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This is the salary you need to buy a home in Atlanta

Atlanta was recently ranked among the top metros in the United States to buy rather than rent. But how much do you need to be earning to afford a home in town?

» RELATED: Should you rent or buy in Atlanta? Metro among top in US to own a home

According to mortgage research site HSH.com, an annual salary of $45,284.07 will get you an average house in Atlanta priced at $204,500 (if homebuyers put 20 percent down). That’s 10.76 percent higher than the salary Atlantans needed in the first quarter of 2017. The average house price since last year’s quarter has also increased — by 11.87 percent.

Monthly payments come out to $1,056.63 with a 4.41 percent mortgage rate.

» RELATED: How to determine how much house you can afford

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If house hunters choose to put 10 percent down instead, the salary necessary to afford the same $204,500-priced home jumps to $52,373.08.


In 2015, homebuyers needed just under $40,000 to own a typical house in the metro, which averaged about $178,900 ($919.17 monthly) with 20 percent down. 

» RELATED: 7 of the priciest homes for sale in your metro Atlanta neighborhood

To come up with those figures, HSH analysts collected 2018 first-quarter data from the National Association of Realtors on median home prices and compiled national mortgage rate data from Freddie Mac. Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association of America also provided insight into 30-year fixed rate mortgages, plus available property tax and homeowners insurance costs.

They then determined the annual salary necessary to afford the base cost of owning a home, taking into account principal, interest, property tax and homeowner’s insurance) in America’s 50 largest metros.

» RELATED: Here's what a $500,000 home looks like in your Atlanta neighborhood

All but Philadelphia experienced a year-over-year price reduction (5.79 percent). San Jose, California, on the other hand, saw a 28.32 percent year-over-year increase. There, homebuyers would need to carry a mortgage in excess of a million dollars — even with a 20 percent down payment.

According to Interest.com, it’s recommended that homebuyers use the traditional “28/36” rule, which stats that your total in mortgage payments, insurance, property taxes and homeowners’ association fees shouldn’t exceed 28 percent of your monthly gross income, The AJC previously reported.

For example, based on the 28/36 rule, those with a $50,000 annual income should maintain monthly fees under $1,166.

Explore the full HSH.com study at hsh.com.

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