A new report addressing home affordability – which was cited by the Wall Street Journal – shows that it takes longer for home-buyers in the City of Tallahassee to save for a down payment to purchase a home than in a number of other Florida cities.
In January 2019, one of the top priorities set by the Tallahassee City Commission was affordable housing.
The report, by the real-estate firm Unison, calculated how long it would take to save up a down payment on the median home in a given city by saving 5 percent of the city’s gross median income per year.
Nationally, the gap between income and home value has been rising. Using Unison’s methodology, it took nine years to save up a down payment in 1975. Now it takes 14.
What about Tallahassee?
The chart below lists information for Tallahassee, selected Florida cities and other comparable cities.
To accumulate a 10% down payment for a 2018 median priced home in Tallahassee – by annually saving 5% of Tallahassee’s median household income of $42,531 – would take approximately 9 years.
Under the same scenario, it would take a potential home buyer in Miami 18 years to save the required down payment.
Looking at other Florida cities, it takes home buyers in Tallahassee one year longer to save a down payment than in Gainesville, Tampa, Orlando and Panama City, two years longer than in Pensacola and three years longer than in Jacksonville.
Among the sixteen cities selected for comparison, Tallahassee ranks as 5th least affordable. For the components used in the methodology, the median home value in Tallahassee ranks 7th highest among the selected cities and the median household income ranks 12th highest.
In two cities – Pensacola, & Jacksonville – the median household income is significantly higher than in Tallahassee and the median home price is lower than in Tallahassee.
Looking at other comparable cities in the South, Tallahassee fares better in the affordable measure than Boulder, Colorado, Greenville, South Carolina, and Austin, Texas. Tallahassee lags behind eleven other cities in the table, which include Nashville, Baton Rouge, and Chattanooga.