Daily Market Update: Home prices outpacing income in most U.S. markets

by MPA26 Mar 2015
Home prices outpacing income in most U.S. markets
If you’re already a homeowner there’s a good chance that your property is earning more than you are right now; if you’re looking to buy a home then prepare to stretch your household budget. A report from RealtyTrac revealed that home prices are outpacing income in 76% of US markets. The data looked back over the past two years of recovery in the housing market and shows that the ratio of the disparity is 13:1; homes have appreciated by 17.31% while wages have crawled to a rise of just 1.3%.

The markets where the situation is particularly bad include Merced, Calif. where homes have appreciated 141 times more than wages; Memphis, Tennessee (99:1); Santa Cruz, Calif. (94:1); Augusta, Georgia (78:1); and Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida (62:1).

Wage growth outpaced home price appreciation in 44 of the 184 metro areas (24 per cent) analyzed with a combined population of 51 million. Metropolitan statistical areas with the lowest ratio of home price appreciation to wage growth were Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Maryland-West Virginia, Wichita, Kansas, Des Moines, Iowa, Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mortgages should be easy to obtain in Q2 says forecast
Mortgages in the first quarter of this year were easier to obtain and the second quarter should continue on a similar level but not get easier. That’s the forecast of the Zillow Mortgage Access Index which shows that access to mortgages is two-thirds of the way back to 2002 levels, when obtaining a home loan was relatively straightforward.

While the period leading up to the financial crisis saw lending become too easy the report suggests that we are now in a period of “meticulous-but-flexible” lending. Although it is not suggesting that things will get easier in the coming months, the report hints that it shouldn’t get harder.
Where are the top markets for residential real estate investment?
Texas has emerged as the top market in the U.S. for investment in residential real estate. A report from Local Market Monitor and a Dallas-based firm HomeVestors ranks Houston as the no.1 market, followed by Austin and Dallas. Completing the top five, and outside Texas, are Denver and Orlando.

The top five markets all have a median home price of under $300,000. The top ten also includes San Jose, Seattle Oakland, Miami and Portland.

Jobs growth and economy strength play a big part in the rankings with those markets in Texas that have scored highly being less exposed to the oil industry. Read the full story.


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