Sizing up from a condo to a house in Houston

by Emily Marek

Condominium owners looking for more space, access to outdoor areas and increased distance from neighbors often consider a detached home to be a natural upgrade. But are these upsizing dreams actually attainable?

Using data from Yardi Matrix and various realtor associations, real estate site Point2 Homes determined what it takes to move from a condominium to a single-family home in the 200 largest cities in America. In Houston, the median condo costs $217,000, while the median house costs $320,000. That’s a net difference of $103,000, or 47%. Given that the median income in Houston is $55,499, it would cost nearly two years’ salary to afford the price difference.

In nearby Pasadena, where median income is slightly higher and home prices are slightly lower, the price difference to income ratio is 1.2 — meaning it would take just over a year’s salary to make the switch from condo to house.

While that’s a steep cost, homes in many of the metros on Point2 Homes’ list have much weightier values associated with sizing up: in Los Angeles, the price difference between the median condo and the median house amounts to six years’ wages. The highest noted ratio was seen in Irvine, California, where it takes nine years’ salary to afford the upgrade.

On the flip side, condo prices outweigh home prices in several large metros areas. Prospective buyers can actually expect to turn a profit when “upgrading” from a condo to a detached home in Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Memphis and Cleveland.

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