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

hours americans pay mortgage 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

StateMedian Household IncomeMedian Household Hourly IncomeMedian Listing PriceHours to Afford30-year fixed-mortgage RateMonthly Mortgage PaymentHours to Afford
Alabama$43,511$20.85$175,0008,3943.71$88742.54
Alaska$71,829$34.42$280,0008,1353.72$1,38040.10
Arizona$49,928$23.92$255,00010,6593.70$1,26152.71
Arkansas$41,264$19.77$155,0007,8393.71$79340.11
California$61,489$29.46$475,00016,1223.75$2,30278.13
Colorado$59,448$28.48$367,26712,8933.79$1,90967.02
Connecticut$69,899$33.49$293,9488,7763.48$1,50044.79
Delaware$60,231$28.86$269,9009,3523.53$1,38948.13
District of Columbia$69,235$33.17$549,90016,5763.54$2,76383.29
Florida$47,212$22.62$255,49011,2943.68$1,33659.06
Georgia$49,342$23.64$199,9008,4553.55$1,04844.33
Hawaii$68,201$32.68$577,50017,6723.47$2,88088.13
Idaho$47,334$22.68$234,90010,3573.69$1,23454.41
Illinois$57,166$27.39$209,5007,6483.60$1,10040.16
Indiana$48,737$23.35$140,0005,9953.71$76432.72
Iowa$52,716$25.26$159,9006,3303.58$85433.81
Kansas$51,872$24.85$159,9006,4333.51$84934.16
Kentucky$43,342$20.77$161,9007,7963.71$87342.04
Louisiana$44,991$21.56$197,9009,1803.72$1,05348.85
Maine$48,804$23.38$217,0009,2803.62$1,13948.71
Maryland$74,149$35.53$284,9008,0193.54$1,46441.21
Massachusetts$67,846$32.51$389,00011,9663.51$1,96960.57
Michigan$49,087$23.52$149,0006,3353.68$76332.44
Minnesota$60,828$29.15$224,9007,7163.65$1,11538.26
Mississippi$39,464$18.91$160,0008,4613.81$82443.58
Missouri$47,764$22.89$154,9006,7683.55$78134.13
Montana$46,766$22.41$284,90012,7143.69$1,39962.43
Nebraska$52,400$25.11$179,9007,1653.65$90536.04
Nevada$52,205$25.01$249,0009,9543.73$1,23649.41
New Hampshire$65,986$31.62$259,0008,1923.64$1,27240.23
New Jersey$72,062$34.53$299,9008,6853.62$1,46042.28
New Mexico$44,968$21.55$215,0009,9783.59$1,06349.33
New York$58,687$28.12$348,88812,4073.74$1,70760.70
North Carolina$46,693$22.37$225,90010,0973.46$1,10049.17
North Dakota$55,579$26.63$239,0008,9743.72$1,18844.61
Ohio$48,849$23.41$140,0005,9813.66$72030.76
Oklahoma$46,235$22.15$166,4077,5113.71$89540.40
Oregon$50,521$24.21$309,50012,7853.75$1,61466.67
Pennsylvania$53,115$25.45$179,9007,0693.58$95237.41
Rhode Island$56,423$27.04$279,90010,3533.39$1,42052.52
South Carolina$45,033$21.58$218,90010,1453.66$1,15253.39
South Dakota$50,338$24.12$201,2008,3423.71$1,06944.32
Tennessee$44,621$21.38$179,9008,4143.52$94744.29
Texas$52,576$25.19$250,0009,9243.72$1,31352.12
Utah$59,846$28.68$299,00010,4273.70$1,55454.19
Vermont$54,447$26.09$239,9009,1963.45$1,23347.26
Virginia$64,792$31.05$289,9909,3413.79$1,52148.99
Washington$60,294$28.89$299,99910,3843.73$1,56354.10
West Virginia$41,576$19.92$158,9007,9763.70$85743.02
Wisconsin$52,738$25.27$177,0007,0043.61$94037.20
Wyoming$58,252$27.91$235,0008,4193.69$1,23544.25

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.