Around 52.3 million of the 134 million families in the United States reside in a home they don’t own. Although some families choose to rent, many can’t afford to buy a home where they live. Among those renter households, only 7.9 million, or 15.1%, can afford to buy an average-priced home in their local market, given current mortgage rates, home prices, and incomes, according to a recent analysis by Zillow economists.

ResiClub reached out to Zillow to get the housing affordability analysis on a regional level. Among the 50 largest metro area housing markets, these 5 have the lowest percentage of non-homeowner households who can afford to buy the average-priced home in their market. Four of the top five cities are located in California.

  1. San Diego (2.6%)
  2. San Jose (2.7%)
  3. Los Angeles (2.8%)
  4. San Francisco (3.7%)
  5. Salt Lake City (3.8%)

On the other end of the spectrum, these five markets have the highest percentage of non-homeowner households who can afford to buy the average-priced home in their market:

  1. Pittsburgh (25.6%)
  2. Detroit (23.1%)
  3. St. Louis (22.6%)
  4. Oklahoma City (22.5%)
  5. Cleveland (22.4%)

“While roughly 7.9 million [non-homeowner] families are income mortgage-ready across the country, there is substantial variation across metropolitan areas. The share of mortgage-ready families varies from 25.6% in Pittsburgh to just 2.6% in San Diego,” write Zillow economists in the report. They add: “The fact that the majority of families don’t have the income necessary to comfortably afford the typical monthly mortgage cost in their local market suggests that removing roadblocks to building more affordable housing would have the most significant impact on improving access to home ownership.”

Fast Company