Home Affordability Myth Or Reality
Home Affordability: Myth or Reality?
For many young couples, the idea of owning their own house just like their parents is an attractive idea, but it's not very realistic. A recent poll conducted by the Associated Press and America On Line Real Estate showed that 80 percent of respondents believe that it is hard for first-time buyers to afford a home. A majority of those polled - 59 percent - also said that they believe it is harder to buy a home now than it was five years ago.
Taking a closer look at the poll reveals that young adults and those that classify themselves as minorities consider the affordability of homes a bigger problem now than five years ago, compared to those over the age of 50 and those that identify themselves as white.
Broken down by region, almost 70 percent of those living in the western United States and almost 65 percent of those living in the Northeastern US say that it's harder to buy now than five years ago, compared to only 54 percent of those living in the South and 51 percent of those living in the Midwest.
The poll also found that almost half of those surveyed thought that the real estate market in their home area was overpriced.
A recent report by the census bureau seems to back up the findings of the AP/AOL survey. The census report found that approximately one third of all homeowners in the US that have mortgages spent at least 30 percent of their income on housing and housing related costs. It's widely considered excessive if your housing costs make up more than one third of your income. The census took things like mortgage payments, insurance and utilities and taxes into account.
The biggest reason for this lack of faith in new home ownership can be directly attributed to the recent housing boom over the last five years. Also, a recent increase in mortgage rates has also dampened optimism. And while incomes are up, as well, most don't even keep up with inflation.
Another recent trend that has kept optimism for first time home buyers down is the 32 percent jump in median home value from 2000 to the end of 2005. The current median price is around $167,500.
While buying your first home is never easy, things may be a bit harder now than they have ever been. But bargains so still exist, and if you're patient, a first home can still be yours.