has pushed home values to record highs in a slight majority of markets."
"The prospect of higher mortgage rates and more home shoppers in coming months should be enough of an incentive for those serious about buying to start their search now," HSH.com also reported NAR President William Brown as saying.