How Much Income Do You Need To Buy A House?

It’d be easy to get the impression that buying a house is becoming unaffordable. After all, home price increases only seemed to accelerate after last year’s hot summer market. In fact, one recent report from the National Association of Realtors found that 88 percent of metro areas saw double-digit price gains during the fourth quarter of last year. But despite those price gains, the same report also found that the income required to afford a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment hadn’t changed all that much from the year before. That’s mostly due to favorable mortgage rates, which have helped keep affordability levels from getting out of reach. So how much money do you need to make to comfortably buy a house in today’s market? Well, the NAR found that you’d need to make $49,908, which is only up slightly from 2019 when it was $48,960. Additionally, their analysis showed that in 71 percent of the included metro areas a family could pay their mortgage with an income of less than $50,000 per year. Of course, where you’re buying matters. For example, that number more than doubles if you want to live somewhere like Los Angeles or Boulder, Colo. And, if you want to live in the San Jose-Sunnyvale area, you’ll need to make almost $225,000 to afford your mortgage comfortably. (source)

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