If you’re a homeowner, recent news about double-digit price increases sounds terrific. But for buyers hoping to get a great deal on a house, the window of opportunity may be starting to close.
For the past several years, housing affordability has been at or near record levels. Three basic factors determine affordability: home prices, mortgage rates and household incomes. The optimal moment for buying a home now appears to have occurred in early 2012, when the median price was about $156,000 and the average interest rate on a 30-year mortgage was 4.2%. Mortgage payments for a typical family totaled just 12% of income back then, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) — the lowest portion since 1970, when the NAR started tracking such data.
In the first quarter of 2013 it took about 13% of income to make monthly mortgage payments, still a very low percentage. But two recent developments are pushing that numberRead More »from Homes Get Less Affordable as Prices, Rates Rise