Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable

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Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable

Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable | Simplifying The Market

There’s a current narrative that owning a home today is less affordable than it has been in the past. The reason some are making this claim is because house prices have substantially increased over the last several years.

It’s not, however, just the price of a home that matters.

Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by approximately 3% over the last year.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a monthly Housing Affordability Index. The latest index shows that home affordability is better today than at almost any point over the last 30 years. The index determines how affordable homes are based on the following:

“A Home Affordability Index 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 of 120 signifies that a family earning the median income has 20 percent more than the level of income needed pay the mortgage on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment so that the monthly payment and interest will not exceed 25 percent of this level of income (qualifying income).”

The higher the index, therefore, the more affordable homes are. Here is a graph showing the index since 1990:Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable | Simplifying The MarketObviously, affordability was better during the housing crash when distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – sold at major discounts (2009-2015). Outside of that period, however, homes are more affordable today than any other year since 1990, except for 2016.

The report on the index also includes a section that calculates the mortgage payment on a median priced home as a percentage of the median national income. Historically, that percentage is just above 21%. Here are the percentages since June of 2018:Homes Are More Affordable Today, Not Less Affordable | Simplifying The MarketAgain, we can see that affordability is much better today than the historical average and has been getting better over the last year and a half.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re thinking about buying your first home or moving up to the home of your dreams, don’t let the false narrative about affordability prevent you from moving forward. From an affordability standpoint, this is one of the best times to buy in the last 30 years.

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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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