Photos: Ten most expensive cities to buy a house, including Denver
More photos below.
Denver has a reputation for being affordable. But is that changing? The financial site HSH.com has come up with a list of the salary you must earn to buy a median-priced house in 27 cities across the country and Denver finishes among the ten most expensive -- although it could be worse.
Look below to count down the photo-illustrated top (or maybe we should say bottom) ten, featuring HSH.com data and text -- and click to check out the original post.
Number 10: Miami
Average home price: $259,000
Average monthly payment: $1,393.80
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $59,734.23
The weather during the first quarter of 2014 was pretty untenable in the Northeast and Midwest. Luckily for the residents of the Miami metro area, not only was the weather warm and sunny, the housing markets continued to improve as well. Over the last year, home prices in the Miami metro have been trending upward like its sister-cities Tampa and Orlando. Florida has a long way to go, but it's getting there.
Number 9: Denver
Average home price: $288,400
Average monthly payment: $1,397.49
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $59,892.46
Denver has been known over the past few years as a stable housing market--one that never rose too fast or fell too hard. But that stability is beginning to be replaced by fast-moving seller's market. Quickly rising home prices are prompting more sellers to list their homes. And why not, Denver-area Realtors are reporting that their homes are some of the fastest selling homes in the nation.
Average home price: $271,900
Average monthly payment: $1,407.18
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $60,307.71
While the required salary didn't increase as much in Portland as it did in Denver, it was still the fourth-highest increase on our list. Portland is the last metro area in our group to have a home price under $300,000. But add steady price and rate gains and Portland is the first city to crack the $60,000-salary mark.
Number 7: Seattle
Average home price: $339,900
Average monthly payment: $1,723.19
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $73,851.06
As usual, here is where things start to get expensive. A home price of nearly $400,000 and the second-highest mortgage rate on our list produces a required salary over $13,000 higher than the metro before it.
Average home price: $358,900
Average monthly payment: $1,831.75
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $78,503.56
Things were more affordable in D.C. during the first three months of the year. Like Denver, Washington, D.C.,'s housing market has had a reputation of stable, consistent growth. But since the second quarter of 2013, prices have been falling, taking the required salary down with it.
Number 5: Boston
Average home price: $363,200
Average monthly payment: $1,862.47
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $79,820.01
Boston home prices were on a roll in 2013 until they fell back in the fourth quarter. Prices in Bean Town continued to slump at the start of 2014. But if you're one of the few who can afford a home in this pricey metro, Boston's price decline improves your bottom line to the tune of $950.
Average home price: $406,200
Average monthly payment: $2,005.85
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $85,964.88
The state of California is one of the most interesting real estate markets in the country currently, mainly because demand is as hot as ever. Despite home prices that would be out of reach for most in this country, Los Angeles had the second-best improvement in required salary (behind Sacramento, of course).
Number 3: New York City
Average home price: $388,900
Average monthly payment: $2,095.07
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $89,788.69
Taking a bite out of the Big Apple's real estate market is only reserved for those with a strong stomach. With median-home prices pushing $400,000, home prices that saw both quarterly and YOY increases, it's no wonder you need a minimum salary of nearly $90,000 to purchase the median-priced home in the NYC metro area.
Average home price: $483,000
Average monthly payment: $2,299.13
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $98,534.22
San Diego, the middle child of the expensive California metros, was even less affordable than usual during the first part of the year. With a median home price of $483,000 and positive home-price growth over the previous quarter and past year, the required salary to afford a home in this southern California metro area is inching toward $100,000.
Number 1: San Francisco
Average home price: $679,800
Average monthly payment: $3,199.69
Salary required to purchase a median-priced home: $137,129.55
If it seems odd that the San Francisco metro area, the king of unaffordable housing, has the lowest mortgage rates on our list two quarters in a row, it's for good reason. The mortgage rate you see here is a jumbo mortgage rate. The jumbo market is so competitive in California that jumbo mortgage rates have actually helped to offset some of those higher costs.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Lists & Weirdness archive: "Photos: Ten best cities to start a business -- and where Denver ranks."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Reader: Landlords Are Overcharging Marijuana Businesses Because They Can
Mon., Aug. 31, 7:00pm
Thu., Sep. 3, 6:40pm
Thu., Sep. 3, 7:00pm
Thu., Sep. 3, 7:00pm
- Remembering the Denver Wax Museum and Nine More Long-Gone Local Landmarks
- Dear Mexican: Was Jimi Hendrix Part Mexican?