A Zillow analysis of the 2024 housing market reveals a stark difference in the income needed to secure a home at an affordable price in 2024 versus 2020. The annual income necessary to comfortably buy a house in January 2024 is up by 80%, requiring over $106,000 on average, and most homebuyers must earn at least $47,000 more than they did in January 2020 to afford a home today. Home values have increased by 42.4% since 2020, with the typical house worth $343,000. However, mortgage rates have also risen from 3.5% to 6.6%.

While the housing market has risen significantly, the median income has only increased by 23%, according to Zillow. With insurance premiums on the rise in most of these states, potential homebuyers face an uphill battle to secure a home within their budget and afford the cost of homeowners insurance.

In Zillow's breakdown, Pittsburgh, Memphis and Cleveland were the most affordable housing markets, with annual incomes needed to buy a home at $58,232, $69,976 and $70,810, respectively. The least affordable city was San Jose, with an annual salary of $454,296 needed to purchase a home — an unsurprising winner with California being notoriously expensive in all arenas.

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Ashley Hattle-Cleminshaw

Ashley Hattle-Cleminshaw serves as ALM's PropertyCasualty360 Senior Editor. She brings 10 years of experience in journalism and communications to the editorial team. Reach her by sending an e-mail to [email protected].