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House-Buying Power at Near-Historic Levels

We keep hearing that home affordability is approaching crisis levels. While this may be true in a few metros across the country, housing affordability is not a challenge in the clear majority of the country. In their most recent Real House Price Index, First American reported that consumer “house-buying power” is at “near-historic levels.”

Their index is based on three components:

  1. Median Household Income
  2. Mortgage Interest Rates
  3. Home Prices

The report explains:

“Changing incomes and interest rates either increase or decrease consumer house-buying power or affordability. When incomes rise and/or mortgage rates fall, consumer house-buying power increases.”

Combining these three crucial pieces of the home purchasing process, First American created an index delineating the actual home-buying power that consumers have had dating back to 1991.

Here is a graph comparing First American’s consumer house-buying power (blue area) to the actual median home price that year from the National Association of Realtors (yellow line).

Consumer house-buyer power has been greater than the actual price of a home since 1991. And, the spread is larger over the last decade.

Bottom Line

Even though home prices are increasing rapidly and are now close to the values last seen a decade ago, the actual affordability of a home is much better now. As Chief Economist Mark Fleming explains in the report:

“Though unadjusted house prices have risen to record highs, consumer house-buying power stands at near-historic levels, as well, signaling that real house prices are not even close to their historical peak.”

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Hugh Williams

Hugh is a life long resident of the State of Florida, and is pleased to reside in the beautiful seaside community of Amelia Island. A graduate of University of Florida with High Honors and a major in Business, Hugh also went on to attend the Dick Grove School of Music and the Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles. With his long-time friend and business partner, Dee Chaplin, he is proud that they have achieved the reputation and status of owning and operating a top producing Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate franchise on beautiful Amelia Island. Together they have supported the community by raising thousands of dollars for local charities and by founding the Amelia Island Beach Walk. Hugh's personal interests include playing guitar, home recording, fishing, golfing and real estate investing. For a highly qualified Professional Realtor, look to Hugh Williams. His background in business and knowledge of the local market makes him the Realtor of Choice on Amelia Island, Florida.

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