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Affordability Easing in Some U.S. Metros

Prospective buyers received a bit of good news, as NerdWallet reported more homes became affordable in Q3 2022 for first-time buyers.

Overall, home affordability improved in 25 metros across the U.S., with metros in Rust Belt being the most affordable.

Pittsburgh saw homes listed at 2.9 times first-time buyer incomes as the most affordable metro studied. It was followed by Cleveland (3.3); Buffalo, New York (3.5); St. Louis (3.6); and Detroit (3.8). 

The West Coast continues to be the nation's most unaffordable market, with Los Angeles having homes listed at 11 times first-time buyer incomes. San Diego (9.2); Miami (8.8); San Jose (8.6); and San Francisco (7.6) joined the list. 

Cleveland had the nation’s lowest list price of Q3 at $223,2229, as San Jose reported the highest at $1.39 million.

NerdWallet also reported that the number of homes for sales rose 50% from last quarter across the nation. Also, not one city across the 50 metros studied saw a decline in listings from quarter-to-quarter.

Five metros saw active listings rise by 100% or more–Salt Lake City (+100%); Nashville, Tennessee (+107%); Austin, Texas (+115%); Phoenix (+115%); and Raleigh, North Carolina (+120%).

Mortgage rates continue to be a sore spot for buyers. NerdWallet added that a $350,000, 30-year mortgage at 5% interest--where rates were in April--results in a $2,500 monthly payment. However, a rate of 7%--in the range of current rates–causes that payment to grow to $3,000.

Freddie Mac reported the third-consecutive decline for mortgage rates on December 1. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage came in at 6.49%--down from the prior week’s rate of 6.58%. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at more than half that total at  3.11%. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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