(Bloomberg) -- The income needed to comfortably afford a home in the US has leapt 80% since 2020, far exceeding a 23% increase in median income over the same period, according to a post on Thursday by Zillow.

The real estate website found home buyers today need to make more than $106,000 a year, up $47,000 from 2020, a change driven largely by higher prices and borrowing costs.

“Housing costs have soared over the past four years as drastic hikes in home prices, mortgage rates and rent growth far outpaced wage gains,” said Orphe Divounguy, a senior economist at Zillow. 

In 2020, a household earning $59,000 a year could comfortably afford the monthly mortgage on a typical US home, assuming the general rule of thumb that a buyer can spend up to 30% of their income on housing and make a 10% down payment. 

That was less than the US median income of about $66,000 at the time, meaning more than half of American households had the financial means to afford homeownership.

Today it takes roughly $106,500 in income to afford a typical home, and median earnings are about $81,000, putting a home purchase out of reach for most families.

A model created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta similarly shows US homes, on average, fell below an affordability threshold in May 2021 and have remained there since. The Fed’s Home Ownership Affordability Monitor Index measures the ability of a median-income household to absorb the estimated annual costs of owning a median-priced home. The model, which incorporates nearly 20 years of data, found houses are in their longest stretch below the threshold since 2009.

The Zillow study, meanwhile, showed the monthly mortgage payment on a typical home has nearly doubled since January 2020, to $2,188 (assuming a 10% down payment), according to the report. Mortgage rates have eased in recent months as investors expect the Federal Reserve to begin cutting their benchmark interest rate this year. 

“Mortgage rates easing down has helped some, but the key to improving affordability long term is to build more homes,” Divounguy said.

In 14 large housing markets, led by a handful of cities in California, Zillow estimated that household income must be $150,000 or more to comfortably afford a typical home. Among the 50 largest metropolitan areas studied, only Pittsburgh still had an income threshold for affordability below the $59,000 national average from 2020.

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