Purchasing a median-priced home in the U.S. is a financial stretch for Americans in the majority of markets despite slowing growth in real estate prices, low mortgage rates and rising wages.
The U.S. Home Affordability Report, released Wednesday by ATTOM Data Solutions, found that median selling prices were too high for average wage earners in three-fourths of the nation’s real estate markets during the second quarter of 2019.
At the same time, affordability in four of five markets is starting to improve compared with last year. But the gap between home-price appreciation and wage growth remains wide, as it has for years.
In New York City, Brooklyn and Queens are less affordable than their historical average while the other boroughs are more affordable. The median-priced home in Manhattan is down 9% from a year earlier while wages are up 4% which has improved affordability considerably. Still, one would need to earn about $340,000 to purchase a median priced home.
ATTOM measured affordability by calculating the percentage of average wages needed to make house payments, including monthly mortgage, property taxes and insurance, on a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, a 3 percent down payment and a maximum 28 percent 'front-end' debt-to-income ratio.
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