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SAN DIEGO — While San Diego may not be the most expensive city to own a home, it is considered the least affordable.

According to a study conducted by, San Diego ranks as the most unaffordable city in terms of real estate in relation to income.

“In more than 90 percent of the zip codes, less than half of the people can afford to buy homes. That’s the worst in any metropolitan area in the U.S.,” said University of San Diego economics professor Alan Gin.

The median price for a San Diego home is $440,000 and the median income is just under $60,000. However, $90,000 median income is required to qualify for a home.

“We’ve heard about the San Diego discount and it’s true, whether it’s for our sports, for the athletes or the people that just grew up here,” said Berkshire Hathaway agent Tom Holmes.

Despite the inflation lacking to meet the rise in market prices, Homes said the industry is booming.

“Yeah we are crushing it, absolutely,” said Holmes. “I’m working with a lot of buyers that are using multiple sources of income, whether their friend or a family member is stepping up to help them with the down payment or they are buying with a group. There are also great loan programs happening, interest rates are below 4 percent and again, people are buying a payment and studies show it’s cheaper to own than to rent.”

Los Angeles, San Jose, New York and San Francisco round out the top five least affordable cities in the country.

Holmes added that the affordability issues go hand in hand with the demand in each city.

“Worst case scenario, our prices continue to escalate. The other factor is our interest rates. If they continue to stay low, our payments will go down,” said Holmes.

Keeping the market soaring are also many out of state and foreign buyers, which does little for the locals still trying to buy, especially first-time buyers.

“People want to own homes so they will either move out of the region or commute long distances which is bad for family life,” said Gin.