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How much do you need to make to buy a home in Kansas City? A lot more than you used to

Kansas City Star
Have you been looking around on Zillow for a house in Kansas City to buy? If so, you’re going to need to make a lot more than you did four years ago.

A February report by the real estate marketplace company says that homebuyers across the United States need to earn more than $106,000 a year to comfortably afford a home. That’s up 80% since 2020, or around $47,000 more than they needed to earn four years ago. But things are little more affordable in Kansas City compared to the rest of the country.

In the report, Zillow looked at 50 major metropolitan areas in the country and listed the following cities as the most affordable places to buy a home in the United States, based on how much income someone needs to earn annually:

  • Pittsburgh: $58,232

  • Memphis: $69,976

  • Cleveland: $70,810

  • New Orleans: $74,048

  • Birmingham: $74,338

Where does Kansas City fall on the list? Here’s what Zillow said.

How much do you need to earn to buy a home in Kansas City?

Kansas Citians need to earn $92,896 to buy a home in the city, according to Zillow’s report. This is $40,742 more than what residents needed in 2020. It makes KC the 13th most affordable city on the list of 50.

You would need to make a monthly mortgage payment of $1,846 to afford a home in Kansas City, Zillow reported.

If you made that salary, by yourself or with someone else who was buying a home with you, it would take 7.2 years to save for a 10% down payment on a Kansas City home that costs $289,290, which Zillow says is the city’s typical cost for a house.

Here’s the median annual income for residents in the Kansas City area, according to the U.S. Census:

The rising income requirements are part of the reason, Zillow said, that 21% of buyers reported co-buying with a friend or relative in 2023.

How do Kansas City home prices compare to the region?

A typical home in Kansas City costs $289,290, according to an index maintained by Zillow. The cost is similar to average costs of houses in Kansas and Missouri.

The Missouri average cost for a home is $283,147, according to Missouri Realtors’ February report, while the average cost for a home in Kansas is slightly lower at $277,031, according to the Kansas Association of Realtors’ January report.

On the other side of Missouri, Zillow says the typical cost for a home in St. Louis is $238,231, and residents in the city need to make $76,895 annually to afford a home. St. Louis is one of three metro areas where a typical home is affordable to a household making the median income, joining Pittsburgh and Detroit, according to Zillow.

The median U.S. household earns around $81,000 each year, according to Zillow.

How much does it cost to buy a home in the U.S.?

The monthly mortgage payment for a typical single-family home in the country has almost doubled since January 2020, Zillow said. With a 10% down payment, the typical monthly payment is around $2,188, which is 96.4% more than what home buyers would have paid in 2020.

“Housing costs have soared over the past four years as drastic hikes in home prices, mortgage rates and rent growth far outpaced wage gains,” Orphe Divounguy, a senior economist at Zillow, said in the report.

Home prices in the United States have increased about 42% since 2020 with the typical home averaging $343,000, according to data collected by Zillow. Mortgage rates averaged 3.5% in early 2020, and now they are around 6.6%.

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