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Rising Rates and Prices, Static Incomes Lower Housing Affordability

Over the past year, home prices have risen 16 percent and mortgage rates have climbed from 3.7 percent to 4.43 percent, all while incomes have risen by just 3 percent, according to Chicago-based ""Interest.com,"":http://www.interest.com/mortgage/news/big-city-housing-less-affordable/ which is owned by ""Bankrate.com."":http://www.bankrate.com/

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These diverging trends have led to a decline in affordability across the nation.

""The simple fact is that the very small improvement Americans have seen in their paychecks hasn't kept pace with a jump in home prices and mortgage rates,"" said Mike Sante, managing editor of Interest.com.

In all 25 of the nation's largest metropolitan areas, it is more difficult to afford a home this year than last year, according to Interest.com.

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In fact, in 17 of the 25 markets, a median income is not enough to purchase a median-priced home. Last year, this held true in only six markets, according to Interest.com.

The least affordable market is San Francisco, California, where the median income is 47.93 percent below what would be necessary to purchase a median-priced home.

Three of the five least affordable markets are located in California.

San Diego is the second-least affordable market, where median income would need to rise 37.71 percent to afford a median-priced home.

Los Angeles comes in as the fourth-least affordable market, where median income would need to rise 30.13 percent.

The list is rounded out by New York in third place and Miami in fifth place.

The most affordable market is Atlanta, where the median income exceeds 24.92 percent of what is necessary to purchase a median-priced home.

Other markets in the top five list of most affordable markets include Minneapolis, Minnesota (23.86 percent); St. Louis, Missouri (17.94 percent); Detroit, Michigan (16.87 percent); Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (11.33 percent).

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