This Is How Much Money You Need to Make to Buy a Home in 2024

published Apr 8, 2024
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It’s no secret that recent rising costs have made homeownership difficult for buyers, and a new Bankrate report is only adding more fuel to the (financial) fire. The report, published on April 1, concluded that, in order to buy a house at the average median price (which sells for $402,343, according to Redfin data), Americans need to make $110,871 annually. This is a whopping 46% increase from 2020, marking a tough road ahead for would-be buyers in an already tough market, and doesn’t include money in savings to buy a house.

Since January 2020, the number of states where you need to make $100,000 or more annually to afford a median-priced house has risen from seven to 22, plus the District of Columbia. 

California tops the list of states where you need to make the highest salary to afford a home. If you want to buy a median-priced home in the Golden State, you’ll have to make $197,057, according to Bankrate’s data. A recent USA Today study, updated in March 2024, found that in California the cost of living makes up 77.2% of the average resident’s income. Hawaii was marked second-most expensive in the Bankrate report, requiring homeowners to make a $185,829 salary. In third was the District of Columbia, where homeowners need to make $167,871 annually.

Here are the top 10 most expensive states on Bankrate’s list.

  1. California ($197,057)
  2. Hawaii ($185,829)
  3. District of Columbia ($167,871)
  4. Massachusetts ($162,471)
  5. Washington ($156,814)
  6. Colorado ($152,229)
  7. New Jersey ($152,186)
  8. New York ($148,286)
  9. Utah ($133,886)
  10. Rhode Island ($132,343)

According to Bankrate’s report, states in the Midwest and the South marked states with the greatest opportunity to buy — especially for first-time homebuyers. So if you’re trying to decide where to move, you might consider a state in those areas. Mississippi currently requires the lowest income to afford a home ($63,043), followed closely behind by Ohio ($64,071), Arkansas ($64,714), and Indiana ($65,143).

You can read Bankrate’s full report here.