15 Most Unaffordable Housing Markets


Housing affordability is a hot topic, and it has become a challenge for many to keep up with skyrocketing prices. Living costs have become almost impossible for some cities, especially when it comes to buying a home. Let’s look at the least affordable housing markets where owning a house is a distant dream for many.

San Francisco, California (Average House Price: $1,408,349)


One of the priciest housing markets in the country is in San Francisco. Due to rising real estate costs brought on by the I.T. boom, most people need help to afford to live in the city. Even high earners find it challenging to secure a home in this competitive market. With the average home prices soaring above $1.4 million, many residents are forced to rent or move to neighboring areas. The total cost of housing, which includes mortgages, rent, and other associated fees, is also more than three times higher than the national average.

New York City, New York (Average House Price: $838,000)

Joe Gulino/Facebook

New York City, known for its bustling streets and iconic skyline, is another expensive housing market. The median home price here exceeds $700,000, which makes it unaffordable for many. Manhattan, in particular, sees sky-high prices, but even the outer boroughs are relatively cheap. High demand and limited space contribute to the unaffordability.

Los Angeles, California (Average House Price: $1,300,000)

Glen Bowman/Openverse

Los Angeles, famous for its entertainment industry, is also quite infamous for its steep housing costs. Indeed, the average property price in this area is distorted by the residences of many extremely wealthy and high-net-worth individuals, just like in many other cities. Renting is expensive. The average cost of an apartment is 49% higher than the average in the United States. That is unlike the large towns where apartment rentals are the lowest.

San Jose, California (Average House Price: $1,670,320)

Margalit Francus/Openverse

San Jose is another city with high home prices. The high salaries in tech don’t always translate to homeownership, as the market remains fiercely competitive. Residents often face a tough battle to find affordable housing. If you choose to live and work in the area, you must have access to many well-paying employees. San Jose’s average household income is $148,900, about double the national average of $74,580.

Boston, Massachusetts (Average House Price: $1,001,917)

Billy Wilson Photography/Openverse

Boston combines historic charm with modern amenities, but this blend is expensive. The average price of a property is around $1,002,000, which is more than twice as much as the U.S. average. The monthly mortgage principal and interest payments ($5,228 in this case) are double what the rest of the country pays ($2,537). It costs money to keep the heat and lights on. The city’s prestigious universities and thriving job market attract people, but the high cost of housing remains a significant barrier. Renting has become the default option for many residents.

Miami, Florida (Average House Price: $665,000)

Therese Yarde/Openverse

Miami dazzles with its vibrant culture and sun-soaked beaches, and it’s easy to see why Boston is such an appealing place to live. In many parts of the country, the median home price ranges from $500,000 to $700,000. High demand combined with limited housing options keeps prices high. Consequently, renting is often the more practical choice for many residents.

Seattle, Washington (Average House Price: $1,014,081)


With its booming tech industry, Seattle has seen a dramatic rise in housing prices. The influx of high-paying tech jobs has yet to ease the intense competition for housing. Even those with substantial incomes find it challenging to buy a home. While Seattle’s high median family income makes homeownership easier, the high cost of real estate still makes things difficult. Residents can at least find solace in knowing that their utility expenditures are only 2% more than the average American’s.

Honolulu, Hawaii (Average House Price: $1,688,718)

Joel Abroad/Openverse

It is nearly 3.4 times more expensive to buy a home in Honolulu than it is nationwide. While the natural beauty and tropical climate are alluring, the high cost of living can be a considerable deterrent. In fact, Honolulu residents pay more for everything than they would on the mainland, and it’s understandable why, given the benefits of living in such a remote Pacific paradise. The majority of things that are sold in Hawaii have to be transported by boat or aircraft, which significantly increases the cost of living.

San Diego, California (Average House Price: $1,128,110)

Photos By Clark/Openverse

San Diego has endless beaches and almost perfect temperatures for individuals who enjoy being outside. This Pacific City has something for everyone, whether hiking, biking or simply touring Balboa Park. You will find a top-notch zoo, museums, and a diverse dining scene all in San Diego. Not surprisingly, San Diego boasts one of the priciest real estate markets in the country. The average house is 121% more expensive than the national average, at over $1 million.

Washington, D.C.( Average House Price: $1,129,417)


Even with its pricey suburbs, the country’s capital has the most expensive property market in the United States. The city’s vibrant job market and extensive amenities attract many people, yet the high living costs are a significant hurdle. Numerous residents are forced to rent because affordable housing is scarce. At just about 9% higher than the national average, transportation costs aren’t very high. The District of Columbia is reasonably accessible via a comprehensive bus and subway system.

Arlington, Virginia (Average House Price: $1,070,967)


Not far from Washington, D.C., this suburb is home to the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington draws successful, well-paid individuals, just like its neighbors, and its property values reflect this. Rent and mortgage payments are more than twice the national average for housing-related costs. The average housing price, which exceeds $1 million, is mainly responsible for the financial suffering experienced by the locals.

Portland, Oregon (Average House Price: $549,900)

Ian Poellet/Openverse

Portland’s eclectic culture and scenic beauty have made it a popular destination, but it is also a pricey one. The city’s appeal, combined with a limited housing inventory, drives up prices. This dynamic has also brought about increased competition for rental properties.

Lake Havasu City, Arizona (Average House Price: $1,103,400)

Sunset Villas Lake Havasu City, Arizona/Facebook

Lake Havasu City, famous for its stunning lake and the iconic London Bridge, offers a unique desert lifestyle. However, this popular retirement and vacation destination has seen a surge in housing prices. The city’s growing popularity among retirees and vacation home buyers has increased demand. As a result, many locals find it increasingly difficult to purchase a home, turning instead to renting as a more affordable option. Combining a picturesque environment and a tight housing market creates a challenging landscape for aspiring homeowners.

Brooklyn, New York (Average House Price: $1,376,667)

1855 One Room School/Openverse

Although Brooklyn is officially one of the five boroughs that make up New York City, it has become somewhat of a metropolis in its own right in recent years. If it were a city, Brooklyn’s population would be comparable to Chicago’s, the country’s third-largest city. Brooklyn was considered a good option for people who couldn’t afford to reside in Manhattan. Those days are distant memories now. The influx of new residents has pushed up demand, making it challenging for many to purchase a home.

Boulder, Colorado (Average House Price: $1,300,000)


Boulder, located against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, is known for its high quality of life and easy access to outdoor activities. However, living in this picturesque city comes with a hefty price tag. Limited land for development and high demand drive these elevated prices. Professionals, retirees, and outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to Boulder for its lifestyle and natural beauty, but many find that renting is the only viable option given the steep housing costs.


Leave a Comment