Thursday, November 27, 2014

Why the odds are against you ever owning your own home

The "median" is the point where half are below it, half above it.

By Jason Notte
Nov. 27, 2014

Is the housing crisis over? Somewhat. Does that mean you can afford a home? Probably not.

If you earn a median-income, you can afford a median-priced home in only 10 of the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a study by personal finance site Looking for some good news in there? Well consider it an improvement from last year, when median-income households couldn't afford mid-range homes in 17 out of 25 metro areas.


Still, 17 million Americans said they planned on buying a home this year, even though the median existing home price in the U.S. leapt past $220,000 for the first time since the housing crisis began.


Overall, median home prices rose 6 percent over the past year in all the areas surveyed, while incomes rose by about 2 percent. The only real break for middle class homebuyers came from mortgage rates, which Freddie Mac notes were down from 4.5 percent for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in January to just 4 percent this month.


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