The National Association of Realtors released a study yesterday showing how the rise in the cost of homes and a steep drop in the number of houses being sold has affected Americans. The news for the middle-class was not good.
Here are some highlights of that report:
- More than 400,000 fewer affordable homes are available for sale for households earning $75,000 to $100,000 when compared to the start of the pandemic (245,300 in December 2021 vs. 656,200 in December 2019).
- For households earning $75,000 to $100,000, there’s one affordable listing available for every 65 households – a stark decrease in availability from one affordable listing for every 24 households in 2019 for this income group.
- “The housing wealth gain has been sizable over the past two years,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, due to the ongoing inventory shortage and rising interest rates, homeownership attainment will become especially challenging unless drastically more housing supply is available.”
- A significant and persistent racial homeownership gap exists in America. Since 2017, the annual homeownership rate for White Americans has remained comfortably above 70%; however, the homeownership rate for Black Americans has been slightly above 40% – nearly 30 percentage points lower.
The Austin market was reported to be one of the hottest, if not the hottest market in the country. In the Austin area, the average sold price increased 26%, and the median sold price increased by 31% year-over-year. Certainly it is very, very challenging for first-time homebuyers and other buyers with minimal cash as offers continue to come in significantly over the list price, particularly in the lower and middle range of the market.