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What salary do you need to earn if you want to buy a home in 12 of the most expensive housing markets in America?

In the final quarter of 2016, home prices in the US climbed past expectations as the housing supply reached record lows, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

On average, 87% of the 150 housing markets tracked by NAR experienced rising home prices in 2016, up from an average of 75% in 2014. More than half of the markets (52%) now have a median sale price either at or above their previous record high.

A more detailed look reveal that buyers interests stayed elevated in most areas thanks to mortgage rates under 4% for most of the year and the creation of 1.7 million new jobs edging the job market closer to full employment. At the same time, the inability for supply to catch up with this demand drove prices higher and continued to put a tight affordability squeeze on those trying to reach the market.

The group reports that while the national median family income rose to $70,831, increasing mortgage rates and home prices will affect Americans' ability to buy a home, specifically in the country's most expensive housing markets.

Using NAR's data on housing affordability, we gathered a list of the US metro areas where the minimum salary required to qualify for a mortgage, with 20% down, is the highest. NAR assumes a mortgage rate of 3.9% for all areas, with the monthly principle and interest payment limited to 25% of income.

For the US as a whole, the average qualifying income is $42,962 and themedian home price is $232,200.

Notably, the salary needed to qualify in the top-five metro areas — four of which are located in California — exceeds $100,000.

Below, check out how much you need to earn to buy a home in the most expensive housing markets, and what the median home will cost you.

The following markets are based on metropolitan statistical areas, with the exception of Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, which are metropolitan divisions.

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
Population: 1,976,836
Median home cost: $1,005,000
Salary needed to buy: $183,730

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
Population: 4,656,132
Median home cost: $837,500
Salary needed to buy: $153,108

3. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, California
Population: 3,169,776
Median home cost: $745,200
Salary needed to buy: $136,234

4. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii
Population: 998,714
Median home cost: $740,200
Salary needed to buy: $135,320

5. San Diego-Carlsbad, California
Population: 3,299,521
Median home cost: $593,000
Salary needed to buy: $108,410

6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, California
Population: 10,170,292
Median home cost: $503,400
Salary needed to buy: $92,030

7. Boulder, Colorado
Population: 319,372
Median home cost: $494,800
Salary needed to buy: $90,457

8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
Population: 3,733,580
Median home cost: $423,300
Salary needed to buy: $77,386

9. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts/New Hampshire
Population: 4,774,321
Median home cost: $417,400
Salary needed to buy: $76,307

10. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida
Population: 357,305
Median home cost: $415,000
Salary needed to buy: $75,869

11. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, Washington, DC/Virginia/Maryland
Population: 6,097,684
Median home cost: $384,300
Salary needed to buy: $70,256

12. New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania
Population: 20,182,305
Median home cost: $382,300
Salary needed to buy: $69,891

Projects from this area

10 Harbor, USA, Hollywood

10 Harbor will offer 10 exclusive luxury 3 bedroom townhome residences planned by Sunset Harbor Residences.

Each unit will be delivered with flooring throughout. Each residence will feature it’s own private boat/yacht slip, private elevator, and private 2 car garage as well as 3 full baths, a powder room for guests, wood cabinetry in the kitchens by Mia Cucina with high-end gas ranges and appliances, floor to ceiling high impact glass windows, oversized private terraces with private hot tub, summer kitchen, and sweeping views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Hollywood Beach.


10 Harbor is located on the Intracoastal Waterway in the fast-growing neighborhood of Hollywood. The property is in walking distance from Hollywood Beach overlooking West Lake Park and just 15 minutes from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. It is also in close proximity to local attractions like Gulfstream Park, South Florida's premier race track, and Aventura Mall, one of Miami’s top destinations for high-end shopping and dining.


10 units; 3-stories plus garage. Each unit ranging in sizes from 2,721 sq ft to 2,805 sq ft. Ceiling heights up to 11’-3” in some areas.


Private boat/yacht slip approximately up to 60' in length and 19' beam.


Construction should be underway in the second quarter of 2016 with completion slated for Fall 2017.


Pre-construction finished unit prices starting from $1.419 million residences.

(Prices are subject to change without notice)


Nestled between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, the city of Hollywood is known for its beautiful stretch of beaches and excellent outdoor attractions. From oceanfront hotels to the newly opened Margaritaville Resort, owned by Jimmy Buffet, visitors will find no shortage of accommodations for a weekend getaway or long stay. Experience unique shopping, beachfront restaurants and bars, and a host of activities from sightseeing to live music along

Hollywood's Boardwalk. Hollywood is also seeing a rapidly evolving arts and culture scene, which includes grand murals, art installments, galleries, and the booming Arts Park at Young Circle, which is becoming one of South Florida's premier weekend hot spots. The expansion of the area, from strategic urban development to walkable streets, is catching the attention of locals and out of out-of-towners alike. Those looking for delicious food and a vibrant nightlife will discover much to do in Downtown Hollywood, with its various options perfect for any budget and preference. To make it even easier to take in everything the city has to offer, trolley services are available to transport guests to and from Hollywood Beach to Downtown Hollywood.

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The Manhattan, USA

The Project:

Classic building on the following address: 351 East 82nd  . including 26 units for rent, with high  occupancy.

The project’s condition is required different levels of renovation.

The average rent price in this project is: $1830, comparing to the average rent price in the buildings in the neighborhood: $2590  (for 1 bedroom flat).

The location:

The Upper East Side is located between the 59th St. and  96th St. and is east to Central Park.

Well established classic neighborhood with a wealthy population (including families such as: Kennedy, Roosevelt, Rockefeller and others).

Culture and Leisure: The 5th Avenue, Central Park, The Museums area: Metropolitan, Guggenheim and many more.

Education and Health: The famous University and Hospital: Mount Sinai.

The classic buildings, the wide pavements and the relative quite area attract high quality tenants.

The average household annual income is: $147,000- among the highest in the city.

The Strategy:

1.       Each apartment will become vacant once contract is terminated.

2.       Cosmetic and Gut renovation of all units, bringing them to high end market standards.

3.       Completion of the upgrading process within 24 months.

4.       Realization of the property at updated value, and creating substantial capital gain.

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Click here to see all the projects from this area.