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For middle class, more homes out of reach

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis October 11, 2013 07:11 AM

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Just 41 percent of homes for sale in Boston are within reach of the average, middle-class family, Trulia finds in a new report.

That's down from 53 percent a year ago, with affordability taking a big hit amid double-digit price increases.

Looking at Trulia's numbers, I'd argue that even that number is too rosy.

Trulia uses Boston's median family income of $66,149 to define middle class, arguing that homes up to $322,000 are within reach.

That's pretty high for that income - better not have any student loans or daycare expenses.

I'd argue a more realistic number is $250,000, which would obviously shrink the pool of available homes even more.

So after stretching and saving, what can a middle class family in Boston expect to buy?

Well the median affordable home in Boston is 1,250 square feet, hardly a palace but not bad either given we do live in a part of the country dominated by older, smaller homes.

So how do we stack up with other cities?

Just 30 percent of the homes in San Francisco, Orange County, San Diego and New York are affordable for middle class buyers, Trulia says.

And you'll get far less.

In New York, a middle class buyer might be able to snag a 500 square foot apartment - now that's small!

If you want to get more house for your dollar, it pays to head west ? well to the Middle West, to be exact.

As many as 80 percent of the homes in various Midwestern cities are affordable ot middle class buyers - in Cincinatti the median house is nearly 1,500 square feet.

A palace by Hub standards!

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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