Start Saving Now! These Are the 10 Least Affordable Cities in America

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It’s tough enough to buy a home. Saving the cash for a down payment takes a ton of financial discipline—not to mention the psychological gumption you need to muster to commit to 30 years of monthly payments.

But woe unto ye who live in these 10 metro areas, where the barriers to homeownership are unusually high. Blame skyrocketing home prices and, well, non-skyrocketing incomes—these are the least affordable cities in America.

“These markets are very expensive by any measure, and they’re forecasted to get worse,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com. “That’s why consumers looking for affordable options need to act as soon as they can.”

How did we figure this out? Simple division.

After combing through columns and columns of data on income, home prices, and assorted other variables, we identified what we defined as “bad ZIP codes.” A bad ZIP code is one where more than half of all households can’t afford the median-price home in the area (i.e.,they don’t make enough money to even qualify for a loan).

Once we identified the bad ZIPs in a metro area, we simply divided that number by the number of total ZIPs in a metro area. The Miami metro area, for example, encompasses 185 ZIP codes, and in 80 of them—roughly 43%—more than half the households can’t afford a median-price home. That put it at No. 10 on our list.

What are the metro areas for Nos. 9 through 1? Click here