Most affordable cities for middle-class homebuyers

As affordability remains a concern in the housing market, recent data showed home prices rose at a slower rate in February – at 3 percent, down from 3.5 percent the month prior – potentially signaling good news for prospective buyers.

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The median home price in the U.S. recently hit a record high, exceeding $300,000, but new research shows that buying a home in major U.S. cities should be doable for the majority of middle-class Americans.

Online lending marketplace LendingTree analyzed housing markets where middle-class Americans have the highest affordability prospects, finding that – overall – most people earning median income can afford the median-priced home in their area.

One exception, however, was California, where the entire middle class faced some challenges. Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose were the cities were lower- and middle-middle class earners would have the most difficulty.

Here’s a look at the top markets for middle-middle class families:

Houston

The median home price in Houston is $166,500, while the average middle-class income is $62,922.

A typical middle-class family could afford to pay about $1,468 per month for a home, though researchers found that they would only need to pay about $683 per month in this Texas city.

Houston was also one of the top most affordable cities for lower-middle-class families.

Dallas

Another Texas metro took the second spot on the list. The average middle-middle class person in Dallas earns about $63,870. Meanwhile, the median home price is about $174,500, which means after monthly payments of about $716 – a family has an extra $775 left over that they could have afforded to spend on a home.

Minneapolis

The median home price in Minneapolis is about $230,700 – a bit higher than the other cities listed, but middle-class residents also have a higher median salary of $73,735.

That means the average family could afford monthly home payments of $1,720 – however, they would only likely need to pay about $946.

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For lower-middle class families, the top housing markets were Houston, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, New York.

For upper-middle class families, they were Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and Hartford, Connecticut.