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Study: owning a house is out of reach for average single earner in San Antonio 

  • Sanford Nowlin
San Antonio is among the most affordable big U.S. cities when it comes to housing costs, but owning a house is still a herculean feat for the average single person here, according to a new study.

Financial site SmartAsset analyzed data from the 15 largest U.S. cities to estimate how much money residents must earn to afford owning their own home. Researchers figured that the monthly home payments in each market shouldn't push the buyer over the recommended 36% debt-to-income ratio.

With that in mind, San Antonio ranked as the list's fourth least expensive city. Its median home price is $171,100, meaning the average monthly home payment — including insurance, taxes and other fees — is $899.

That's far less than the $4,297 average monthly payment in the nation's most expensive market, San Jose, California, or even the $1,938 average in Austin, which ranked fifth.

But the study shows that owning a home of median value — and maintaining that 36% debt-to-income ratio — isn't possible for the average single San Antonian.

Even those who carry no debt at all — we're talking no car payments, credit cards or student loans — need to earn $29,967 annually to comfortably afford a home in the 210. The median income here, according to the U.S. Census Bureau? Just $25,894.

With debt, the affordability gap quickly widens. Someone carrying $500 in monthly debt payments would need a salary of $46,633. For $1,000 in monthly debt payments, it goes up to $63,300.

So, when advocates say San Antonio has a housing affordability problem, they're not lying.


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