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Two Middle-Class Incomes Can’t Afford a Median-Priced Home in Most of the Largest U.S. Cities, Redfin Finds

A family earning two middle-class incomes cannot afford a median-priced home in most of the largest U.S. cities, according to an analysis by Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. A Redfin report, also published by the Wall Street Journal, found that just 41 percent of homes currently for sale across 40 U.S. cities are affordable for a family with two median incomes. On one median salary, only 10 percent of homes are affordable.

Redfin also calculated the percentages of homes for sale that are affordable on the median salaries for certain professions based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):



Percentage of Affordable Homes Across 40
Cities for Select Salaries and Occupations


One median salary

Two median salaries 41%
One professor salary 50%
One engineer salary 57%
One management salary 70%

One doctor salary


Other Key Findings:

  • The shortage of affordable homes is most acute in California, where a family earning two median salaries cannot afford a median-priced home in any of the state’s eight largest cities.
  • A family earning two median salaries would find the most options in Hartford, Conn., where 78% of homes are affordable, followed by Richmond, Va. (71%), Camden, N.J. (67%), Philadelphia (61%), Atlanta (59%) and Minneapolis (56%).
  • A single-income family would find the greatest selection of homes in Philadelphia, where 26% of homes are affordable.
  • Most affordable cities by occupation:
    • Professors can afford 88% of homes in Richmond, Va.
    • Managers can afford 94% of homes in Camden, N.J.
    • Doctors can afford 99% of homes in both Camden, N.J. and Richmond, Va.
    • Engineers can afford 87% of homes in Richmond, Va.

To read the full report, complete with a 40-city breakdown of home affordability, click or paste the following link: http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/special-reports/2014/middle-class-income-housing-affordability.html.

About the Redfin Middle Class Home Affordability Report

Redfin analyzed data on non-distressed homes listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) as of March 24, 2014, and 2012 salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Redfin considers an affordable home one for which the monthly payment is 28 percent or less of gross monthly income.

Connect with Redfin

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About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate broker that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin has a team of experienced, full-service real estate agents who are advocates, not salespeople, earning customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions. Redfin.com features all the broker-listed homes for sale, as well as for-sale-by-owner properties that don't pay brokers a commission. Redfin also offers online tools that make the entire process of buying or selling a home easier and more fun. The company serves 23 U.S. markets and has closed more than $13 billion in home sales. In 2012, Redfin was named one of The DIGITAL 100: World's Most Valuable Private Tech Companies by Business Insider.

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