Home affordability issues are worsening. According to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions, national home affordability is at its lowest level in 10 years. Home affordability currently ranks 92 on the research firm’s index, with 100 representing a balanced market. This is the second consecutive quarter that home affordability has fallen below 100 on the index. A disconnect between housing price appreciation and income growth has been the primary drive of affordability issues across the country.

“We have seen affordability deteriorating over the last six years because of the disconnect between home price appreciation and wage growth,” Daren Blomquist, SVP at ATTOM Data Solutions, tells GlobeSt.com. “Home price appreciation has consistently outpaced wage growth over the past six years of the housing recovery. To put some numbers on that, we saw that home prices nationwide bottomed out in the first quarter of 2012. Since then, median home prices nationwide are up 76%, and during the same time, average weekly wages are up 17%. So, over the past six years, home prices have grown at a pace that is more than four times as fast as wages.”

This problem is accelerating. While this disconnect has driven housing affordability problems for the last six years, increasing mortgage rates are putting additional pressure on affordability. “This year, we reached a tipping point. Home price affordability deterioration accelerated because of rising mortgage rates,” explains Blomquist. “That really tipped affordability over the edge when it comes to our index. In the second and third quarter of this year, we have seen the affordability index drop below 100. We really chock that up to not only the disconnect between home prices and wages but also the added pressure from rising mortgage rates.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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