Roughly half of all Americans agree a lack of affordable housing in their city is a major problem, according to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. Pew also found a proportion of Americans concerned about dwindling housing affordability has grown in recent years—and for good reason.
Knowing this, Stacker analyzed U.S Census Bureau data to find where homeowners are spending the largest share of their income on mortgage payments. To be included, each metropolitan area had to have at least 100,000 mortgage holders in 2020, the latest data available.
Residents of some of the most populous metro areas in the U.S. are feeling the squeeze in their mortgage payments as home values continue to grow nationwide. For decades experts have used the same tried and true measure for housing affordability—when a person keeps their housing expenses within 30% of their annual income, it allows for spending on life’s other necessities, such as food, transportation, and health care.
Analyzing how many homeowners are contributing more than 30% of their income to mortgage payments in any given metro can paint a picture of how financially stretched thin a population is. Experts call these homeowners “mortgage-burdened.” Almost 49 million Americans have mortgages, and around 27% of them are considered mortgage-burdened, according to the most recent Census data available.
Stacker found metro areas in California ultimately topped the list of places with the most mortgage-burdened homeowners. The Golden State has become notorious for an affordable housing shortage, though metros in several other states also rose to the top of the rankings. Continue reading to see if your metro made the list.
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