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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

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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Economist Examines Correlation Between Tech Boom and Home Prices

What sort of affect has the technology boom had on housing affordability in so-called ""tech hub"" markets? In a recent blog post, Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko argues that a higher price of living isn't a new problem for most tech-centric metros. Instead, he says, these markets are experiencing the lasting effects of having been some of the worst-hit during the bubble's collapse, contributing to their relatively larger price rebounds compared to most the country.

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Recovery Expected to Enter ‘Middle Innings’ in 2014

While the housing market is still far from normal, it is inching that way, according to a report released Thursday from Zillow. Last year's skyrocketing home price appreciation, frenzied demand from investors, and high tide of negative equity are all expected to subside somewhat this year, according to the real estate company. In fact, some of the markets that posted the highest price gains in 2013 are already slowing, a welcome sign for those that were at risk of crossing into "bubble territory."

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Home Values Up 7.1% in November, Slowdown Expected

Zillow's Home Value Index (HVI) stood at $168,900 in November, an increase of 0.6 percent month-over-month. On a yearly basis, the index was up 7.1 percent, reflecting a slight slowdown from the 7.3 percent peak recorded in the summer. For the next 12-month period, Zillow anticipates "moderating influences" will lead to a fairly significant leveling off in appreciation rates, with values rising an estimated 4.6 percent to a national average of $176,731.

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