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【World Property Journal】Home Affordability Improves in U.S. Prior to Coronavirus Outbreak

【World Property Journal】Home Affordability Improves in U.S. Prior to Coronavirus Outbreak

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ATTOM Data Solutions newly released first-quarter 2020 U.S. Home Affordability Report is showing this week that the median U.S. home price in the first quarter of 2020 was unaffordable for average wage earners in 319 of 483, or 66 percent of the U.S. counties analyzed in the report. But that figure is down from 70.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 69.8 percent from the first quarter of 2019.

The report also shows that owning a median-priced home in the first quarter of 2020 in the United States - costing $252,500 - consumes 31.1 percent of the national average wage. That percentage is down from 31.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 and 31.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019, to the lowest percentage since the fourth quarter of 2017, when the average workers were spending 30.8 percent of wages to own a home.

"Home affordability has inched ahead this year across the United States as buying a house or a condo gets closer and closer to the level where the average wage earner can swing the deal within standard lending guidelines. While the national median price still remains a bit out of reach for the average wage earner, the affordability gap has narrowed to the smallest point in more than two years," said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. "It seems bizarre that median home prices have risen 8 percent over the past 12 years while average wages grew by less than half that amount. But falling interest rates continue making up the difference, dropping monthly home ownership payments in a majority of the country."

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