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America's most and least affordable housing markets

If you are a city dweller anxious to buy a home, you'd be wise to move to Ohio, according to a new analysis of median priced homes in and around the nation's 25 largest cities.

With less than $25,000 in annual income, an Ohio resident can afford to buy a home in the metropolitan areas of either of the state's two largest cities - Cleveland and Cincinnati, according to HSH Associates, which operates a mortgage-shopping web site. According to the site's annual analysis, the combination of low median home prices and affordable mortgage rates have made buying increasingly affordable this year.

But don't tell that to anyone who aims to live on the California coast, which accounts for three of the five least affordable real estate markets. Indeed, if you want to live in San Francisco, you'd better earn six figures. Principal and interest payments on your median priced home will demand an annual income that's almost six-times higher than in Cleveland -- $115,510 to be precise. And, frankly, you'd be scraping by at that rate because you'd also need to pay property taxes, insurance and handle the copious expenses of ownership, such as utility and repair costs.

Still, even San Francisco is significantly more affordable than it was at this time last year, according to the survey. A year ago, you'd need to earn $125,000 to buy the median priced home because mortgage rates were higher.

Meanwhile, the cost of the median priced home is up 15% year over year to $682,410, according to the site.

How much would you have to earn to be able to afford the median home in America's most and least expensive metropolitan areas?


5 Least affordable metro areas:

1. San Francisco

Median home price: $682,410

Required annual income: $115,510

2. San Diego

Median home price: $476,790

Required annual income: $81,570

3. Los Angeles

Median home price: $423,900

Required annual income: $72,127

4. New York City

Median home price: $386,300

Required annual income: $66,167

5. Boston

Median home price: $371,300

Required annual income: $63,673


5 Most affordable metro areas:

1. Cleveland

Median home price: $112,800

Required annual income: $19,425

2. Cincinnati

Median home price: $128,700

Required annual income: $22,227

3. St. Louis

Median home price: $130,300

Required annual salary: $22,398

4. Atlanta

Median home price: $142,400

Required annual salary: $24,391

5. Tampa

Median home price: $142,400

Required median salary: $24,651

Where does your city rank? Check out HSH's ranking of the top 25 U.S. cities here.

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