The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability

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The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability

The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability | Simplifying The Market

There have been many headlines decrying an “affordability crisis” in the residential real estate market. While it is true that buying a home is less affordable than it had been over the last ten years, we need to understand why and what that means.

On a monthly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index. According to NAR, the 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 price and income data.”

Their methodology states:

“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”

So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here is a graph of the index going back to 1990:

The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability | Simplifying The Market

It is true that the index is lower today than any year from 2009 to 2017. However, we must realize the main reason homes were more affordable. That period of time immediately followed a housing crash and there were large numbers of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). Those properties were sold at large discounts.

Today, the index is higher than any year from 1990 to 2008. Based on historic home affordability data, that means homes are more affordable right now than any other time besides the time following the housing crisis.

With mortgage rates remaining low and wages finally increasing, we can see that it is MORE AFFORDABLE to purchase a home today than it was last year!

Bottom Line

With wages increasing, price appreciation moderating, and mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, purchasing a home is a great move based on historic affordability numbers.

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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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