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Home Prices Outpace Wage Growth in 64% of Markets

June 22, 2018

Home prices are increasing at a faster rate than wages in 64 percent of U.S. markets, according to a new analysis released this week by real estate data firm ATTOM Data Solutions. 

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Housing Costs Leave Third of Households Strapped

Median home prices nationwide have risen 75 percent since the first quarter of 2012, while average weekly wages have risen just 13 percent over the same time period, according to the analysis. The counties where median home prices require the highest share of average wages are:

  • Marin County, Calif. (Bay Area): 133.2 percent
  • Kings County, N.Y. (Brooklyn): 123.1 percent
  • Santa Cruz County, Calif.: 121.5 percent
  • Monterey County, Calif. (Salinas): 100.3 percent
  • San Francisco County, Calif.: 97.2 percent

In the second quarter of this year, the average earner nationally would need to spend 31.2 percent of their income to buy a median priced home, which is above the historic average of 29.6 percent, according to the study. The mismatch between wages and housing appreciation also put home prices in the second quarter at the least affordable levels since the third quarter of 2008, ATTOM reports. Researchers culled data on the percentage of income needed to purchase a median-priced home relative to historic averages.

Home appreciation, mixed with an 11 percent year-over-year increase in mortgage rates, is contributing to the worst housing affordability in nearly 10 years, says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM. “Home price appreciation continued to outpace wage growth, speeding up the affordability treadmill for prospective home buyers, even without the rise in mortgage rates,” Blomquist says.

View the interactive chart below to see housing affordability in your area.

U.S. Home Prices at Least Affordable Level Since Q3 2008,” ATTOM Data Solutions (June 19, 2018)