Home ownership in the U.S. is at its lowest level in five decades. Of those who do own homes, just 34% are under the age of 35 (and they may all be Kardashians.) For many of us, the idea of buying a home feels like a pipe dream, one we’re not sure we should prioritize given our astounding levels of debt, our desire to acquire experiences as opposed to material possessions, and the feeling that the traditional American dream is an unrealistic aspiration in 2016. So, how much do you need to earn in order to be a homeowner in this day and age? A report released by mortgage and loan site HSN.com has the data. If you live in Pittsburgh, the cheapest metro area, you can buy a home with an annual salary of just $32,400. By contrast, those who hope to own a home must take home far larger salaries in San Francisco, where you need to make $161,947.60 per year. We should note that we’re not sure where in New York City one could purchase a home on a salary of $86,215.44 or, for that matter, anyone who makes $92k in LA and owns their own place, but if you’ve got information we don’t, please feel free to share it in the comments below.
If these salary quotes seem daunting to you—or the national average price tag for a home, which is $885,000, seems insane—the Huffington Post cautions that it’s not necessarily more affordable to rent. In the last 50 years, those monthly fees have increased much more quickly than have incomes, which means that renters are spending a higher percentage of their salary on rent than ever before. So, you’d better remember to call your parents today, as you may be moving back in with them—the most common living arrangement for 18-29 year-olds in the U.S. at present—in the very near future.