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D.C.: Where Buying A House Is Attainable (But Shouldn't Be)

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[Photo by Flickr user Mad African!]

Can you purchase a home in D.C.? That depends on who you ask. Two of the three studies that have come out in the past week looking at both the housing market and the amount of money D.C. residents rake in look rather bleak. Let's start with this report from mortgage resource HSH.com which says that anyone looking to buy a home will need to make $78,503.56 per year in order to afford that. As DCist pointed out, that's up $15,000 a year...from four months ago. Apparently, just getting rid of the constant freeze has done wonders for the housing market. This number already looks bad, but it looks even worse upon viewing this study from NPR in regards to how far a paycheck will go in D.C. Basically, after adjusting for quality of life, it feels like D.C. residents are making a lot less than they really are. In fact there's a bigger decline in what D.C. residents are paid vs. what it feels like they're paid than anywhere else in the country. The silver lining comes from this middle class report from Trulia. They looked at the total monthly payments for homes in D.C.: so insurance, property taxes and mortgage, and if it equalled out to 31% of the metro area's median income, then it was an attainable purchase for a middle class resident. Within D.C. proper, 44% of homes on the market are within reach of the middle class and upon expanding that search to the greater metro area, that number rises to 62%. So, either D.C.'s median household income is sky high or something isn't adding up.
· The salary you must earn to buy a home in 27 metros [HSH]
· Study: You Need To Earn $15,000 More Than You Did Four Months Ago To Buy A Home In The D.C. Area [DCist]
· How Far Your Paycheck Goes, In 365 U.S. Cities [NPR]
· Where Buying A Home Is Within Reach Of The Middle Class [Trulia]