States where homeowners spend the most on housing

Financial Planners


While the percentage of income spent on home ownership varies widely across U.S. states, Hawaii is feeling the biggest burden, according to new data from online lending marketplace LendingTree.

LendingTree used data from the US Census Bureau to determine the percentage of households in all 50 US states that spend 30% or more of their income on housing. We compared each state’s median income and housing costs, including mortgages, taxes, insurance, utilities, and HOA fees.

We used 30% in our analysis because it is a common benchmark for housing costs in monthly budgets. Known as the “30% rule,” financial planners typically recommend spending no more than 30% of her household income on housing.

In theory, this leaves room for other necessities such as medical care, groceries, and transportation. It also acts as a buffer if your monthly costs unexpectedly rise.

Hawaii ranks first on the list, probably because the state is notorious for its high cost of living. The median list price for a home there is $852,500, according to Realtor.com data.

Here are the 10 states with the highest percentage of homeowners spending 30% or more of their gross income on their homes.

  1. Hawaii: 31.8%
  2. California: 29.7%
  3. New Jersey: 28.5%
  4. Rhode Island: 26.7%
  5. new york: 26.4%
  6. Connecticut: 26.2%
  7. Massachusetts: 25.5%
  8. Florida: 24.9%
  9. Oregon: 24.4%
  10. Nevada: 24.2%
  11. Vermont: 23.2%

Nearly a third of Hawaii households spend 30% or more on housing, followed closely by California and New Jersey.

In contrast, the following five states had the lowest percentage of paying homeowners. West Virginia had the lowest share of all 50 states.

  1. West Virginia: 14.3%
  2. Indiana: 15%
  3. North Dakota: 15.6%
  4. Iowa: 15.8%
  5. South Dakota: 16%

Not surprisingly, along with Hawaii, coastal hubs such as California and New York tend to have a higher percentage of homeowners spending 30% or more of their income on their homes. While median income in these states is significantly higher than the bottom states, housing costs are also skyrocketing.

According to U.S. Census data, the median household salary in New York is about $75,000, while it’s nearly $50,000 in West Virginia. But according to data from Realtor.com, the average list price for a home in New York is $639,945, compared to $229,900 in West Virginia, the lowest.

Despite pay increases, New Yorkers spend far more of their paychecks on housing.

And although it wasn’t included in the study, rents tend to be higher in states with lower home prices, so renters don’t feel as safe.

However, a 2022 Homebuyer.com survey ranked Hawaii as the most expensive state to buy a home in, so it’s probably no surprise that Hawaii takes the top spot. Like fourth-ranked Rhode Island, Hawaii has a limited amount of land available for development, driving up housing costs.

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