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Borrowers Taking Out Larger Mortgages

December 27, 2021

Home prices are rising by double-digit numbers, causing increasing concerns around housing affordability. The Commerce Department reported that median sales prices for new homes rose nearly 19% in November, while the National Association of REALTORS® reported existing-home prices jumped by a median of 13.9% annually last month.

As home prices press higher, so is the amount that home buyers are borrowing to pay for a house. The average amount borrowed to finance a home purchase climbed to $414,115 in November, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

Housing analysts say a lot of the housing activity lately has been concentrated on the higher end, which could be skewing mortgage amounts higher. But higher home prices and bidding wars have prompted many buyers to stretch their budgets.

Down payments have also gotten higher. The national median down payment recently hit its highest level since at least 2005, ATTOM Data Solutions reports. The median down payment on a single-family home purchased with financing in the third quarter was $27,500, up 41% from $19,502 in the third quarter of 2020.

Many financing experts recommend that housing costs—including mortgage payment, property taxes, insurance, and other recurring housing expenses—not exceed 30% of take-home pay.

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