A $300,000 Salary Feels Like $100,000 In These U.S. Cities

Smart Asset conducted a study adjusting $100,000 for the local cost of living in 76 of the largest cities in the U.S. using data from the Council for Community and Economic Research using an index that took into account the price of housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and other necessary purchases for Q3 2022.  The study found that three major U.S. cities required take home pay of over $300,000 to be able to spend like you earn $100,000 per year. Among them, of course, is San Francisco: "Residents of Honolulu, New York City and San Francisco who earn this amount are taxed roughly 40.5% or higher and have a cost of living more than 82% above the national average."

The study also found that it is easiest to "make it" in Texas - which could explain the massive defection currently taking place, wherein California residents are hauling their belongings to, and putting up roots in, the lonestar state. 

Houston is #6

"Salaries in El Paso, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Houston, San Antonio, Fort Worth and Arlington can be as low as $119,300 while feeling like a true $100,000. Texans at this income level hold onto an average of 5.7 percentage points more of their annual salaries compared to states that charge income taxes, while the cost of living across Texas is generally lower than the national average," the study reads.

Commercial Real Estate is NOT, I repeat is NOT the same sized problem it was thirty 30 years ago. CRE mortgages are WAY below the percentage of outstanding total mortgages than when the CRE recession hit in 1990.

US residential construction shows signs of resilience, with housing starts and building permits holding up well in March.

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There are 1.674 million units under construction, just 37 thousand below the all-time record of 1.711 million set in October 2022.

Millennial homeownership by city

Rents are down on a year-over-year basis for the first time since the COVID shock, according to Redfin.

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According to CoreLogic, single-family housing rent inflation is slowing rapidly, led by higher-price detached properties.

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In the second quarter of 2022, two thirds of housing markets around the world saw prices falling. Remember, it was advanced economies around the world who responded to pandemic-driven crashes by flooding their economies with cash.

Housing decline pushing down housing-related retail sales

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Scott Davis


1302 Waugh Drive #178

Houston, Texas 77019

832.304.DIRT (3478)