The Atlantic Cities has a chart that and calculates how long it would take a person making the average wage in the top 100 American cities to save up for a down payment on a 2,000-square-foot home based on the average price per square foot in that city. This assumes you set aside 10% of your income, earn 1.5% on savings, and make a 20% down payment. The time ranges from 28 years in Honolulu to about 3 and a half years in Detroit. Paradise comes at a price.
As the table below shows, in San Francisco you’ll need to work 20.6 years at the local average wage of $1,478 per week in order to save enough for a 20 percent down payment on a typical 2,000 square-foot home. That’s more than anywhere else in the country except Honolulu, where housing prices are high but wages are much lower.
New York is also among the 10 least affordable metros when comparing home prices to local wages. Note that six of the ten least affordable metros are located in California. With housing markets getting even tighter in California, those metros won’t get more affordable any time soon.