Competitive home prices and low interest rates created record affordability levels, but a new study finds housing costs are still quite high for many.
Competitive housing prices and falling interest rates pushed housing affordability to record levels in 2012, and though home prices have been rising quite aggressively since the start of the year, homes still remain far more affordable now then they were during the housing boom years.
But is that only half the story? After all, affordability indices and economic bubbles aside, homes are still more expensive now than their historical averages, and a new study from the Center For Housing Policy has found that in specific spots in the U.S., housing costs still place enormous financial burdens on large percentages of working families.
For its study, the Center studied what it labeled “working households,” which involve household members who work at least 20 hours per week (on average) and earn no more than 120 percent of the median income in their area. Applying that standard to the 21.9 million homeowner households in the U.S., approximately one-third qualify as “working households.”
But how many of those 6.5 million or so working households struggle with their housing costs? And how do those burdens differ city by city? Using data from the Center’s study, we put together the infographic below to demonstrate where housing cost burdens are the greatest.