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Dayton tops national list of cities where teachers, cops and others can most afford to live


Restaurant workers, first responders, teachers and even some doctors can’t afford to live where they work in some places of the country.

The Dayton metro area leads the nation in the percentage of lower-wage workers and public servants who can afford to purchase homes.

In many of America’s largest housing markets, those who serve their cities can’t even afford to live there.

The Dayton metro area, though, leads the nation in how many restaurant workers, cops, firefighters and teachers can afford to live in the communities where they work, according to a study

Analysts from Trulia, the online residential real estate website, examined housing prices in nearly 100 major U.S. metro areas as well as the corresponding incomes of teachers, first responders, restaurant workers and doctors to see whether they could afford to purchase a home where they serve.

» Trulia: Teacher, teacher, can you live here? 

Restaurant workers, first responders and teachers are all but priced out of some expensive markets such as San Jose, Calif., and nearby San Francisco, where the median home list price comes in at more than $1.24 million. Only about 42 percent of doctors can afford a mortgage in San Francisco on one income. 

» RELATED: Local housing markets among “healthiest” in Ohio

» RELATED: Thousands of area rental properties get tax break meant for homeowners

By comparison, almost 99.6 percent of doctors can afford to purchase a home in the Dayton region, followed by 83.3 percent of teachers, 75 percent of first responders and 32.4 percent of restaurant workers. 

Nationally, the typical American worker makes $37,040 annually, while the typical American house costs a median of $254,900, according to the study.

» Dayton Daily News real estate

The report defined affordability as a monthly housing payment taking up no more than 31 percent of one’s paycheck. Affordability increases with the addition of a second household income. 

Here’s a look at Dayton’s affordability compared to Chicago, which falls about in the middle, and San Francisco on the other end of the nation’s housing affordability spectrum. 


OccupationMedian income, 2016Median list price, 2017% affordable listings, 2017% affordable, two incomes, 2017
Doctors$208,000*$129,000 99.59100
Teachers$61,810 $129,000 83.3297.53
First responders$49,405 $129,000 75.0294.96
Restaurant workers$19,736 $129,000 32.4365.87


OccupationMedian income, 2016Median list price, 2017% affordable listings, 2017% affordable, two incomes, 2017
Doctors$208,000*$279,000 90.7097.4
Teachers$70,483 $279,000 52.4080.2
First responders$75,600 $279,000 55.3085.4
Restaurant workers$21,338 $279,000 7.0011.9

San Francisco

OccupationMedian income, 2016Median list price, 2017% affordable listings, 2017% affordable, two incomes, 2017
Doctors$208,000*$1,249,000 41.6077.7
Teachers$72,340 $1,249,000 0.3914.46
First responders$100,625 $1,249,000 2.6239.17
Restaurant workers$28,612 $1,249,000 0.000.17
SOURCE: Trulia analysis of government data including Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2016
*Annual median income that exceeds $208,000 is not reported. There were 24 markets where doctors made at least $208,000 so Trulia imputed that amount but can assume in some places doctors could make significantly more, impacting the share of homes they would be able to afford.

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