1 in 4 markets now less affordable
One in every four county housing markets are less affordable now than their historic affordability averages, new analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions shows.
The firm looked at data from 379 counties and found that 95 posted affordability index scores below 100, meaning that the share of average wages needed to buy a median-priced house is higher than average.
"Home affordability continued to worsen in the first quarter, not surprising given the continued strong growth in home prices combined with the recent rise in mortgage rates," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions.
In 97 counties, buyers would need more than 43 per cent of their income to buy a median-priced home. The CFPB guidelines say that is the maximum debt-to-income ratio for a qualified mortgage.
The data is not all bad news though.
"Stronger wage growth is the silver lining in this report, outpacing home price growth in more than half of the markets for the first time since Q1 2012, when median home prices were still falling nationwide," added Blomquist.
Rise in pending sales last month
Pending home sales jumped 5.5 per cent in February according to the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors.
All major regions saw increases with the nationwide reading of the NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index at 112.3, up 2.6 per cent from a year earlier. Warmer-than-usual weather in February helped boost interest from buyers, along with a modest increase in listings.
Inventory remains tight though and is expected to lead to more volatility in sales figures.
"The homes most buyers are in the market for are unfortunately the most difficult to find and ultimately buy," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "The country's healthy labor market is translating to greater job security, but affordability is not improving because home prices in some areas are still outpacing incomes by three times or more because of tight supply."
Inspector Gadget creator lists LA home
The co-creator of the classic cartoon series ‘Inspector Gadget’ has listed his home in LA’s glitzy Bel-Air neighborhood for $10.5 million.
Andy Heyward is CEO of Genius Brands International bought the 5-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom home two years ago for $7.25 million, the LA Times reports.
The 5,000 square foot home with views of the canyon is set in around an acre and outdoor space includes a swimming pool and long gated driveway.
Myra Nourmand and Bahar Soomekh of Nourmand & Associates of Beverly Hills hold the listing.