ATTOM: Third-quarter increases in housing costs outpace increases in income

by Emily Marek

Median-priced single-family homes and condos remained less affordable in the third quarter compared to historical averages in virtually every corner of the country with enough data to analyze, according to ATTOM’s U.S. Home Affordability Report.

The report found that 99% of counties in the U.S. are historically less affordable this quarter — much higher than the 69% of counties that were less affordable in third quarter 2021.

“Homeownership remains largely unaffordable for the majority of homebuyers in the majority of markets across the country,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “While home prices have declined a bit quarter-over-quarter, they’re still higher than they were a year ago, and interest rates have essentially doubled. Many prospective homebuyers simply can’t afford the home they hoped to buy, and in many cases no longer qualify for the mortgage they’d need.”

The report also found that average homeownership expenses amount to 30% of the average yearly wage, down from 30.9% last quarter. While this decrease represents an improvement in affordability, it’s still much higher than the 23.4% seen in Q3 2021, as well as the 28% mortgage lenders like to see. The median value of a single-family home has decreased from Q2 to Q3 for the first time since 2008.

Additionally, the report found that annual increases in homeownership costs now outpace wage increases in 84% of U.S. counties.

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