Politics And Housing Affordability: Why Haven’t The Candidates Been Talking About It?

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There is a disparity in average share of income spent on rent/mortgages between the first four states to vote and the last six

February 05, 2016

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Every election year brings with it a bevy of hot button issues for the candidates to climb up on their soapboxes and pontificate about endlessly. Foreign policy, the environment, the economy, taxes, immigration; the list goes on and on. But something that has been mysteriously absent so far this year is any talk about housing affordability. And, as Zillow points out, the main reason for this is pretty simple.

The states where housing affordability is the worst also happen to be the last states to vote in the primaries, so candidates haven’t begun campaigning there yet. Rent and mortgage affordability is defined as the share of an area’s median income needed to afford the typical mortgage payment or rent in a given area. The first four states to vote have an average share of income spent on rent of 28 percent. These same states have an average share of income spent on a mortgage payment of 15 percent.

That can be compared with the last six states to vote, whose average share of income spent on rent is 33 percent and average share of income spent on a mortgage is 20 percent (You can click the link and see the full charts encompassing all 50 states on Zillow).

So, don’t worry, housing affordability will eventually become a talking point when campaigning in these states begins to gain steam and everyone will be blaming the opposing side in no time.

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