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August 31, 2021 at 8:00 AM EDT
Redfin Report Finds Most Affordable Locations for Teachers to Buy a Home
Merced, Calif.--an agricultural hub hit hard by the Great Recession--topped the list of U.S. metro areas where teachers had relatively high disposable incomes in 2020

SEATTLE, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- (NASDAQ: RDFN) -- The five most affordable areas for teachers to purchase homes in 2020 were all located in inland California, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. Redfin identified these areas through an analysis of median disposable incomes for teachers in the 157 U.S. metropolitan areas where there was sufficient income data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and sufficient housing-cost data from Redfin and other sources.

Five Most Affordable Metros for Teachers to Buy Homes In 2020

Metro Area

Median Disposable
Income for Teachers
Who Own Homes

Median Teacher
Salary

Median Annual
Homeownership Cost

Median Home
Sale Price

Merced, CA

$64,586

$99,637

$35,051

$277,000

Fresno, CA

$54,510

$89,170

$34,659

$275,000

Riverside, CA

$51,105

$91,220

$40,115

$350,000

Modesto, CA

$50,950

$88,899

$37,949

$335,000

Bakersfield, CA

$50,931

$87,710

$36,779

$238,000

In Merced, California, the median teacher salary was $99,637 last year, while the median annual homeownership cost was $35,051. That means teachers there had a median disposable income of $64,586—the highest among the 157 metros in this analysis. Next came Fresno, with a median disposable income of $54,510, followed by Riverside ($51,105), Modesto ($50,950) and Bakersfield ($50,931)

"Merced's affordability also comes from its distance to big cities. People travel up to an hour for fine dining, shopping and sometimes work," said Debbie Engel, a Keller Williams real estate agent and Redfin partner agent. "Still, Merced has been getting more expensive every year and real estate demand continues to peak. That's largely due to the presence of UC Merced and the area's affordability relative to other major California metros."

For Teachers Who Rent, Inland California Is Also Relatively Affordable
Merced also topped the list of metros where it was most affordable for teachers to rent housing in 2020. With a median annual rental cost of $31,635 and a median teacher salary of $99,637, teachers who rented homes in Merced had a median disposable income of $68,002 last year. The median teacher salary in Merced was higher than that of any other metro in this analysis.

Next came Bend, Oregon, with a median disposable income of $60,192 for teachers who rented. Bend has exploded in popularity in recent years as city-dwellers have moved there in search of relative affordability and access to nature—a dynamic that has caused home prices to surge.

Rounding out the top five were Fresno, Modesto and Bakersfield, which also ranked on the top-five list of metros where it was most affordable for teachers to purchase homes.

Five Most Affordable Metros for Teachers to Rent Homes In 2020

Metro Area

Median Disposable
Income for Teachers
Who Rent Homes

Median
Teacher Salary

Median Annual
Rental Cost

Median Monthly
Rental Cost

Merced, CA

$68,002

$99,637

$31,635

$2,636

Bend, OR

$60,192

$90,700

$30,508

$2,542

Fresno, CA

$57,211

$89,170

$31,959

$2,663

Modesto, CA

$56,007

$88,899

$32,891

$2,741

Bakersfield, CA

$55,103

$87,710

$32,607

$2,717

San Jose Is the Least Affordable Metro for Teachers to Purchase Homes
In San Jose, CA, the median teacher salary in 2020 was $90,314, while the median annual homeownership cost was $87,612. That left teachers with a median disposable income of just $2,703—the lowest among the 157 metros in this analysis. Next came Kahului, HI, with a median disposable income of $5,038, followed by St. George, UT ($6,560), Salinas, CA ($7,002) and Flagstaff, AZ ($8,388).

"San Jose is expensive, and those prices are going to keep on climbing. That's because housing demand is far outpacing supply," said local Redfin real estate agent Robert Garcia "Land is so scarce that there won't be many new affordable residential building projects in the near future. If anything is going to change, it will have to come from raising teacher salaries on a policy level."

Five Least Affordable Metros for Teachers to Buy Homes In 2020

Metro Area

Median Disposable
Income for Teachers
Who Own Homes

Median
Teacher
Salary

Median Annual
Homeownership Cost

Median Home
Sale Price

San Jose, CA

$2,703

$90,314

$87,612

$1,195,000

Kahului, HI

$5,038

$62,607

$57,569

$756,000

St. George, UT

$6,560

$42,680

$36,120

$330,000

Salinas, CA

$7,002

$63,680

$56,678

$675,000

Flagstaff, AZ

$8,388

$47,329

$38,941

$412,000

St. George, UT Is the Least Affordable Metro for Teachers to Rent Homes
The median teacher salary in St. George, UT—a desert city in the southwestern corner of the state—was $42,680 last year, while the median annual rental cost was $32,144. That translates to a median disposable income of $10,536—the lowest among all metros in Redfin's analysis. It was followed by Sierra Vista, AZ, with a median disposable income of $15,390, Twin Falls, ID ($17,319), Palm Bay, FL ($17,939) and Jackson, MS ($18,202).

"The city of Palm Bay itself isn't actually that pricey, but there are a handful of real estate hotspots within the larger metro area that raise the median home price in the region," said local Redfin real estate agent Michael Moore. "One of those hotspots is Melbourne Beach—a town on a barrier island with luxury mansions overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and/or intracoastal waterways. Many areas farther north in Melbourne have also become more expensive due to their proximity to defense contractors and Cape Canaveral, which employ many people in the area."

Five Least Affordable Metros for Teachers to Rent Homes In 2020

Metro Area

Median Disposable Income
for Teachers Who Rent
Homes

Median
Teacher
Salary

Median Annual
Rental Cost

Median Monthly
Rental Cost

St. George, UT

$10,536

$42,680

$32,144

$2,679

Sierra Vista, AZ

$15,390

$40,986

$25,596

$2,133

Twin Falls, ID

$17,319

$45,040

$27,721

$2,310

Palm Bay, FL

$17,939

$44,894

$26,955

$2,246

Jackson, MS

$18,202

$43,898

$25,697

$2,141

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/teacher-housing-affordability-2021

About Redfin
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, instant home-buying (iBuying), rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can take an instant cash offer from Redfin or have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 6,000 people.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, email press@redfin.com. To view Redfin's press center, click here.

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SOURCE Redfin

Redfin Journalist Services, Kenneth Applewhaite, 206-588-6863, press@redfin.com