Majority of Homes in Seven Major Metros Now Unaffordable for Locals

San Francisco Ferry BuildingMore than half the homes currently on the market in seven major American metros are currently unaffordable for local residents, according to a Zillow(R) analysis of Q4 2013 income, mortgage and home value data. Additionally, homebuyers looking for affordable properties may increasingly be forced to search on the perimeter of the country’s largest metro markets, as downtown properties become out of reach for buyers of typical means.

Zillow determined affordability by analyzing the current percentage of an area’s median income needed to afford the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home[i], and comparing it to the share of income needed to afford a median-priced home in the pre-bubble years between 1985 and 2000. If the share of monthly income currently needed to afford the median-priced home is greater than it was during the pre-bubble years, that home is considered unaffordable for typical buyers.

Among the 35 largest metros nationwide, more than half of homes currently listed for sale[ii] in Miami (62.4 percent), Los Angeles (57.2 percent), San Diego (55.3 percent), San Francisco (55.2 percent), Denver (52.8 percent), San Jose (50.9 percent) and Portland, Ore. (50.3 percent) are unaffordable by historical standards.

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