34 US cities where people can barely afford homes

  • The cost to buy a home is more expensive than it’s ever been.
  • SmartAsset recently released a new report ranking the US cities with the most severely cost-burdened households – households who spend at least half of their income on housing.
  • In 34 cities, at least 13% of households are severely cost-burdened – almost half of the cities are in California.

The housing market is on the climb.

The value of homes has increased by 73% since the 1960s, when adjusted for inflation, Business Insider previously reported, citing a Student Loan Hero report.

It’s so expensive that, in some cities, the average home outweighs the average income by so much that it can take nearly a decade to save for a 20% down payment, according to a SmartAsset report released earlier this year.

Now, SmartAsset is back with new data that highlights the high cost of homeownership: the US cities with the most severely housing cost-burdened households (defined as households who spend more than 50% of their income on housing).

To determine this list, SmartAsset gathered US Census Bureau data for the percentage of severely housing-cost burdened households among homeowners in 167 cities, ranking each city by the amount of people spending at least half of their income on housing.

In 34 cities, 13% or more households spend at least half of their income on housing. Of these cities, 15 are in California, making it the state with the most severely housing-cost burdened cities. Florida ranks second, home to four of the most severely housing cost-burdened cities.

See which other cities made the ranks below.


34. Detroit, Michigan

Kemboslice/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.06%


33. Shreveport, Louisiana

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.12%


32. West Covina, California

Kit Leong/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 13.17%


31. Oxnard, California

Michael Domingo/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.25%


30. Escondido, California

Autumn Sky Photography/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.29%


29. Boston, Massachusetts

Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.36%


28. Warwick, Rhode Island

Hank Shiffman/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.46%


27. San Diego, California

Dancestrokes/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.51%


26. San Francisco, California

Bill45/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.55%


25. Irvine, California

Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.59%


24. New Orleans, Louisiana

GTS Productions/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.62%


23. Norfolk, Virginia

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.65%


22. Hampton, Virginia

Sherry V Smith/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.75%


21. Anaheim, California

James Kirkikis/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.88%


20. Fontana, California

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:13.89%


19. Chicago, Illinois

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Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:14.05%


18. Orange, California

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:14.14%


17. Garden Grove, California

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:14.31%


16. Thousand Oaks, California

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:14.32%


15. Oakland, California

cdrin/shutterstockOakland, California

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:14.44%


14. Jurupa Valley, California

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:14.56%


13. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Kamira/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:15.08%


12. Toms River, New Jersey

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:15.14%


11. Chula Vista, California

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:15.38%


10. Stamford, Connecticut

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:15.42%


9. Norwalk, Connecticut

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:16.26%


8. Yonkers, New York

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households:16.34%


7. Hollywood, Florida

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 16.87%


6. New York, New York

Brian Kinney/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 18.11%


5. Los Angeles, California

Checubus/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 19.13%


4. Pompano Beach, Florida

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 19.57%


3. Hialeah, Florida

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 21.33%


2. Miami, Florida

Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 24.58%


1. Newark, New Jersey

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Percentage of severely housing cost-burdened households: 26.4%

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