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Housing Hits Record Affordability

It’s never been more affordable to own a home than now. Take a look at the research and you’ll see that’s not just idle talk; it’s a fact borne out by historical data. 

Over the past few years, the percentage of family income going toward mortgage payments has steadily declined. In the early 80s, a mortgage payment on a median-priced house consumed a staggering 36% of the typical family’s income. And while the long-term average is a much more reasonable 21%--leaving more than three-quarters of a family’s income available for other expenditures and savings--it doesn’t come close to the affordability of today’s cost. With low mortgage rates and reasonable home prices, the typical family spent just 12.9% of its income on mortgage payments in 2012. 

Get More, Pay Less

The price of everything from a car to a loaf of bread has risen through the years. Houses have too, but because of the drop in mortgage rates, you can now buy a home for twice the money you would have 25 years ago and pay 25% less. In 1980, it took $825 a month to cover the mortgage on a median-priced home; today, you pay just $626. The home is worth more, but because it costs less to borrow money, you pay less. 

Good News for Buyers and Sellers

Last year, the number of homes sold was higher than it had been in 5 years. Despite this, prices are still undervalued based on the historical 4% appreciation trend. In other words, while homes are once again appreciating in value, sale prices haven’t quite caught up. Couple this with the continuing low mortgage rates, and you’ll start to see why this is a golden moment in history for both buying and selling houses.