5 Least Affordable Housing Markets


House markets are a crazy thing sometimes. A home that might be worth $100,000 in Kansas City would be a $600,000 house in Los Angeles.

When you look at the numbers, it’s easy to say, “Why would you ever live in a place where houses cost so much when you can just move and live cheaper somewhere else?” But people aren’t 100% logical or rational especially when it comes to where you call home.

Jobs, family and other factors that tie us to an area are all reasons why people have no choice but to tolerate high housing prices. If it’s what you’re used to, then you just find ways to deal with it. You put off home ownership in favor of renting. Or maybe you commute more and live in a more affordable area.

So, where are the most expensive housing markets? Let’s take a tour:

San Francisco, CA

Median home price: $1,000,000

Median income: $101,200

You might make more if you live in San Fran, but you certainly spend more as well. Situated right in the center of the Silicon Valley and flush with tech money, San Francisco delivers the worst value for those who make enough to consider buying a home.

Los Angeles, CA

Median home price: $625,000

Median income: $61,900

Housing prices dropped dramatically in the City of Angels after the housing bubble burst, but have since come roaring back with a vengeance.   Now, depending where you look for a home in Los Angeles, the prices are going to be radically different. A home near the beach is going to be much more expensive than a home east of the downtown area.

But the throngs of people who are tired of commuting hours to work are making home prices rise no matter where you look in the city.

Santa Anna, CA

Median home price: $750,000

Median income: $84,100

Located in the heart of Orange County, California, Santa Anna’s home prices are unreasonably high for the same reasons that are jacking up Los Angeles’ housing market. No more land, expensive building and zoning regulations and a lot of people wanting to live close to where they work are all making home prices go through the ceiling.

Sure, you’ll live a stone’s throw away from Disneyland, but at what cost?

New York, NY

Median home price: $654,000

Median income: $66,000

Coming in at #4 on the list and our first non-Californian listing, the Big Apple remains one of the least affordable places to buy a home.

Continued population and business growth coupled with foreign investors buying up condos and townhouses to rent out are leading to steadily increasing home prices. You can only build out for so long and then it’s time to start building up. Since they aren’t making more land, expect New York to stay on this list.

San Jose, CA

Median home price: $845,00

Median income: $101,300

San Jose’s housing market has been plagued by the same problems that have affected San Francisco. Silicon Valley tech money has led to a lot of people with a lot of money and limited housing supply. This sends housing costs sky high as people would rather pay through the nose than spend hours each day in their car commuting.