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US Home Affordability Continued To Fray During Q2

WRE News July 6, 2024


US Home Affordability Continued To Fray During Q2

Median-priced single-family homes and condos remained less affordable during the second quarter compared to historical averages in 99% of counties around the nation, according to new data from ATTOM, which also found that major expenses on median-priced homes consumed 35.1% of the average national wage during the quarter – the highest level recorded since 2007.

ATTOM attributed this environment to a national median home price reaching a new high of $360,000 during the Spring buying season coupled with mortgage rates hovering around the 7% level. As a result, the cost of owning a home outpaced wage increases.

Compared to historical levels, median home ownership costs in 582 of the 589 counties analyzed in the second quarter were less affordable than in the past. That number was up just slightly from 579 of the same counties in the first quarter of this year and from 577 in the second quarter of last year – but it was also more than 15 times the figure from early 2021, when Joe Biden took the reins of the presidency.

Meanwhile, the portion of average local wages consumed by major homeownership expenses on typical homes was considered unaffordable in about 80% of the 589 counties in the report, based on the 28 percent guideline. Counties with the largest populations that were unaffordable in the second quarter were Los Angeles County in California, Cook County (Chicago) in Illionois, Maricopa County (Phoenix) in Arizona, and California’s San Diego County and Orange County.

“The latest affordability data presents a clear challenge for home buyers. While home prices are increasing and mortgage rates remain relatively high, these factors are making homes less affordable,” said Rob Barber, CEO for ATTOM. “It’s common for these trends to intensify during the Spring buying season when buyer demand increases. However, the trends this year are particularly challenging for house hunters, more so than at any point since the housing market boom began in 2012. As the 2024 buying season progresses into the Summer, we will continue to monitor the data closely.”

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