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$221,000 Salary Needed To Afford Silicon Valley Home

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – In yet another sign of Silicon Valley's unaffordable housing, a new analysis found prospective homeowners will need to earn more than $220,000 to afford a median priced home.

HSH, which tracks mortgage information, determined what salary would be needed to afford the principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments on a median priced home in the 50 largest metro areas.

The San Jose market, which HSH defined as Santa Clara and San Benito counties, was the most expensive in the country. To afford a median priced home of $1,183,400, homebuyers would need a salary of $221,364. Principal, interest, taxes and insurance would cost $5,165.15 each month.

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According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in Santa Clara County was $96,310 as of 2015, the latest estimate available. At that time, only 18 percent of households had an income of $200,000 or more.

Second on the list was the San Francisco market, which also includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo counties. With a median home price of $950,000, HSH said a salary of $181,349 would be needed. Monthly payments for principal, interest, taxes and insurance would be $4,231.

The study assumed a buyer is placing 20 percent down and has a 30-year-fixed mortgage at an interest rate of 4.21 percent. If a buyer puts 10 percent down instead, the required income in the San Jose market goes up to $261,762, while in the San Francisco market, required income increases to $215,598.

HSH found a six-figure salary would also be needed to buy a median priced home in San Diego and Los Angeles ($116,875 and $101,531, respectively.)

Meanwhile, Sacramento appears to be a bargain compared to the Bay Area, where a salary of $70,380 is needed to afford the median home price of $340,000.

Nationally, a salary of $56,160 is needed to afford a home at the median price of $255,600.

Tim Fang is a digital producer for CBS San Francisco and a native of the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @fangtj.

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