Real Estate Report

Where Houston ranks among most affordable cities for the average household

Where Houston ranks among most affordable cities for average household

Houston skyline
Home values in Houston are right in line with what the average household can afford. Sean Pavone/Getty Images

A new real estate report reveals how much home the average household can afford in the country's 50 largest cities, and Houston lands right in the middle. 

Houston ranks No. 28 out of 50 on SmartAsset's 2020 edition of "Where the average household can afford the most and least home."

The financial website crunched the numbers by looking at the median household income in each city and the average non-mortgage debt in each state to estimate how much home the average household could afford. That figure was then compared to the area's median home value to determine affordability. 

With a local median household income of $52,450 and Texas' average non-mortgage debt of $27,193, SmartAsset reports that the average household can afford a home priced at $199,000.

The median home value in the area, according to the Census Bureau’s 2019 1-year American Community Survey, is $195,800, meaning the median-priced home is within reach for the average household. The study presents this as an affordability ratio of 101.63 percent.

Several other Texas cities join Houston on the affordable side of the spectrum. El Paso ranks No. 9 in the U.S., with an affordability ratio of 133.23 percent. Fort Worth (No. 13) and San Antonio (No. 14) are right behind with ratios of 122.73 percent and 121.57 percent, respectively, and Arlington comes in at No. 20 with a ratio of 112.25 percent.

Dallas, No. 30, and Austin, No. 36, are the least affordable of the Texas cities included in the study. The median home price is out of reach for the average household in both cities. Dallas clocks in with an affordability ratio of 92.91 percent; in Austin, it's 83.8 percent.

The least affordable place in the U.S. is New York City, where the average household can afford only 42.45 percent of the median home value.