In the end, buying a home all comes down to dollars and cents, and Boston’s qualifying incomes differ in interesting ways with the rest of the U.S.
To qualify for a mortgage on a 5 percent down payment, Boston homebuyers can expect a qualifying income of around $84,210, according to a new analysis by the National Association of Realtors; furthermore, qualifying incomes fall to $79,778 with 10 percent down and $70,914 with 20 percent down.
There are some interesting details in NAR’s data, including:
- Qualifying incomes are relatively high in Boston; for instance, they are roughly double that of Houston, Atlanta and Chicago, though they remain far below what the poor residents of San Francisco must show, where a 5 percent down payment comes with a whopping $163,256 qualifying income.
- In an interesting sign of seasonality, qualifying incomes were lower in 2014’s fourth quarter (the basis for NAR’s analysis) than the third quarter; for instance, with a 20 percent down payment, qualifying incomes in Boston dropped from $74,905 to the present $70,914.
Check out our graph below for a fuller picture of the qualifying income landscape: