Becoming a homeowner is ultimately a function of the price-to-income relationship, which hasn’t been favorable to most people contemplating this prospect lately.
The red-hot real estate market in the aftermath of the pandemic made it difficult for many Americans to achieve this goal. But what if there are places where you can still get a foot in the door?
To find out where Americans in various professional groups can still afford a home, StorageCafe, a self-storage marketplace powered by Yardi, set out to analyze the 100 largest metros.
They considered the fastest-growing groups of professions in the last decade and ranked them according to their ability to afford homebuying.
Average income, average home prices, and years needed to save for a down payment are some of the metrics included in their ranking.
Self-storage is also included as an expense, as homeowners use this service both when moving into a new home and also afterward to help manage home space.
The study concludes that the area where most occupations can comfortably buy a home is where the Midwest and Northeast regions meet, with Ohio metros dominating the top 10.
As might be expected, metros home prices way outweigh incomes in California, making it more difficult for locals to realize that turnkey dream.
Ohio Dominates List of Metros Where Most Occupations Can Buy a Home
Toledo, Ohio, emerges as the metropolitan area that is affordable for the largest number of occupations, with 51 of them able to buy a home there.
On average, Toledo employees have an income of $56K/year, and with homes costing around $156K, they need about 2.8 years to save for a down payment.
However, for some of the highest-paying professions here, which include advertising, marketing, and sales managers ($136K/year) and lawyers and judges ($120K), a little over a year is all it takes to save the down payment of the average home.
With homebuying within reach for such a large number of professions, so is self-storage: renting a Toledo storage unit to assist with the move costs around $84/month.
Apart from Toledo, here are some of the other best metros where professionals can afford homeownership:
The Scranton, Pennsylvania, metropolitan area follows on the heels of Toledo, with 49 professionals being able to afford to buy a home.
Local trending professions earn around $52K/year while the average home price hovers around $162K.
Consequently, it takes most of them around three years to save up for a down payment.
Locals who work supervising construction and extraction activities – some of the fastest-growing occupations here (50%) – earn substantially more than the average worker here, bringing home about $76K/year.
Syracuse, New York
Moving closer to the coast, Syracuse, New York, is another metro faring well in terms of professions that can accede to homeownership, with 46 of them being able to make this claim.
Average homes cost a little more than in the Ohioan and Pennsylvanian metros we have seen so far ($181K), but incomes are also a little higher ($65K/year).
It takes the average employee 2.8 years – just as long as in Toledo – to save up for a down payment.
Advertising, marketing, and sales managers tend to bring home the fattest paychecks ($150K/year), followed by operations specialties managers ($140K), which makes them able to significantly curtail their waiting period to buy a home if they wish to do so.
Close behind, Dayton, Ohio, is another place that’s conducive to homeownership for a large swath of occupations (45), with home prices registering an average of $177K.
The trending professions earn an average annual salary of around $62K here, putting their down payment saving period within a three-year time span.
As the highest-earning employees in the metro area, air transportation workers ($148K/year), followed by advertising, marketing, and sales managers ($131K/year), can clearly expedite their pathway to homeownership within less than two years, based on income alone.
Dayton shares the same spot with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which also claims 45 types of occupations that can plant roots here by buying a home in the Steel City.
Average homes are a little pricier here ($203K), but it takes only a little over three years to save enough for a down payment.
Trending professions earn an average of around $63K/year, but for lawyers and judges ($121K), top executives ($119K), and engineers ($102K), annual income is much higher.
Living in Cleveland, Ohio, is financially advantageous for 44 groups of professionals. The average home costs around $202K, while average earnings are around $62K annually.
That puts the wait before buying a home within a little over a three-year period while the down payment is saved.
Cleveland’s top executives, lawyers, judges, and air transportation workers are in the higher income bracket, surpassing the $100K/year earnings threshold.
Next up are Akron employees, who need around 3.3 years to put the money down.
Most Akron Ohioans can afford to buy a home thanks to the incomes averaging close to $60K/year and homes coming with an affordable price tag ($192K).
Moving a little south, you might easily be able to purchase a residence in Jackson, Mississippi, if you work here.
Local employees bring home paychecks of around $50K/year, making the average home ($172K) within their reach. It takes the average Jackson employee around 3.4 years to save for a down payment.
In another Southern metro proudly wearing the badge of affordability, McAllen, Texas, you are also likely to be able to realize the dream of buying a home if you’re among the 43 local trending professions.
Home costs are typically lower here, averaging around $154K. Within 3.8 years, average McAllen employees could save up for a down payment.
To assist with the purchase effort, McAllen self-storage also boasts the lowest self-storage rates ($83/month) in the top 10 metros for affordability, well below the national average of close to $130/month for a 10’x10’ storage unit.