Most Markets Are Unaffordable for the Average American

March 28, 2019
While housing market conditions are beginning to favor buyers more now than in the spring of 2018, a new study finds that the average American can't afford a home in more than 70 percent of the country.
Photo: Unsplash/Robbie Noble

While housing market conditions are beginning to favor buyers more now than in the spring of 2018, a new study finds that the average American can't afford a home in more than 70 percent of the country.

The report from ATTOM Data Solutions analyzed 473 U.S. counties based on median home price data, average wage earnings, and 335 listed median home prices were more than what average wage earners could afford, CBS News reports. New York City required the biggest share of an individual's income to buy a home--Brooklyn and Manhattanites need to spend 115 percent of their income, while San Francisco buyers need to spend 103 percent of income on housing.

Broadly speaking, homes are more affordable today than they were one year ago. While home prices are still rising in many areas, they're also falling in others. Unaffordability in the market has been the result of slower home building and homeowners staying put longer. Both trends have reduced the supply of homes for sale in the market.

So long as interest rates don't go up and the impact from last year's tax cuts don't wholly fade away, the market may yet create better conditions for buyers. "Affordability may improve because of the simple fact that homes are out of reach for so many home seekers," Todd Teta, chief product officer at ATTOM Data Solutions, said in a statement.

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