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How much of my income goes towards housing?

With rates rising and home price growth starting to slow, I started to consider how much income is used towards housing in this current economic climate. Mortgage rates are trending upwards to near the highs of 2011 at 4.98 percent, home prices are still rising but at a slower pace, and the median income has been steadily rising although an even more modest pace than house prices. These factors go into how much of a person’s income goes towards housing expenditures and whether housing is a burden for potential homebuyers. This blog will highlight some of the factors and show states and regions where housing is less of a financial burden.

Home Price vs Median Family Incomes

Home prices since 2000 started to outpace incomes but started to turn towards the end of 2007, until home prices plummeted during the Great Recession. In 2008, incomes grew making it favorable for potential homeowners to buy a home. It took home prices about 4 years to recover, beginning in 2012. Around 2014 home price growth began to bloom and once again, prices started to outpace incomes. This pace has continued until recently, as home price growth has slowed making owning a home affordable. As of the second quarter of 2018, family incomes have increased by 52 percent since 2000, while housing prices have increased by 95 percent, or nearly doubled the level in 2000.

Payment to Income and Mortgage Rates

Let us look at the amount of money homeowners had to commit from their income to be able to afford a home. In 2000, when interest rates were 7.90 percent, homeowners had to spend about 19.6 percent of their income to be able to afford a home. In 2006 when rates were around 6.50 percent, homeowners had to spend 22 and up to 24 percent of their income on a home. In the wake of the Great Recession in 2009-2010, mortgage rates started to fall, so the share of income that went to paying a mortgage declined. In 2013 when rates were down to 3.47 percent, the mortgage payment on a median priced home was 11 percent of the median family income, putting less pressure on household incomes. Since that time rates have continued to decline, much to the benefit of potential homeowners. Anything above 30 percent is considered burdensome on households, but below that range would be typically affordable. On a regional level, the West requires a higher portion of your income, which has eclipsed the 35 percent mark. The Midwest, being the most affordable region, requires the least percentage of median family incomes. The Midwest started around 15 percent and, at times, dipped below 10 percent and is currently hovering back around 15 percent.

Payment to Income Ratio

A ratio between 2.5 and 4 is normal and healthy price to income ratio for the housing market. As of August 2018, the median price of existing homes sold was 3.5 percent of the median family income. The Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) produced a map showing the US home price to income ratios. The ratios range from under two to over eight. As the map below illustrates, costal markets have much higher ratios, indicating significantly higher home prices compared with incomes. The West Coast region has affordability issues, with several areas posting ratios above eight, including San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco metropolitan area. Small pockets in the Northeast reach above five, mostly clustered around New York City and Boston. The Miami/ South Florida Region also posts low affordability. In comparison, The Midwest region has ratios in the 2-3 range, in line with historical averages.

Jobs Generated vs GDP Growth Rate

The Gross domestic product (GDP) has hovered around 3 percent and has had to withstand the tech bubble, wars and several crises. In 2009, both jobs and GDP took a dive but rebounded the following year. GDP and jobs have grown solidly after the Great Recession. Unemployment has been below 6 percent ever since 2014, which is good for economic progress and potential homebuyers.

Even with rising rates and higher home prices, potential homebuyers have plenty of reason to join the market. Real Estate is still affordable in several states and regions. The job market is strong, GDP is at a healthy level and consumer confidence is high. New homes and existing inventory figures are now improving, although still modestly, but the increase in inventory is helping tame price growth.

August 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is up from last month but down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.78 percent this August, up 14.1 percent compared to 4.19 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in August moving the index down 8.3 percent from 153.9 to 141.2. The median sales price for a single family home sold in August in the US was $267,300 up 4.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 59 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).

  • The payment as a percentage of income was down to 17.7 percent this August but up from 16.2 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 24 percent of income. The South had the second highest payment at 17 percent followed by the Northeast at 16.5 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 14.2 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 5.2 percent. The Midwest had an increase of 4.2 percent while the South had a gain of 3.6 percent. The Northeast had the smallest growth in price of 0.1 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Midwest had the biggest drop in affordability of 7.8 percent. The West had a decline of 7.7 percent followed by the South that fell 7.0 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 5.5 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is up from last month in three of the four regions. The Northeast had biggest gain of 6.2 percent. The South had an incline of 2.4 percent followed by the West with a slight increase of 0.1 percent. The Midwest had the only dip in affordability of 4.8 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 175.7. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 101.2. For comparison, the index was 146.7 in the South, and 151.2 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently down. Mortgage rates are still rising along with rents. Foot traffic is up which shows there is interest from future homebuyers. Job creation remains steady and new homes sales are continuing to incline. Home prices are up 4.9 percent outpacing median family incomes that are growing 3.0 percent.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

In Which States Did Properties Sell Most Quickly in August 2018?

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents reported that properties were typically on the market for 29 days, just a day shorter time compared to one year ago (30 days), according to the  August 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] This indicates that in many states, the supply of homes for sale is still inadequate compared to the demand for homes. However, the difference in median days in the current month compared to the same month last year has started to narrow as homebuying demand has eased and the inventory of homes for sale has slightly increased. In January and February of this year, properties were selling about one week less compared to the length of time in the same period one year ago.

During the June–August 2018, properties typically sold within one month in 32 states and in the District of Columbia. Properties sold most quickly in the states of South Dakota (19 days), Washington (20 days), Colorado (21 days), Utah (21 days), Ohio (21 days), Idaho (22 days), Massachusetts (21 days), and Rhode Island (21 days).

 

Based on listing time on Realtor.com[2], properties sold more quickly in 385 out of 500 metro areas (77 percent)—still most of metro areas, but fewer than the number of metro areas that had year-on-year faster selling time in August 2017 (405 metros). Compared to the median days on market one year ago, properties sold more quickly in August 2018 even in the high-price areas of San Jose-Sunnyvale-Sta. Clara, San Francisco-Hayward, and San Diego-Carlsbad.

 

Scroll down the list of metro areas in the interactive table below or hover over the map to view the median number days properties were listed on Realtor.com in July 2018 and one year ago.

 

Fastest-Selling Markets August 2018


About the Realtors® Confidence Index Survey

 

The RCI Survey gathers information from REALTORS® about local market conditions based on their client interactions and the characteristics of their most recent sales for the month. The August 2018 survey was sent to 50,000 REALTORS® who were selected from NAR’s1.3 million members through simple random sampling and to 8,386 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses. There were 4,639 respondents to the online survey which ran from September 1-11, 2018. NAR weights the responses by a factor that aligns the sample distribution of responses to the distribution of NAR membership. The REALTORS® Confidence Index is provided by NAR solely for use as a reference. Resale of any part of this data is prohibited without NAR’s prior written consent. For questions on this report or to purchase the RCI series, please email: Data@realtors.org.

 

[1] In generating the median days on market at the state level, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations.

[2] To access Realtor.com data, go to https://www.realtor.com/research/data/.

 

 

Pat A. Tracy McKnight Real Estate is the best!  Tracy did everything that came up to make my deal go through.  We had several problems to solve and Tracy was always available to make suggestions and help solve all of them.  The house needed some repair and Tracy obtained several bids for the best price.  The contractor backed out so Tracy found someone else.  Then we had an easement problem which I solved with Tracy's help.  He was always courteous and willing to help.  He is the best.  500 N Maine Street, Gladewater, TX 75647

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J. Garner,  I can not say enough good things about Tracy and Darrell.  They showed my property numerous times over the 3 year period it took to sell my property.  They ran ads in numerous papers in East Texas, including the Dallas Morning News and other papers.  They were very nice and kept me informed all the time. 

When you and your family decide to buy a house, my family strongly recommends Tracy McKnight.  You will never find anyone who is as patient and friendly.  Tracy will treat you as family.  We have had nothing but fun in the home buying process while working with Tracy McKnight.  He is truly a genuine person and will do everything possible to make the experience of home buying great! A and J Hernandez

Pat A. Tracy McKnight Real Estate is the best!  Tracy did everything that came up to make my deal go through.  We had several problems to solve and Tracy was always available to make suggestions and help solve all of them.  The house needed some repair and Tracy obtained several bids for the best price.  The contractor backed out so Tracy found someone else.  Then we had an easement problem which I solved with Tracy's help.  He was always courteous and willing to help.  He is the best.  500 N Maine Street, Gladewater, TX 75647

 

JOHN AND MARY JANE S. - "We would like to express our appreciation for Mr. McKnight helping us find our house in a great location in Longview, Tx. Being out of town he was so helpful keeping us informed as to what was available.  When we would come here he was always available to show us the houses.  We are glad to recommend Mr. McKnight to anyone planning to buy or sell their house." 

 E. and M. Stephenson "I can honestly say that Tracy McKnight Realty was above and beyond my expectations on sales and service.  Everything was done in a non-pressure attitude.  He never tried to push anything down our throats and was more than willing to show us several homes.  He even went the extra mile and helped us with inspectors and etc.  After the sale was complete he checked back with us to make sure everything was okay.  During the transaction period he made several trips to our shop in order for us to sign documents.  Courtesy, dignity, and honesty is my opinion of McKnight Realty.  They make you feel like you're the only customer when dealing with your business.  They seem like part of our extended family.  Would and will do all my realty business.  Also would refer anybody else to them."

Randall and Michele D. - "Tracy went above and beyond for us as we were looking to sell out house.  Once sold he then went above and beyond helping us buy a house.  A lot of late texts.  He always answered any questions.  We will definitely use Tracy again if we ever sell or buy another house. "

This is to express our heartfelt appreciation for your helpfulness, efficiency, and cooperation during the purchase of our new home.  Throughout the process you constantly kept us informed of all developments.  It was a pleasure to do business with you, and I happily recommend you to anyone seeking a real estate agent.       Cheers,  Bill and Wendy

Thanks for everything you did for Deb and I.  After losing my easement, you stood by me.  Thanks again Tracy.  Phil and Deb R. 

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