Cash is king in real estate, but the reality is that most home buyers will need to take out a mortgage in order to afford a house. Many properties require at least a 20 percent down payment (less than that requires private mortgage insurance), while the rest can be financed through a mortgage loan. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 63% of homeowners have a mortgage. However, the median home prices where you live determine not only how much you will need to amass as a down payment, but also what your monthly mortgage payment will be.
Our new visualization uses data from Zillow Research and the St. Louis Fed to find the metro areas with the most expensive and least expensive mortgage payments. The darker shades of pink indicate higher monthly mortgage payments, while lighter shades of pink are lower monthly mortgage payments. We have assumed a 20% down payment as well as a 30-year mortgage duration. The 4.08% average interest rate for a 30-year mortgage has been retrieved from FRED on 04/04/19. No taxes or insurance payment is included in our analysis. To see how we arrived at our calculations, you can view our spreadsheet here.
Top 5 Metros With the Most Expensive Mortgage Payments
1. San Jose, CA – $4,008
2. San Francisco, CA – $2,994
3. Vineyard Haven, MA – $2,963
4. Santa Cruz, CA – $2,940
5. Edwards, CO – $2,488
Bottom 5 Metros With the Least Expensive Mortgage Payments
1. Coffeyville, KS – $205
2. Newport, TN – $259
3. Union City, TN – $283
4. Rockingham, NC – $294
5. Martin, TN – $296
Overall, mortgage payments tend to be less expensive in the South and the Midwest and most expensive in the Northeast and the West. Seven of the top ten most expensive metros are located in California, especially centered around Silicon Valley. The monthly mortgage payment in the most expensive metro, San Jose ($4,008), is about 33% higher than the second-most expensive metro, San Francisco ($2,994). The cost of a monthly mortgage in San Jose is also almost 20 times greater than the mortgage cost in Coffeyville, KS ($205), the least expensive metro on this list.
Curious to see how much you would have to earn in order to afford a house in the largest U.S. metros? You can view that visualization here.
Data: Table 1.1