A new report shows homes in a third of the country are getting harder to purchase for many Americans. Thursday’s RealtyTrac report looks county by county at income and housing prices to find out how affordable homes are. While they’re still affordable in much of the U.S., many people in certain areas are increasingly finding it hard to own.
“Prices are getting out of touch with what folks can actually afford in those markets,” explains RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist.
In these areas, home prices are rising faster than income. This affordability problem is not so much because of a hot housing market, but rather a frosty job market. Many of those new jobs we hear about in monthly labor reports just don’t pay well enough.
“It’s particularly key in terms of first-time homebuyers that even though the rate of employment growth has gone up, the rate of wage growth hasn’t really gone up much,” says housing economist Michael Carliner.
Mortgage rates aren’t likely to get much lower, so something’s got to give. Either the job market improves or home prices will hit the brakes.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.