It now takes a yearly income of $96.513 to be able to afford a median price home in Los Angeles—$481.000. That is the third highest in the country. The highest needed income of $145,361 is In San Francisco, and the second highest of $101,682 is in San Diego. These figures assume a 30-year mortgage at 4.25% and a 20% down payment. As a result, the housing market in California is needless to say slow, although as one would expect, the high-end market is doing quite well. Yes, there is the other end of the spectrum where the lowest needed yearly salary for a median priced house in that area is in Pittsburgh with $32,373. Regardless of those few housing markets that appear affordable, the high cost of housing in several key areas of the country continues to exclude an increasingly larger group of people. It’s only a matter of time before such prices have more general consequences because rents are affected too. The cost of housing in turn affects disposable income, and when it does, it’s a concern, because with less money, people spend less and the economy of that area suffers. The housing numbers, collected by the mortgage research firm HSH.com, may seem dull but behind them there are realities affecting many lives—and a new poll tells us the American Dream. That’s why high housing costs have prompted both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mae to announce new housing programs with down payments as low as 3%, given that 20% down payment is a main obstacle to home ownership. Less people now believe that the American Dream, so centered on owning your own home, is within reach. These measures are a good step, but it’ll take a whole lot more than scattered efforts to restore the average person’s faith that the American dream can still be part of the national psyche.