If You Don't Earn $87K, You'll Have a Hard Time Buying a Home in Denver
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If You Don't Earn $87K, You'll Have a Hard Time Buying a Home in Denver

A study issued earlier this year revealed that the average wage earner in ten of eleven Colorado counties analyzed, including six in metro Denver, can't afford a median-priced home in the area. But how much does someone need to make in salary to afford a median-priced house in the Mile High City today? A new report puts that total at more than $87,000, a figure out of reach for a large number of residents.

And the news is even worse for those hoping to buy within Denver's city limits.

The details can be found in a report from online mortgage company HSH.com, which came up with estimates for the salary needed to purchase a median-priced home in the fifty largest metropolitan areas in America. And while U.S. Census data ranks Denver as the 21st largest city in the country, the alluded-to salary of $87,222.49 is the eighth highest in the top fifty, ahead of Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and plenty of other more populous areas.

The national average salary to buy a median-priced home in the U.S. is $56,110.22.

An important note: The median Denver home price used by HSH.com is $441,500, a figure that encompasses costs in adjacent suburbs where properties are often more modestly priced. The most recent median tag in Denver proper, according to the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, is $540,624, approximately 18.34 percent (and nearly $100,000) higher.

Presumably, that means a Denver-specific buyer's salary would have to bump up by the same percentage. By our math, that means a salary of $103,219.09, or $15,996.60 more per annum.

Gulp.

By the way, that $103K figure is just a whisper above the $102,527.12 a metro-Denver buyer would need to purchase a $441,500 home if he put down 10 percent instead of 20 percent.

Continue to see the ten American cities that require the highest salaries to purchase a median-priced home and how Denver compares.

An aerial view of San Jose, California.
An aerial view of San Jose, California.

Number 1: San Jose

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.53 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.33 percent
Median Home Price: $1,373,000
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: +8.11 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $6,116.03
Salary Needed: $262,115.51

Number 2: San Francisco

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.53 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.33 percent
Median Home Price: $917,000
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: -0.33 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $4,241
Salary Needed: $181,777.09

Number 3: San Diego

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.53 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.33 percent
Median Home Price: $610,000
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: +0.00 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $2,839.75
Salary Needed: $121,703.47

A look at the greater Los Angeles area.
A look at the greater Los Angeles area.
YouTube file photo

Number 4: Los Angeles

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.41 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.36 percent
Median Home Price: $545,500
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: -1.41 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $2,567.90
Salary Needed: $110,052.84

Number 5: Seattle

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.41 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.36 percent
Median Home Price: $484,400
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: +2.69 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $2,302.51
Salary Needed: $98,678.80

Number 6: Boston

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.41 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.36 percent
Median Home Price: $442,700
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: -1.29 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $2,280.50
Salary Needed: $97,735.90

Number 7: New York City

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.41 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.36 percent
Median Home Price: $389,700
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: -1.57 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $2,276.51
Salary Needed: $97,564.91

The Denver skyline.EXPAND
The Denver skyline.
Photo by Kenzie Bruce

Number 8: Denver

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.41 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.36 percent
Median Home Price: $441,500
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: +6.54 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $2,035.19
Salary Needed: $87,222.49

Number 9: Washington, D.C.

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.41 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.36 percent
Median Home Price: $394,400
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: -0.68 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $1,995.28
Salary Needed: $85,512.09

Number 10: Portland

30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rate: 4.41 percent
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017:+0.36 percent
Median Home Price: $384,800
Percentage Change from the Fourth Quarter of 2017: +1.16 percent
Monthly Payment (PITI): $1,854.03
Salary Needed: $79,458.35

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