Oct 13, 2022 - News

Income needed to afford a house in Salt Lake City has nearly doubled

Data: Zillow; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The income it takes to afford a house in the Salt Lake metro area nearly doubled in two years, according to data from Zillow.

  • The combination of rising prices and mortgage rates has put homeownership far out of reach for lots of Utahns.

By the numbers: It now takes an income of more than $107,000 to pay for a typical house in Salt Lake, up from about $56,000 in 2020.

  • Zillow calculated the income needed to spend no more than 30% each month on a mortgage, factoring in the price for a typical home and mortgage rates after a 20% down payment.
  • Salt Lake's increase in minimum salary (as well as average home prices) was the 15th largest of the country's 50 largest cities. The lowest increase was in San Jose, California, where a homebuying salary rose from $170,803 to $281,804.

Between the lines: The average yearly wage in Salt Lake County was around $70,000 as of March, according to the latest federal data — but the median is likely closer to $40,000–$50,000.

  • That means most two-income families probably can't afford a typical home here.

Context: Not surprisingly, houses are harder to sell when people can't afford them.

  • Salt Lake County home sales in August were down more than 26% from the year before, according to the Utah Association of Realtors.
  • Homes in Salt Lake City took a median of 24 days to sell in August — a length that has been rising each month since May, according to Redfin's figures.
  • More than half of sellers had to slash prices in July.

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