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Affordability Falling as Permits Lag Growth

Friday, March 27, 2015

The old maxim that a household rents only until it can afford to buy a home is apparently being stood on its head in a lot of housing markets.  A study published on Friday by Zillow says that "rental affordability is as bad as it's ever been."  Nationally, in fact, they found it is consuming nearly twice as much of a family's monthly income as would homeownership and in many markets that ratio is even higher.

In the fourth quarter of 2014 Zillow found that, in the U.S. as a whole, households are spending 30.1 percent of their income for a rental while, with a Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) of $178,700 and historically low interest rates they would spend 15.3 percent on an owned home.  According to Zillow's February Real Estate Market Reports, the ZHVI above reflects a 4.9 percent year-over-year increase while "Zillow rents" rose 3.4 percent nationally to $1,355. Value Index should be interpreted as analogous to mean or median figures.

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