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Housing Affordability At Its Worst Level Since 2008 Financial Crisis

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Home affordability is at its worst rate since 2008. A 'House For Sale' sign is visible in front of an existing home December 29, 2005 in Park Ridge, Illinois. Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

By Alex Perry, International Business Times

A new study confirmed what many Americans have felt in recent years: It is more financially difficult to own a home than it has been in a long time. Recently released data suggests people in large portions of the United States do not make enough money to buy median-priced homes, thanks to rising mortgage rates and an overabundance of luxury properties.


The data came from Attom Data Solutions. The firm tracks home affordability around the U.S. on a quarterly basis, using an index to determine if homes are more or less affordable than a historic average. If the index is above 100, home affordability is better than usual; if it dips below 100, there is a problem.

According to Attom’s latest report, housing prices in Q2 2018 scored a 95 on the index, their lowest levels since Q3 2008. As many people may remember, Q3 2008 is when the world economy hit a massive recession.

The main problem, according to the report, is that mortgage rates have risen too much. Price appreciation slowed, which is good news, but the 30-year fixed rate nationwide averages out to about 4.4 percent, up from 3.8 percent a year ago, according to Yahoo Finance. That, combined with too much development in the luxury market as opposed to affordable housing, has made it prohibitively expensive to buy homes in much of the country.

The problem is, predictably, worst in trendy coastal cities like San Francisco and New York. According to the interactive home affordability map provided by Attom, the average Bay Area resident would need a staggering 133 percent of their annual income to own a home. New York does not fare much better, with a rate of 123 percent in the same category.

Most of the rest of the country hovers between 20 and 50 percent of annual income needed to own a median-priced home. All told, the average wage earner could not feasibly own a home in 75 percent of markets, according to Attom’s report.

Even renting can be extraordinarily difficult in the U.S. A report from earlier this month found that one-bedroom apartments require about $17.90 per hour in wages to afford, according to Business Insider. Federal minimum wage is still just $7.25 per hour.

That, combined with America’s considerable gap between rich and poor, have made owning homes little more than a pipe dream for some young people. There is a rising sentiment among many millennials that people in their age group might never be able to own a home.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Housing Affordability At Its Worst Level Since 2008 Financial Crisis
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