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It appears none of Massachusetts’ major metros are safe for a first-time homebuyer.

A new study from Harvard University housing researchers estimates that a family hoping to buy the median home in Greater Boston needs to make around twice the area’s median household income, while other major metros fair a little better.

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released the tabulations as part of its annual State of the Nation’s Housing report for 2022. The calculations were based on April home sales data and a 3.5 percent down payment on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan with zero points and a 4.98 percent interest rate – common terms for a first-time buyer. The state’s median single-family and condominium sale prices rose again in May and set new records according to The Warren Group, publisher of Banker & Tradesman.

In Greater Boston, aspiring homebuyers would have needed $181,254 per year to buy the median home, compared to the metro area’s median household income of $94,430 according to 2019 Census Bureau one-year estimates, the most recent available to non-researchers due to data collection issues with the 2020 Census.

Those buying in the Worcester metro would need to pull down $115,647 to make the median home there work, even though the median household income for that region is $76,348.

And in Greater Springfield, the median home calls for an $87,412 salary versus the region’s $62,346 median household income.

“At today’s prices, the typical down payment that a first-time buyer would need for [America’s] median-priced home is $27,400,” JCHS senior analyst Alexander Hermann said in a statement accompanying the report’s release. “Without help from family or other sources, this would rule out 92 percent of renters, whose median savings are just $1,500.

Comparing the Harvard estimates for the median home’s monthly carrying costs to Zillow’s estimate of April rents in the Boston, Worcester and Springfield metros shows the cost of owning has far outstripped the cost of renting in each area.

The monthly cost to own the median home in Greater Boston worked out to $4,682 once mortgage insurance, property taxes and closing costs were factored in on top of the mortgage payment, compared to Zillow’s typical-rent estimate of $2,744.

In metro Worcester, a new buyer’s monthly costs on the median home were $2,988, compared to the region’s $1,760 rent.

And in Greater Springfield, $2,258 would be needed to keep up with the monthly payments on the median home while April’s rent was only $1,592 per Zillow.

Statewide, JCHS researchers calculated that 46.7 percent of all apartment-dwellers were spending 30 percent or more of their income on rent, with 24.2 percent laying out at least 50 percent of their take.

First-Time Homebuyers’ Costs Soar Past Monthly Rents Statewide

by James Sanna time to read: 2 min