Low mortgage rates may make homes a bit more affordable. But high demand and limited supply mean home prices have surged in many markets nationwide. In some cities, median salaries have kept pace with home values, while in others the gap between income and home prices has widened.

A recent analysis of the 50 largest metro areas by HSH.com, a mortgage data and consumer information site, found that affordability improved marginally during the fourth quarter of 2019 in 49 of the 50 markets. The study compares home price data from the National Association of Realtors and includes property tax data and homeowners’ insurance costs to calculate the income needed to qualify for a median-priced home in each market. A down payment of 20 percent is assumed for this study, but the full report also includes the median salary required if a buyer opts for a 10 percent down payment.

The only market that saw a decrease in affordability when comparing the fourth quarter of 2019 with the fourth quarter of 2018 was Philadelphia, which had a 0.27 percent increase in the salary needed to buy a median-priced home. In the last quarter of 2019, a salary of $59,055 was required to buy a median-priced home of $241,800 in that market.

In the D.C. area, the required salary to buy a median-priced home was $89,169 in the fourth quarter of 2019, which was 5.55 percent less than required during the fourth quarter of 2018. If buyers opt for a 10 percent down payment instead of a 20 percent down payment, a salary of $103,261 would be required to afford a median-priced home of $436,200.

The report found that the three least affordable markets are all in California. In San Jose, a salary of $227,232 is required to buy a median-priced home. In San Francisco, a $184,743 salary is required, and in San Diego, the salary needed to buy a median-priced home is $122,695. Each salary assumes a 20 percent down payment.

The most affordable metro area housing markets include Pittsburgh, where buyers need a salary of $36,581; Oklahoma City, where $37,832 is required; and Cleveland, where a salary of $39,146 is needed to buy a median-priced home. Each salary also assumes a 20 percent down payment.

In the New York City market, a salary of $101,998 is required to afford a median-priced home with a 20 percent down payment. In Boston, a salary of $101,895 is required to afford a median-priced home with a 20 percent down payment.

For the full analysis, click here.

Read more: