April 14, 2024
Average cost of mortgage in Atlanta | Data from Zillow

That’s roughly $55,000 more than it would cost back in 2020, according to the site

ATLANTA — Do you make money? Lots of money? Like, over six figures worth of money?

If so, congrats! According to recent numbers from Zillow, you would have needed to make over $115,000 a year to afford a mortgage in January of this year. That’s over $55,000 more annually than it was four years ago. Crazy!

But before you pack your bags and start searching for a new city, be warned that the increase is being felt pretty much all over the nation.

On average, Zillow said home shoppers need to make more than $106,000 to comfortably afford a home, which is more than an 80% increase since January of 2020. Just for comparison, Zillow said the typical U.S. household earns about $81,000 each year.

“Housing costs have soared over the past four years as drastic hikes in home prices, mortgage rates and rent growth far outpaced wage gains,” said Orphe Divounguy, a senior economist at Zillow. “Buyers are getting creative to make a purchase pencil out, and long-distance movers are targeting less expensive and less competitive metros. Mortgage rates easing down has helped some, but the key to improving affordability long term is to build more homes.”

Now, let’s take Atlanta’s annual cost and break it down by month. Zillow estimates that for a monthly mortgage payment with 10% down, you’d have to budget over $2,000. How long would it take to save enough for that down payment? If you’re making a median income in Atlanta, Zillow estimates it could be eight years.

The real-estate website said that’s likely why “half of first-time buyers say at least part of their down payment came from a gift or loan from family or friends.”

Thankfully, as bad as that price sounds for Atlanta, it’s not among the highest in the county.

Those cities, according to Zillow, are as follows:

  • San Jose ($454,296)
  • San Francisco ($339,864)
  • Los Angeles ($279,250)
  • San Diego ($273,613)
  • Seattle ($213,984)

Below are the metro areas Zillow listed where someone could “comfortably” afford a house with the lowest income:

  • Pittsburgh ($58,232)
  • Memphis ($69,976)
  • Cleveland ($70,810)
  • New Orleans ($74,048) 
  • Birmingham ($74,338)

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