Home >> Tag Archives: Housing Affordability (page 10)

Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Chicago Ranks as Nation’s Most Affordable Market

ZipRealty released Tuesday its list of the top 10 most affordable housing markets of 2014, ranking Chicago as the No. 1 affordable metro. Based on median home sales price data and estimated family income, ZipRealty calculated an Affordability Index of 2.2 for the Windy City, meaning homes are available for just more than twice the annual average household income ($72,400 against a median price of $160,000).

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Analysts: Despite Challenges, Housing Still Attractive

In an analysis gauging the recovery’s progress, Fitch Ratings listed harsh winter weather across the country as one of the biggest factors moderating the housing recovery, though higher interest rates and home prices have also provided some drag. Affordability will likely only deteriorate. Looking at 2014, Fitch expects new home prices to rise between 2.5–3.5 percent, with existing-home prices also moving up.

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41% of Homes Unaffordable on Two Median Incomes

In the nation’s largest cities, a median income is not sufficient to purchase a median-priced home. In fact, even households with two median incomes cannot afford median-priced homes in the 40 largest cities in the United States, according to a Redfin survey released last week. Redfin’s findings concur with data from Zillow revealing median-income earners in Southern California cannot afford more than half of homes for sale in their market.

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One-Third of For-Sale Homes Considered ‘Unaffordable’

Recovery in the housing market is not without its side effects, particularly in major metro markets on the West Coast and in Florida. A look into 35 major markets by Zillow reveals that buyers making the median income in Southern California, the Bay Area, Portland (Oregon), Denver, and Miami face markets where more than half the available homes are beyond their price range—which could mean the beginning of a new housing bubble.

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Fed Officials: Housing Still in Sustainable Rebound

Despite warnings raised by some analysts in the wake of softening data releases, housing is still in the midst of “what appears to be a sustainable rebound,” say officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Included in that group is Richard Fisher, Dallas Fed president and CEO and one of the more hawkish Fed governors who will have a vote in monetary policy issues this year.

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Buying Costs Still Beat Renting, but for How Long?

Despite reports of declining home affordability nationwide, Trulia’s latest data shows purchasing a home still remains more affordable than renting in the largest markets—though the scale is close to tipping in a few. Mortgage rates would have to climb to 10.6 percent before ownership costs eclipsed rental costs on a national scale, Trulia says in its Winter 2014 Rent vs. Buy Report. For some markets, however, that number dips as low as 5.0 percent.

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Builder Study Shows Signs of Stabilizing Affordability

While most other reports have indicated a decline in Americans’ ability to pay for homes at the national median price ($205,000 as of Q4), NAHB’s latest index actually shows relative stability, with 64.7 percent of new and existing homes sold in Q4 classified as “affordable” to families earning the median income of $64,400. That result is a slight step up from the index reading of 64.5 percent recorded in Q3.

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Declining Affordability: Shock or Not?

Yes, affordability (as measured by the National Association of Realtors' Housing Affordability Index) is down as much as 22 percent from its January 2013 peak, but is still far higher than it was in the early 2000s, says CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming in the company's February MarketPulse report. Moreover, Fleming notes the problem of "unaffordable housing" is one that only really exists for first-time homebuyers.

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Monthly Home Payments Up 21% in Q4

RealtyTrac released Thursday a new housing affordability analysis, noting an average 21 percent increase in monthly house payments from a year ago. The report showed that the average house payment of a home purchased in the fourth quarter of 2013 rose to $865. That figure is based on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4.46 percent and a 20 percent down payment.

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Trends Showcase Affordability Issues as Prices Rise

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its latest quarterly reports Tuesday, highlighting deteriorating conditions for housing affordability as prices keep trending upward. The national median existing single-family home price was $196,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10.1 percent from $178,900 in the fourth quarter of 2012. As ever, the association says the increase was driven by a tight supply of existing homes and a decline in production of new houses.

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