Working Overtime to Pay the Mortgage? You’re Not Alone. is at it again with their great visualizations.  This time, we’d like to point you to some information about housing costs as they relate to average income in different parts of the country.  Instead of just reporting where the cost of living is best, or where wages are lowest, this report breaks down how many hours of work, at the local average hourly rate, would be required per week in 98 different U.S. cities to pay for a 30-year mortgage on a median-priced home.

Visualization showing how many work hours are required to pay an average mortgage in cities around the U.S.

Costs Higher on the Coasts

The longest (read: impossible) work weeks show up right where you’d expect them.  California keeps popping up again and again in the news because of their housing issues, and nobody has used the word “affordable” about New York since Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from Native Americans for the equivalent of around a thousand of today’s dollars.  You can’t get a deal like that anymore, but your hours (and dollars) will go a lot farther somewhere like Toledo, Ohio, where a mere seventeen hours of work per week will keep an average roof over your head.

Cities that Require the Most Hours of Work to Make a Mortgage Payment

1. New York, NY – 113 hours

2. Los Angeles, CA – 112 hours

3. Miami, FL – 109 hours

4. San Francisco, CA – 107 hours

5. Boston, MA – 95 hours

6. Oakland, CA – 83 hours

7. Long Beach, CA – 78 hours

8. San Diego, CA – 77 hours

9. Santa Ana, CA – 74 hours

10. San Jose, CA –  74 hours

Study the map, though, and you’ll see that even California has some pockets of affordability.  If you’re long-range planning, or looking to move, this information can help you decide where you can realistically achieve the lifestyle you want.

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What’s Happening in the News: Late November, 2020

This week, we look at how consumers feel about buying a home, vs. how many homes are actually being sold, vs. the affordability of available homes. There’s also a surprising concession from the Fed on climate change, and an encouraging forecast on how we can get to net-zero, fast.

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