Marketwatch staffer Catey Hill puts HSH.com data on a dose of steroids to generate this rankings, of where it takes the highest median income (and the lowest) to afford a median-priced home in the market.
Hill notes that the average American needs to make a little over $51,000 a year to afford the median-priced home — including principal, interest, taxes and insurance — in the U.S. In San Francisco, it takes much more than that--upwards of $150K household earnings--to afford a median priced home. Hill writes:
"Residents of the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Detroit and Atlanta areas don’t need to make more than $40,000 a year to afford the median home in their areas. But remember, this survey assumes a 20% down payment, and, for those with salaries in the vicinity of $40,000, it might be hard to save up for that."