Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability

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Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability

Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability | Simplifying The Market

We have all seen the headlines that report that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in the last ten years, and those headlines are accurate. But, have you ever wondered why the headlines don’t say the last 25 years, the last 20 years, or even the last 11 years?

The reason is that homes were less affordable 25, 20, or even 11 years ago than they are today.

Obviously, buying a home is more expensive now than during the ten years immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history.

Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) that were selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many distressed properties that the prices of non-distressed properties in the same neighborhoods were lowered and mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.

Low Prices + Low Mortgage Rates = High Affordability

Prices have since recovered and mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has and will continue to impact housing affordability moving forward.

However, let’s give affordability some historical context. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issues their Affordability Index each month. According to NAR:

“The Monthly Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent monthly price and income data.”

NAR’s current index stands at 138.8. The index had been higher each of the last ten years, peaking at 197 in 2012 (the higher the index the more affordable houses are).

But, the average index between 1990 and 2007 was just 123 and there were no years with an index above 133. That means that homes are more affordable today than at any time during the eighteen years between 1990 and 2007.

Bottom Line

With home prices continuing to appreciate and mortgage rates increasing, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is not an attainable goal in most markets as it is less expensive today than during the eighteen-year stretch immediately preceding the housing bubble and crash.

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josephinetraina
josephinetraina
Josephine’s passion for the beauty and history of Charleston and her depth of knowledge of Charleston’ real estate inventory have made her the Broker of choice for incoming residents of the “Holy City”. As a MD Preferred REALTOR and DRS Agent, she is an advocate for medical professionals, assisting them and their families, guiding them to make an informed decision and excellent real estate investment. As a former Relocation Director, she has an intimate knowledge of the industry and understands what consumers need when relocating to a new city. With over 25 years in the real estate industry and a Broker in the States of South Carolina, Georgia, she handles first-time home buyers to seasoned investors, from historic homes, beach bungalows or condos or lofts. Dedication to understanding clients’ individual needs, putting each client at the center of the process and providing exceptional real estate experiences are the mainstay of her business. Josephine’s goal is to deliver superior service with insight and innovation, realizing that “Owning A Piece Of The America Dream” is the heart of everything we do. As a former managing Broker and Business Development Manager, her focus is on marketing, negotiating the sale and keeping on top of all of the little details that bring a client's transaction to a successful close. She continues to educate herself and hone her skills in order to provide the highest level of professionalism to her clients.

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