Surprised by How Affordable Homes Are Today?

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Headlines matter. Right now, it’s hard to read about real estate without seeing a headline that suggests homes have become unaffordable for most Americans. In reality, there’s hard evidence that shows how owning a home is more affordable than renting in most parts of the country, as record-low interest rates are keeping monthly mortgage payments about 23% lower than the typical payment of 20 years ago. Despite the facts, misleading headlines persist, and they impact how hopeful homebuyers perceive the market.

In a recent survey by realtor.com, home shoppers indicated they were surprised by what they could actually afford when buying their first home. In fact, 47% discovered their budget was larger than they expected. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, explains:

“For first-time buyers, especially, the drop in the 30-year mortgage rate…has provided unexpected leverage. Lower rates allowed many buyers to stretch and buy more expensive homes while keeping their monthly budget the same.”

So why do these negative headlines that cast doubt on affordability continue to exist?

Most analysts only look at two of the three elements that make up the affordability equation: price and income. It’s true that incomes haven’t kept up with the price of houses. However, affordability is about the cost of the home, not just the price. For that reason, mortgage rates, the third element of the affordability equation, are important to consider.

For example, here’s the typical mortgage payment for assorted dates going back to 2000, as calculated by CoreLogic:

diane casey luong home prices

Outside of the housing crash (when short sales and foreclosures drove prices down), it’s more affordable to buy a home today when you consider all three elements of the affordability equation: price, income, and mortgage rate.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer, don’t let the headlines scare you away from your dream of homeownership. Instead, connect with mortgage and real estate professionals to determine what you can afford and what’s available at that price. Like almost half of the buyers in the survey, you may be pleasantly surprised.

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Diane Casey Luong

Diane Casey Luong

Realtor

Realtor at RE/MAX Advantage I, Buying Real Estate Agent, Seller Real Estate Agent, Listing Real Estate Agent

DIANE-CASEY-LUONG-BUYERS-GUIDE

You may be wondering if now is a good time to buy a home…or if interest rates are projected to rise or fall. The free eGuide above will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn’t even know you should consider when buying a home.

It’s difficult to know when is the best time to sell, or how to get the most money for your house, but you don’t need to go through the process alone.

You may be wondering if prices are projected to rise or fall…or how much competition you may be facing in your market. The free eGuide below will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you haven’t even thought about yet.

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2015

RE/MAX 100% Club
Diane achieved levels of productivity in 2015 that were more than double the industry average with commission levels of $100,000 – $249,999

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2016

RE/MAX 100% Club
Diane achieved levels of productivity in 2016 that were more than double the industry average with commission levels of $100,000 – $249,999

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2017

RE/MAX 100% Club
Diane achieved levels of productivity in 2017 that were more than double the industry average with commission levels of $100,000 – $249,999

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2018

RE/MAX 100% Club
Diane achieved levels of productivity in 2018 that were more than double the industry average with commission levels of $100,000 – $249,999

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2019

RE/MAX 100% Club
Diane achieved levels of productivity in 2019 that were more than double the industry average with commission levels of $100,000 – $249,999

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2016

Realtor™ Association of Central Massachusetts
2019 Top Producers, Ruby Level

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2019

Realtor™ Association of Central Massachusetts
2019 Top Producers, Ruby Level

Working with Diane was an absolute pleasure and joy.

She was incredibly professional yet still warm and personable. I always felt that Diane had my best interests in mind; she never pressured me into anything and always worked to get me all the information I needed before making a decision.

Diane had great knowledge of the housing market in the area and the pros and cons to look for when looking at homes.

During the finalization process, Diane was able to refer me to an excellent home inspector and other individuals necessary for the closing.

I wholeheartedly recommend Diane and would use her again if I am lucky enough to buy another home or sell my own.

Bought a Townhouse home with Diane in 2016 in Worcester, MA.