Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40 years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:
“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price.Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average:
Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016.
Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”
The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.)
There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.