Honolulu Tops List of Least Affordable Metro Cities

Home ownership still a struggle in this brisk market.

No surprise, Honolulu is again ranked the least affordable for home ownership for medium-sized metro areas, according to finance site NerdWallet.com.

The website surveyed 100 metro areas and divided median home sale prices by the median household income to determine where homeownership is the least feasible for the average consumer. The higher the ratio of median home price to household income, the less affordable the metro area is.

1 Honolulu, HI $72,292 $661,500 9.2
2 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $82,614 $403,000 4.9
3 Charleston-North Charleston, SC $51,546 $221,700 4.3
4 Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice, FL $48,450 $203,900 4.2
5 Reno-Sparks, NV $54,077 $218,400 4.0
6 Portland-South Portland-Biddleford, ME $58,868 $228,900 4.0
7 Tallahassee, FL $45,027 $171,900 3.8
8 Colorado Springs, CO $57,549 $216,800 3.8
9 Shreveport-Bossier City, LA $43,799 $162,400 3.7
10 Durham, NC $52,143 $192,700 3.7
  Median     4.0
  Min     3.7
  Max     9.2


Honolulu is considered “medium-sized” for a metro area, which is defined as a population between 300,000 and 1 million people. (I think we kind of toe the line on the population number, but we would still rank second against the large metro areas in the survey.) Our home price-to-income ratio was 9.2, with the median home price here at $661,500; the next-highest ratio was Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn. at 4.9.

Compare this to the highest-ranking large metro areas: Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, Calif. topped that list with a ratio of 10.8, while San Francisco was second with a ratio of 8.8.

NerdWallet did point out a piece of hope for Hawaii residents: Rycroft Terrace, set to open this month across the Pagoda Hotel, will offer 162 units priced between $123,480 and $274,990. Developer Peter Savio says applicants making 30 percent or less of Honolulu’s median income will get priority housing.