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SLO County is sixth most unaffordable place to live in the U.S.

The de Tolosa development in San Luis Obispo.
The de Tolosa development in San Luis Obispo. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

San Luis Obispo County is the sixth most unaffordable place to live in the United States, according to a new survey released by RealtyTrac, a national real estate firm.

It’s not the first time the area has made such a list, given average annual wages and the cost of housing here.

The RealtyTrac report analyzed median home prices from publicly recorded sales data in the second quarter of this year and average wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 417 U.S. counties. It said its affordability index was based on the percentage of average wages needed to make monthly house payments on a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed rate and a 3 percent down payment — including property taxes and insurance.

Another way of putting it: Wages in these counties aren’t keeping pace with home price appreciation.

» Related: The 15 best-paying jobs in San Luis Obispo County

The list of least affordable counties was led by Kings County (Brooklyn, New York), where 121.7 percent of average weekly wages is needed to buy a median-priced home; followed by Marin County (118.1 percent), Santa Cruz County (113.5 percent), San Francisco County (94.6 percent) and Maui County, Hawaii (92.8 percent).

In San Luis Obispo County, the report found, 90.4 percent of average weekly wages is needed to buy a median-priced home. That compares with 84.5 percent in Monterey County and 72.4 percent in Santa Barbara County.

In contrast, the top three most affordable counties to live in the nation were Clayton County in the Atlanta metro area (requiring just 10.4 percent of average weekly wages to buy a median-priced home); Wayne County, Michigan, in the Detroit metro area (10.9 percent); and the city of Baltimore, Maryland (11.6 percent).

These occupations aren't the highest-paying in San Luis Obispo County, but they'll still get you a six-figure paycheck.

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