Janet Yellen’s 8-year yield heist has done wonders to help home prices recover from their 08-09 crash. But the gains made in home prices haven’t been driven by sustainable fundamentals. Home prices have outpaced income gains in many housing markets. MarketWatch reports on some of the least affordable housing markets in the nation.
New York County and San Francisco County predictably top the list, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau comparing median home values against median household income. The median home price in New York County was 11.6 times the median income ($849,000 versus $73,000) and 9.8 times in San Francisco Count ($800,000 versus $81,000). Several of the other least affordable places were in California, including Marin County, San Mateo County and Santa Clara. Arlington, Va. Honolulu, Hawaii where the median home value is 7.78 times larger than the median income of $74,000 at $580,000 also topped the charts for least affordable homes.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said the organization’s numbers are consistent these findings. The highest growth seen this past quarter was in Titusville, Fla., Tampa, Fla., Boulder, Colo. and Wichita Falls Texas. Some newcomers to its list of least affordable homes include Austin, Seattle, and Denver — places that may once have been affordable but have seen home values skyrocket in recent years. “Cities that were considered unaffordable a couple years ago have become even more so now because this is where prices are rising at the strongest rates,” he said.
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