Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the location of Collier County.
(NEXSTAR) – If you dream of buying a house in California, you already know the struggle is real. Many people have watched home prices in their humble hometowns quickly grow out-of-reach.
A report by MoneyGeek identified 26 U.S. counties that have made that shift since 2019, going from affordable to unaffordable in just a few years. To compile its list, MoneyGeek said it looked at counties with more than 250,000 people that are seeing population growth. From there, analysts looked at how much home prices have gone up since 2019 and compared the cost of owning a home to the area’s median income.
Counties like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Clara didn’t make the list because they’ve been considered “unaffordable” for longer than just a few years, a MoneyGeek analyst told Nexstar. In two California counties – San Francisco and Santa Clara – the median home price tops $1.1 million.
But one more California county did make the list of newly unaffordable areas: Sacramento. According to MoneyGeek’s analysis, home prices in Sacramento County have appreciated by 40% in three years, pushing it into the “unaffordable” category.
The median home price in Sacramento County is around $460,000. That doesn’t sound terrible by California standards, until you realize the median income in the county is $39,434.
Sacramento County ranked twelfth on the list of U.S. counties that have grown unaffordable since 2019.
The counties where home ownership has grown unaffordable since 2019, according to MoneyGeek, are:
- Ada County, Idaho
- Collier County, Florida
- Travis County, Texas
- Williamson County, Texas
- Washoe County, Nevada
- Douglas County, Colorado
- Davis County, Utah
- Larimer County, Colorado
- Salt Lake County, Utah
- Kitsap County, Washington
- St. Johns County, Florida
- Sacramento County, California
- Spokane County, Washington
- Snohomish County, Washington
- Merced County, California
- Clark County, Nevada
- Pierce County, Washington
- Sarasota County, Florida
- Charleston County, South Carolina
- Thurston County, Washington
- Jefferson County, Colorado
- Marion County, Oregon
- Collin County, Texas
- Maricopa County, Arizona
- Buncombe County, North Carolina
- Clark County, Washington
In many of these counties, as in Sacramento, the price of homes have grown far faster than incomes, making home ownership more and more out of reach for the average resident. See the median income and median home price of each county in MoneyGeek’s full report.