Homebuyers need to earn $255k for median-priced Silicon Valley home

If you want to buy a median-priced home in the South Bay, you need to earn $255,000. That's according to a new report from mortgage data provider HSH.com.

The San Jose area tops the nation with the highest income level needed, followed by the San Francisco region where homebuyers need to make $199,000 a year.

The company assumed buyers were putting 20% down, and included principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments with their calculations.
"My husband and I look at open houses around here. It's just ridiculous the price," said Jan Bonin, a homeowner in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood.
Reaching the quarter-million dollar income level isn't the reality for most Santa Clara County residents.

The latest census figures show the median household income is $109,000 a year.

To bridge that income gap, realtors say many buyers are looking for other sources of income.
"They have to otherwise no one would be able to buy a house," said Gustavo Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is the President of the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors, and says many first-time homebuyers are relying on family to get into the market.
"People are selling their stocks, they're selling their savings, people are just coming together to support eachother. There's multiple families that are going in together to buy a property," said Gonzalez.
The report says the median home price in the San Jose area is $1.25 million. Andrea Urton is CEO of the non-profit HomeFirst that provides homeless services in Santa Clara County and says many of her employees aren't able to afford homes.

"We've got an employee looking to leave whose wife happens to be a school teacher. This summer they're moving to Texas. And the number one reason is they can't afford a rental, let alone to buy a home in this market," said Urton.
The most affordable region named in the report was Pittsburgh, where a salary of $38,000 a year can afford you a median priced home around $140,000.
Here is how HSH broke down the numbers for San Jose:

  • Mortgage rate: 4.98 percent
  • Home price: $1,250,000
  • Monthly payment: $5,946.17
  • Salary: $254,835.73

In San Francisco, these were the calculations HSH used

  • Mortgage rate: 4.98 percent
  • Home price: $952,200
  • Monthly payment: $4,642.82
  • Salary: $198,978.01