New Reports Outline Highs and Lows in Housing Affordability – NMP Skip to main content

New Reports Outline Highs and Lows in Housing Affordability

Phil Hall
Feb 01, 2016
Housing affordability was the subject of three new data reports, with two pointing to positive developments and the other highlight a significant problem impacting a growing demographic

Housing affordability was the subject of three new data reports, with two pointing to positive developments and the other highlight a significant problem impacting a growing demographic.

First, the good news: The Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS) December 2015 Mortgage Monitor has found that the mortgage payment-to-income ratio is still favorable by historical standards, thus making it easier for many borrowers to purchase a new home.

“Black Knight’s most recent analysis of the data shows that it currently takes 21 percent of the median monthly household income to purchase the national median-priced home using a 30-year fixed rate mortgage,” said Ben Graboske, senior vice president for Black Knight’s Data & Analytics Division. “That’s down significantly from 33 percent back at the top of the market in 2006, and is still below the average of 26 percent we saw in the more stable years before the housing bubble. However, when we look at an example scenario using today’s rate of home price appreciation and a 50-basis-point-per-year increase in interest rates, we see that in two years home affordability will be pushing the upper bounds of that pre-bubble average. At the state level under that same scenario, eight states would be less affordable than 2000-2002 levels within 12 months and 22 states would be within 24 months.

“Right now,” Graboske added, “both Hawaii and Washington, D.C. are already less affordable than they were during the pre-bubble era. On the other hand, even after 24 months under this scenario, Michigan—among other states—would still be much more affordable at the end of 2017 than it was in the early 2000s.”

Separately, released its annual “10 Best Affordable Places to Live” list, which the site insisted was made up of “affordable cities that you’d actually want to live in.”

“As with most products you can buy, ‘cheapest’ isn’t always ideal—it’s just the least expensive option,” said Editor Matt Carmichael. “Our ranking looks at cities that are attainable financially based on costs and job opportunities, but also good places to live.”

And the Best Affordable Places to Live in 2016, according to, were all found in either the Central or Mountain Time Zones. Huntsville, Ala., topped the list, followed by Bismarck, N.D.; Rochester, Minn.; Round Rock, Texas; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Provo, Utah; Greeley, Colo.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Holland, Mich.; Bloomington, Ill.

Now, the not-so-good news: Data from Make Room, an advocacy group supporting the rights of renters, has determined the number of senior households paying unaffordable rent increased by 25 percent nationwide over the past decade, from 22.5 million to 28.1 million. The number of seniors paying more than half of their pre-tax household income toward rent and utilities spiked during the same period 34 percent, from 1.4 million to 1.8 million. Seniors currently make up 29 percent of those living in Low-Income Tax Housing Credit properties and 22 percent of Section 8 voucher recipients.

Within the major metro markets, Kentucky’s Louisville/Jefferson County metro area saw the greatest increase in unaffordable rents for seniors (10.5 percentage points), followed by New Orleans (9.8 percentage points) and Connecticut’s Hartford metro area (9.6 percentage points).

“The significant increase in the number of seniors paying unaffordable rent is staggering, especially because it is outpacing the overall growth of the senior population,” said Angela Boyd, managing director of Make Room. “Rising, unaffordable rents are jeopardizing older Americans’ retirement security, including the ability to stay in their homes and communities, and to afford health care and medicine.”

Feb 01, 2016
Biden Reappoints Powell As Federal Reserve Chairman

A signal that The Fed will continue its policies as inflation surges and economic uncertainty spikes due to an emerging variant of the coronavirus. 

Industry News
Nov 29, 2021
Servion Taps Sagent For Consumer-First Servicing Tech Stack

A 7-year deal between Servion Mortgage and Sagent will equip Servion with Sagent's tech stack for performing, non-performing, and consumer experience.

Nov 29, 2021
Guaranteed Rate's Banosian Funds $2B In Total Loan Volume

The mortgage industry shouldn't be surprised by Guaranteed Rate's top loan officer, Shant Banosian, funding $2 billion in total loan volume during a record-breaking year. After all, “The Billion Dollar Man” is one of the top 5 loan originators in the U.S.

Nov 29, 2021
Chairman Xu Sells Off Personal Assets To Avoid Default

The Evergrande saga continues as Chairman Xu Jiayin sells off 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) of his personal assets to prop up the deflating property giant.

Industry News
Nov 23, 2021
OptiFunder Secures $25 Million In Capital

OptiFunder, a warehouse management system provider for mortgage originators, raised $25 million in additional capital lead by Arthur Ventures, a growth capital firm focused on high-growth, founder-led and capital efficient B2B software companies.

Nov 23, 2021
Mortgage Company Donates $100K To High School In Memory Of Fallen U.S. Navy Corpsman

Cleveland-based CrossCountry Mortgage donated $100,000 to Milan Edison High School in memory of U.S. Navy Corpsman, Maxton W. Soviak, who died while assisting in the evacuation of Americans and refugees in Afghanistan in August.

Nov 23, 2021