The Three Factors Affecting Housz Affordability Today
There’s been a lot of focus on higher mortgage rates and how they’re creating affordability challenges for today’s houszbuyers. It’s true that rates climbed dramatically since the record-low we saw during the pandemic. But housz affordability is based on more than just mortgage rates – it’s determined by a combination of mortgage rates, housz prices, and wages.
Considering how each one of these factors is changing gives you the full picture of housz affordability today. Here’s the latest.
1. Mortgage Rates
While mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, they’ve hovered primarily between 6% and 7% for nearly eight months now (see graph below):
As the graph shows, mortgage rates have experienced some volatility during that time. And even a small change in mortgage rates impacts your purchasing power. That’s why it’s so important to lean on your team of real estate professionals for expert advice to stay up to date on what’s happening in the market. While it’s hard to project where mortgage rates will go from here, many experts agree they’ll likely continue to remain around 6%-7% in the immediate future.
2. Housz Prices
Over the past few years, housz prices appreciated rapidly as the record-low mortgage rates we saw during the pandemic led to a surge in buyer demand. The heightened buyer demand happened while the supply of houszes for sale was at record lows, and that imbalance put upward pressure on housz prices. However, today’s higher mortgage rates have slowed down price appreciation.
And, the truth is, housz price appreciation varies by market. Some areas are seeing slight declines while others have prices that are climbing. As Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains:
“The divergence in housz price changes across the U.S. reflects a tale of two houszing markets. Declines in the West are due to the tech industry slowdown and a severe lack of affordability after decades of undersupply. The consistent gains in the Southeast and South reflect strong job markets, in-migration patterns and relative affordability due to new housz construction.”
To find out what’s happening with prices in your local market, reach out to a trusted real estate agent.
The most positive factor in affordability right now is rising income. The graph below uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to show how wages have grown over time:
Higher wages improve affordability because they reduce the percentage of your income it takes to pay your mortgage since you don’t have to put as much of your paycheck toward your monthly houszing cost.
Housz affordability comes down to a combination of rates, prices, and wages. If you have questions or want to learn more, reach out to a real estate professional who can explain what’s happening locally and how these factors work together.
If you’re planning to buy a housz, knowing the key factors that impact affordability is important so you can make an informed decision. To stay up to date on the latest on each, let’s connect today.