Wanted: 320,000 Affordable Homes For Middle-Income Buyers

WRE News June 10, 2023


Wanted: 320,000 Affordable Homes For Middle-Income Buyers

Middle-income homebuyers can only afford less than one-quarter (23%) of properties currently being listed, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Working under the definition of a middle-income buyer as a household earning up to $75,000, NAR stated that five years ago this income group was able to buy half of all available homes on the market. Today, however, NAR insisted the housing market is missing about 320,000 home listings valued up to $256,000.

“Middle-income buyers face the largest shortage of homes among all income groups, making it even harder for them to build wealth through homeownership,” said Nadia Evangelou, NAR senior economist and director of real estate research. “A two-fold approach is needed to help with both low affordability and limited housing supply. It’s not just about increasing supply. We must boost the number of homes at the price range that most people can afford to buy.”

Among the 100 largest metro areas, the markets with the fewest affordable homes for middle-income buyers are El Paso, Texas, Boise, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington – while the Ohio cities of Youngstown, Akron and Toledo have the largest quantity of affordable homes available for that income group.

“Even with the current level of listings, the housing affordability and shortage issues wouldn’t be so severe if there were enough homes for all price ranges,” Evangelou added. “Our country needs to add at least two affordable homes for middle-income buyers for every home listed for upper-income buyers.”

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