If you make $35,000 a year, your best bet for an affordable place to live is Ohio; your worst is California. That's according to the Realtor.com and National Association of Realtors' Affordability Distribution Curve and Score report for June.
Ohio and California were also the bookends last month for people who earn $75,000. In the overall breakdowns, Ohio placed four of the five most affordable markets in the country—Youngstown, Dayton, Toledo, and Akron. The lone non-Ohio city in the top five was Syracuse, but that city was replaced by Cleveland when looking at the best markets for people earning $35,000 a year.
For those earning $75,000, the same Ohio towns made up the top four places; the fifth was Scranton.
At the other end of the country, California claimed all five top spots for the lowest affordability—Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Oxnard, and San Francisco. These same cities were, in slightly mixed order, the five least affordable cities for those earning $75,000.
In the $35,000 range, all cities but San Diego made the top five; it was replaced by Austin.
However, Austin was one of a handful of cities that actually became more affordable overall in June, along with Honolulu, Portland, Sacramento, and Nashville.
Metro markets with the biggest gains in affordability over the last year were the generally pricier areas in the West. All the California cities listed as the least affordable also became less affordable in June. So did Boise, Spokane, Indianapolis, and Columbia, S.C.
These numbers are, of course, a snapshot, though they do mirror recent trends.
“Affordability conditions aren’t static and change as incomes in a market change or as home inventory increases or decreases at certain price points,” the report stated.
According to the report, areas that became less affordable are “markets seeing spillover demand from hot West coast tech markets or increasing second home and retiree interest. In addition, some historically more affordable markets in the Midwest and South saw a decrease in the percentage of inventory available to lower and middle-incomes decreasing at a faster rate than the country overall.