Can housing return to pre-pandemic affordability?

Congress debates $1.2 trillion spending bill

21 minutes ago

Congress is debating a $1.2 trillion spending bill that would fund 70% of the government, which must be passed before midnight to avoid a partial government shutdown.

The bill is currently in the House of Representatives and would fund defense, homeland security, labor, health and human services, education, state and legislative branch operations until September 30. The Senate is expected to take up the bill at 1 p.m. Eastern time, according to CSPAN.

Some Republicans in the House expressed their displeasure with the bill, and the party was divided as the vote was held.

This post has been updated with new information on the bill's progress.

Housing affordability that matches pre-pandemic levels will require unlikely adjustments

56 minutes ago

The „American Dream” of home ownership is in serious trouble, and it will take a dramatic shift in the market to bring it back to most families.

To be specific: To make housing affordable on a regular income in February 2020, home prices would need to fall 40%, and the average mortgage rate would need to fall to 2.45% from its December 2023 average. 6.80%, or the median household income would rise from $77,730 to $129,096. A combination of those three factors will do the trick, according to Investopedia's calculations.

Those figures highlight how far home affordability has risen for typical families since the pandemic hit. First-time buyers have been hit by prices that have doubled since 2020. But high earners.

The housing affordability index, compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, was near its lowest point in data as of December 2006 of 72.8, with 100 being the level at which homes are affordable on typical incomes. By comparison, the index was at 106.7 in February 2020, before the pandemic hit prices, incomes and mortgage rates, the most influential factors in the index.

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Read more about housing affordability here.

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