How Many Hours Americans Work to Pay Their Mortgage in Every State

Considering that housing is one the biggest expenses for many Americans, GOBankingRates wanted to find out how many of their hard-working hours go toward paying a mortgage each month. We surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia to see how many hours people actually have to work to afford a home.

The study used median home list prices, mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed loan, median household income and the Office of Personnel Management’s 2,087-hour divisor — the number of working hours in a year — to calculate the hourly pay from income.

What GOBankingRates found is that residents of most states have to work at least a 40-hour work week to afford a monthly mortgage payment. In several states, it takes 50 or more hours.

See the Slideshow: Here’s How Many Hours You Have to Work to Afford a Home in Each State

State Median Household Income Median Household Hourly Income Median Listing Price Hours to Afford 30-year fixed-mortgage Rate Monthly Mortgage Payment Hours to Afford
Alabama $43,511 $20.85 $175,000 8,394 3.71 $887 42.54
Alaska $71,829 $34.42 $280,000 8,135 3.72 $1,380 40.10
Arizona $49,928 $23.92 $255,000 10,659 3.70 $1,261 52.71
Arkansas $41,264 $19.77 $155,000 7,839 3.71 $793 40.11
California $61,489 $29.46 $475,000 16,122 3.75 $2,302 78.13
Colorado $59,448 $28.48 $367,267 12,893 3.79 $1,909 67.02
Connecticut $69,899 $33.49 $293,948 8,776 3.48 $1,500 44.79
Delaware $60,231 $28.86 $269,900 9,352 3.53 $1,389 48.13
District of Columbia $69,235 $33.17 $549,900 16,576 3.54 $2,763 83.29
Florida $47,212 $22.62 $255,490 11,294 3.68 $1,336 59.06
Georgia $49,342 $23.64 $199,900 8,455 3.55 $1,048 44.33
Hawaii $68,201 $32.68 $577,500 17,672 3.47 $2,880 88.13
Idaho $47,334 $22.68 $234,900 10,357 3.69 $1,234 54.41
Illinois $57,166 $27.39 $209,500 7,648 3.60 $1,100 40.16
Indiana $48,737 $23.35 $140,000 5,995 3.71 $764 32.72
Iowa $52,716 $25.26 $159,900 6,330 3.58 $854 33.81
Kansas $51,872 $24.85 $159,900 6,433 3.51 $849 34.16
Kentucky $43,342 $20.77 $161,900 7,796 3.71 $873 42.04
Louisiana $44,991 $21.56 $197,900 9,180 3.72 $1,053 48.85
Maine $48,804 $23.38 $217,000 9,280 3.62 $1,139 48.71
Maryland $74,149 $35.53 $284,900 8,019 3.54 $1,464 41.21
Massachusetts $67,846 $32.51 $389,000 11,966 3.51 $1,969 60.57
Michigan $49,087 $23.52 $149,000 6,335 3.68 $763 32.44
Minnesota $60,828 $29.15 $224,900 7,716 3.65 $1,115 38.26
Mississippi $39,464 $18.91 $160,000 8,461 3.81 $824 43.58
Missouri $47,764 $22.89 $154,900 6,768 3.55 $781 34.13
Montana $46,766 $22.41 $284,900 12,714 3.69 $1,399 62.43
Nebraska $52,400 $25.11 $179,900 7,165 3.65 $905 36.04
Nevada $52,205 $25.01 $249,000 9,954 3.73 $1,236 49.41
New Hampshire $65,986 $31.62 $259,000 8,192 3.64 $1,272 40.23
New Jersey $72,062 $34.53 $299,900 8,685 3.62 $1,460 42.28
New Mexico $44,968 $21.55 $215,000 9,978 3.59 $1,063 49.33
New York $58,687 $28.12 $348,888 12,407 3.74 $1,707 60.70
North Carolina $46,693 $22.37 $225,900 10,097 3.46 $1,100 49.17
North Dakota $55,579 $26.63 $239,000 8,974 3.72 $1,188 44.61
Ohio $48,849 $23.41 $140,000 5,981 3.66 $720 30.76
Oklahoma $46,235 $22.15 $166,407 7,511 3.71 $895 40.40
Oregon $50,521 $24.21 $309,500 12,785 3.75 $1,614 66.67
Pennsylvania $53,115 $25.45 $179,900 7,069 3.58 $952 37.41
Rhode Island $56,423 $27.04 $279,900 10,353 3.39 $1,420 52.52
South Carolina $45,033 $21.58 $218,900 10,145 3.66 $1,152 53.39
South Dakota $50,338 $24.12 $201,200 8,342 3.71 $1,069 44.32
Tennessee $44,621 $21.38 $179,900 8,414 3.52 $947 44.29
Texas $52,576 $25.19 $250,000 9,924 3.72 $1,313 52.12
Utah $59,846 $28.68 $299,000 10,427 3.70 $1,554 54.19
Vermont $54,447 $26.09 $239,900 9,196 3.45 $1,233 47.26
Virginia $64,792 $31.05 $289,990 9,341 3.79 $1,521 48.99
Washington $60,294 $28.89 $299,999 10,384 3.73 $1,563 54.10
West Virginia $41,576 $19.92 $158,900 7,976 3.70 $857 43.02
Wisconsin $52,738 $25.27 $177,000 7,004 3.61 $940 37.20
Wyoming $58,252 $27.91 $235,000 8,419 3.69 $1,235 44.25

Key Study Findings

Nine of the 10 states where homebuyers have to work the fewest hours to earn enough to make a monthly mortgage payment are in the Midwest. Ohio residents have to work the least — just 30.76 hours.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Hawaii homebuyers have to toil 88.13 hours to afford a home — nearly three times as long as Ohio residents. The District of Columbia is the only other place on our list where it takes more than 80 hours of work each month to cover the cost of a monthly mortgage.

In general, residents of Western states have to work longer to afford a home because prices are higher. California, Colorado, Oregon, Montana and Idaho are among the top 10 places where it takes more hours to earn enough to pay the mortgage.

However, lower housing costs don’t necessarily translate into fewer hours of work to pay a mortgage. Several Southern states where the median home listing price and mortgage payment are relatively low fall into the mid-range of hours of work needed because the median income in those states is low.

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia to identify how many hours of work is needed to pay a monthly mortgage. GOBankingRates sourced median home list prices in each state using May 2016 Zillow data. Current mortgage rates in each state were sourced on July 6, 2016, from RateWatch.

GOBankingRates then used the Zillow mortgage calculator to determine the monthly mortgage payment, assuming a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year fixed loan. The mortgage calculator also took insurance and taxes into consideration to determine the monthly mortgage payment.

Median household income figures were based on 2014 Census Bureau data. We then used the Office of Personnel Management’s 2,087-hour divisor — the number of working hours in a year — to get calculate the hourly pay from income.

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