Anshu Arora LLM, MSc, PMP

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Monthly payments on an average-priced home – including property taxes, home insurance, private mortgage insurance, and assuming a 3 percent down payment – required 36.5 percent of the average wage nationwide in the first quarter. That's slightly down from 37.4 percent in the first quarter a year ago, but it marks the most affordable level since the first quarter of 2013 – when affordability was 33.5 percent, according to RealtyTrac’s analysis.

 

Housing affordability was highest in the last decade in the first quarter of 2012 – that’s when a monthly house payment required 32 percent of average wages. On the other hand, buying a home was the least affordable in the last decade in the second quarter of 2006. Monthly payments then required a whopping 70.7 percent of average wages, according to RealtyTrac’s analysis.

 

The average home price remains 12 percent below what it was in the second quarter of 2006 – the least affordable level in the last decade. During that same time period, the average wage nationwide has increased 34 percent and the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has dropped 44 percent during that time period. That has helped boost affordability by 48 percent, according to RealtyTrac’s analysis.


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