MReport July 2019

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50 | TH E M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA Show 'em the Money Households are left with more money in their hands after paying for housing in these cities. A recent study by Mag- nify Money of Lend- ingTree, with research by the Pew Research Center, concluded residents in an average household in each of the 100 largest metros takes home more cash after paying for housing than they did three years ago. "In other words, even though housing costs have risen over the last three years, the dollar amount of wages have grown faster and ex- ceeded the dollar pricing increases for both renting and owning a home," the report stated. The report, which used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, compared local incomes to hous- ing costs in the top 100 metros. Magnify Money then ranked them based on how much wages in- creased compared to housing costs. Although California is known for its rising home prices, resi- dents in San Francisco and San Jose retain the most incomes after paying housing costs. Despite home prices being on the rise, First American Financial Corporation's Real Housing Price Index (RHPI) stated that afford- ability is rising in California. Four cities—San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego—where among six whose RHPI decreased and affordability increased. According to the Magnify Money report, San Francisco residents, annually, have $10,642 of income remaining, thanks in part to wages increasing by $12,706 over the past three years. San Jose was a close second, with residents having $9,909 remain- ing after housing costs. Wages in San Jose have in- creased by $12,849 over the past three years—the largest increase in the nation. "Despite having one of the largest increases dollar- for-dollar, how- ever, San Jose's numbers are less impressive when comparing hous- ing costs directly to income," the report states. "The percentage of the city's median gross income required to cover median housing costs fell by just 0.8% in the past three years—the smallest decrease of any city we surveyed." The metros of Seattle, Austin, Texas; and Portland, Oregon, round out the top-five performing markets. Residents in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Little Rock, Arkansas, have the least amount of money after housing costs, with $1,750 and $1,931 remaining annually, respectively. Despite having one of the largest increases dollar-for- dollar, however, San Jose's numbers are less impressive when comparing housing costs directly to income. Bargains in the 'Burbs See which suburbs across the country are the most affordable for housing. A recent sur- vey looks at the sub- urban housing market within the 11 biggest metropolitan areas, spotlight- ing the nation's most affordable suburbs. While home prices in suburban areas have increased 57.3% since 2013, they pale in comparison to the 93.4% increase found within major cities. "As more people look to the suburbs for affordability, homes are harder to find there, too," said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at "Buyers not willing to go farther out may have to make other trade-offs such as ac- cepting a smaller home or buying a home in need of renovation." studied ZIP codes in the 11 largest metropolitan areas and filtered out places with vio- lent crimes above 50 on an index of 100 from Sperling's Best Places. It excluded places where rush- hour commutes to the city centers topped an hour. The study then ranked the remaining ZIPs by median home list prices between April 2018 and March 2019. For homebuyers who can't afford New York, the suburb of Hillside, New Jersey, has a medi- an home price of $272,000, which is 14% below the national average and a fraction of the $1.45 million average home cost in Manhattan. While affordability in Los Angeles is improving, the average home cost is still near $900,000. An affordable alternative is La Puente, California which has a media home price of $488,100. According to, the multi-billion-dollar Gold Line light-rail extension just north of La Puente will make commutes into L.A. easier and faster, and is expected to give home prices a boost by the time the next phase is completed in 2026. The most affordable suburb on the list is Gloucester City, New Jersey, which is reported as an af- fordable alternative to Philadelphia. Median home prices in Gloucester City stand at $86,700, and the city is located across the Delaware River that separates New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Prices remain low, according to, due to the surplus of vacant homes that need renovation.

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