Who Can Afford To Live Where?

According to a recent report by Trulia, teachers, first responders, tech workers, restaurant workers, and even doctors are having a hard time buying a home in the communities where they work especially if they happen to be in America’s biggest housing markets. Trulia used median wage data from the Labor Department and factored in affordability as defined by a debt-to-income ratio of 31% or less. They assumed plunking down a 20% down payment and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at a 4.44% interest rate.
Teachers took a big hit and are worse off or the same as last year in 85 of the largest 93 metro areas. First responders are taking it on the chin in California cities. Despite earning more than $100,000 in San Francisco and San Jose first responders can afford just 2.4% and 6.6% of currently listed homes. Restaurant workers are also getting shellacked and many tech workers in Silicon Valley are unable to afford a home near where they work.
Last year, first responders could afford more than half of listings in 43 markets but that number has dwindled to 27 markets even though wages increased for police officers and firefighters in 77 markets. In San Jose, Calif., San Francisco, and Oakland, Calif. first responders earn more than $100,000 but can afford 2.4%, 6.6% and 14.8% of available listings, respectively.
Restaurant workers received some positive news this year as the share of homes they can afford in Detroit went up to 50.6%, which increased from last year’s market-leading 42.9%. However, this was largely attributed to the median listing price in Detroit dropping 19%. Elsewhere, the share of homes restaurant workers can afford are in the single digits in 61 markets, up from 56 last year.

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