This Scuttlebiz article was interesting for several reasons.  #1 – we all are aware that “affordable housing” doesn’t really exist in our current markets at this time.  #2 – it cites part of the issue is the rise in interest rates.  Granted no one likes the rise, but the reality is that we are still at historic low rates.  I can remember when the rates were 18+% in the early 1980’s.  In the early 1990’s 7% was good.  Today’s rates, although higher than in the past years are still good!

The Affordability Index

Where do you live? And what is your dwelling of choice?

There’s a purpose for my prying: housing costs. They’re on the rise.

In fact, a California-based property database company said single-family homes nationwide are at their least affordable level in a decade.

ATTOM Data Solutions’ most recent U.S. Home Affordability Report shows its proprietary affordability index – in which anything above 100 indicates median home prices are more affordable than historic averages – fell to 95 during the second quarter, the lowest level since the third quarter of 2008, when the index was 86.

Part of the problem has been the 11 percent increase in mortgage rates from a year ago, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president for the Irving, Calif., company. The other part of the equation is rising home prices.

“Home price appreciation continued to outpace wage growth, speeding up the affordability treadmill for prospective home buyers even without the rise in mortgage rates,” Blomquist said.

In metro Augusta, Columbia County was the least affordable area. Residents earning the county’s average annual wage of $38,090 would have to set aside 38.1 percent of their income to afford the median home sales price of $187,000.

Richmond County, on the other hand, was most affordable. There, it took only 16.4 percent of the county’s average annual wage of $45,058 to afford the median priced home of $93,250.

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