The Cost of Buying a Home in D.C.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says in its Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability report for the first quarter of 2014 that the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area is one of the most expensive markets in the country. The median sales price of existing single-family homes in the metro is $358,900. So how much would you need to earn in order to be able to buy a home here? HSH.com, a mortgage resource website, has the answer.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 65.5 percent of Americans own their homes. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make in your life. Especially when it comes to affordability.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Metropolitan Median Area Prices and Affordability report for the first quarter of 2014, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area is one of the most expensive markets in the country. The median sales price of existing single-family homes in the metro is $358,900. So how much would you need to earn in order to be able to buy a home here? HSH.com, a mortgage resource website, has the answer.

In a study released this month, HSH.com took a look at 27 U.S. metro areas and calculated how much you would need to earn to afford the base cost of owning a home there. To determine this, it used NAR’s first-quarter data of median home prices, as well as its own first-quarter average interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

D.C. was the sixth most expensive city on the list. In order to buy a home here, you would need to earn $78,503.56. San Francisco, with a required salary of $137,129.55, was the most expensive city on the list. Cleveland was the cheapest, with $29,788.67.

HSH.com found that things were more affordable in D.C. during the first three months of the year. The District’s housing market has had a reputation of stable, consistent growth, but prices have been falling since the second quarter of 2013, taking the required salary down with it.