The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability
Buyer confidence and high demand remain strong in Westchester County while our local home inventory remains historically low. Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial decisions most will make in their lifetime. This blog’s main purpose is to help educate the consumer on the real estate process and to provide up-to-date information on our local market conditions.
Today I would like to talk to you about Housing Affordability
There have been many headlines decrying an “affordability crisis” in the residential real estate market. While it is true that buying a home is less affordable than it had been over the last ten years, we need to understand why and what that means.
On a monthly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index. According to NAR, the index…
“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”
Their methodology states:
“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”
So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here is a graph of the index going back to 1990:
It is true that the index is lower today than any year from 2009 to 2017. However, we must realize the main reason homes were more affordable. That period of time immediately followed a housing crash and there were large numbers of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). Those properties were sold at large discounts.
Today, the index is higher than any year from 1990 to 2008. Based on historic home affordability data, that means homes are more affordable right now than any other time besides the time following the housing crisis.
With mortgage rates remaining low and wages finally increasing, we can see that it is MORE AFFORDABLE to purchase a home today than it was last year!
With wages increasing, price appreciation moderating, and mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, purchasing a home is a great move based on historic affordability numbers.
To assure that you make the best possible decisions, it’s important that you have a knowledgeable agent on your side who is an expert in the local real estate market. Our goal is to provide you with as much information as needed to make well-informed decisions throughout your home purchase or home sale in Westchester County, New York.
To Search ALL Westchester County Real Estate Listings, visit www.Ragette.com
To reach Ralph, please call (or text) 914-202-1101 or send an email to Ralph@WestchesterHomeAdvisor.com