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If you are thinking about buying, I found the research from a new study conducted by HSH.com, the largest publisher of mortgage and consumer loan information, very interesting. 

We all know condo values are expensive in Seattle, and what you make for income is a key component to whether or not you can afford to buy in Seattle, or any city for that matter.  The report shows that, after researching mortgage rates and median home prices in 25 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas, Seattle ranks #7 for annual salary needed to cover the principal and interest payments on an average home or condo.

“The study indicates that New York City requires the fourth highest salary ($71,254.65) in the nation to cover the costs necessary to purchase a home. Meanwhile, San Francisco requires the highest salary, at $125,071.78.” Seattle was the 7th highest at $63,145.41, right behind Washington DC and Boston.

In my opinion, the increase in prices for condos and houses in Seattle has been created by the low inventory of available properties causing buying competition and that is likely the cause for our low affordability currently.  Check out the details of the report and see where your other favorite city might rank here.

Does this mean you shouldn’t buy a place if you make less than $63,145 per year?  Of course not, there are many affordable condo options within our city and many factors go into determining what a lender might approve you for.  Additionally some buildings and neighborhoods are more affordable than others.  Still the report was rather enlightening and I wanted to share.

And look on the bright side; at least you are not buying in New York or San Francisco.  

By Marco Kronen with Seattle Condo Review: A guide to Seattle downtown condos.