Homeownership Still Realistic For Middle Class In Many Metros

September 2, 2016

Redfin found that, across 40 major U.S. cities, 55 percent of two- to -four bedroom homes for sale in July were affordable for a working-class household.

Affordability varied by city. While it’s extremely improbable to find a reasonably priced home in San Francisco, more than 80 percent of available homes in Memphis, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Columbus, and Philadelphia were considered attainable for the working class.

The problem, and the surprise, has something to do with affordable homes clustering together. Neighborhoods with a mix of home prices cover just 13 percent of U.S. cities. This makes it difficult to find affordable homes for sale in the neighborhoods where people with higher incomes tend to live.

The solution? More housing inventory made of a healthy mixture of home types for people of all incomes. A mixed-housing inventory is good for more than just affordability. In these areas, households with different incomes are neighbors, a living arrangement that gives lower income families a better shot at getting ahead.

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