For the typical middle-class household, owning a home is highly achievable, just as long as they choose to live in the Midwest.
In the middle of the country, the average household can afford to live in at least 80% of the homes on the market. But move to San Francisco, Orange County, Los Angeles, New York and San Diego and fewer than 30% of middle-class households can afford properties,Trulia noted.
“For the middle-class today, homeownership is well within reach in some parts of the country, but in others, it’s more of a pipe dream than the American Dream,” Jed Kolko, chief economist with Trulia, said. “Even after taking income differences into account, homeownership affordability varies hugely across the country.”
The survey determined affordability based on whether the total monthly payment for that home was less than 31% of the metro’s median household income.
Chicago reigned in as the least affordable housing market, with only 14% of the homes for sale deemed as affordable. Additionally, the average size of a house in October was 1,000 square feet.
Comparatively, Akron, Ohio, ranked as the most affordable housing market, with 86% of the listed homes classified as affordable.
“Even though the median household income is 60% higher in San Francisco than in Akron – which means San Franciscans can afford more expensive homes – the median price per square foot in San Francisco is close to seven times higher than in Akron,” Kolko said. “As a result, just 14% of the homes for sale in San Francisco are within reach of its relatively well-paid middle class.”