Morning Briefing: California more affordable than Salt Lake City for these buyers

by Steve Randall09 Oct 2015
California more affordable than Salt Lake City for these buyers
New analysis of home prices and median incomes shows that cheaper housing markets are not always the most affordable for different occupations. Zillow found that although homes are cheaper in the middle of the country, lower wages and an expectation of putting a smaller percentage of income into housing makes those cheaper markets less attractive to some workers.

As an example the report says that in Bakersfield, Calif., the median home value is $166,300, and the average annual teacher salary is $61,000 a year. Since people in Bakersfield are accustomed to spending 22 per cent of their income on a house payment, a Bakersfield teacher could afford a $310,000 home. In today's market, that includes about 86 per cent of the homes on the market – more than anywhere else in the country. 

Contrast that with a teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah, where teachers make $38,000 a year and people historically spend the same share -- 22 percent -- of their incomes on a mortgage payment. There, teachers could buy a $195,000 home – meaning only about a quarter of the homes on the Salt Lake City market would fall within their budget.
Weaker jobs data pushes mortgage rates lower
Mortgage rates took a tumble in the week to October 8th following the lower-than-expected gains in the labor market. The Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that 30 year FRM’s averaged 3.76 per cent, down from 3.85 per cent a week earlier; 15-year FRM’s averaged 2.99 per cent, down from 3.07 per cent; 5-year ARM’s averaged 2.88 per cent, down from 3.06 per cent; and 1-year FRM’s averaged 2.55 per cent, up from 2.53.
Carolina reports strong housing activity despite monthly decline
CarolinaMLS September home sales increased 6.1 per cent with 3,436 properties sold, compared to 3,237 properties sold in September 2014 but down 12.1 per cent compared to August 2015. Data from the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association shows that the average sales price in September 2015 ($240,169) rose 5.8 per cent compared to a year earlier. The median sales price ($190,000) was up 5.6 per cent when compared to September 2014. 2015 Association/CarolinaMLS President Maren Brisson-Kuester said, "Despite our historically low inventory numbers this past year, price increases across the region continue to be moderate.  This is good news and continues to signal the overall affordability of our market.” 


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