Study: D.C. is among the least affordable places to buy a home

While low mortgage rates help increase affordability, rising prices continue to erase some of the benefit of low rates. A report from Redfin real estate brokerage shows that a home buyer with a monthly housing budget of $2,500 can afford to buy a house that costs $516,500 this year, which is $33,250 more than the $483,250 someone could afford with that budget last year because of lower mortgage rates.

However, that 6.9 percent increase in purchasing power is erased when you consider the 8.2 percent year-over-year home-price increase in July, which Redfin says is the largest rise in more than two years.

Many home buyers are considering moving out of their region to find more-affordable properties, particularly because of the ability of many people to work remotely and because of the disruption of the school year for many families. An analysis by compares U.S. census data and Zillow’s 2020 Market Estimates report to determine which states are the most and least affordable. The study ranks affordability on the basis of median household income as a percentage of home prices.

The least affordable jurisdictions are Hawaii, the District, California, Massachusetts and Washington state. In Hawaii, the median household income covers just 10 percent of the median price of a home. In the District, the median household income covers 13.5 percent of the median home price. In California, the percentage is 13.6; in Massachusetts, the percentage is 15.4 and in Washington state, the percentage is 16.2.

If you’re looking for an affordable state, the median household income in Mississippi is 65.5 percent of the median home price, followed by Ohio (47.2 percent), Oklahoma (38.3 percent), Michigan (37.6 percent) and Illinois (35.8 percent).

The study also rates cities, with Youngstown, Ohio, the No. 1 most affordable city in the country with income covering 110.3 percent of the median home price. Newport Beach, Calif., is the least affordable city in America, with the median income covering just 5.3 percent of a home.

Nationally, 24 of the top least affordable cities are in California.

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