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U.S. home prices unaffordable for many workers:

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  • U.S. home prices unaffordable for many workers:

    U.S. home prices unaffordable for many workers:

    study By Andrew Stern

    1 hour, 51 minutes ago

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. home prices may have dipped over the past year, but many American workers would still struggle to afford a median-priced home in major cities, a new study said on Wednesday.

    "American workers are really not gaining ground and they're so far behind in the first place," said Barbara Lipman, research director for the nonprofit Center for Housing Policy, which conducted the study.

    While the median home price in the 202 largest metropolitan areas declined 2 percent from a year ago to $248,000 in the third quarter of 2006, mortgage rates rose enough over the year that homes actually became less affordable as pay did not keep pace.

    "The real story is what happened to salaries," Lipman said. "Lower-paid occupations -- such as in retail, or home health workers -- their salaries went up only about 3 percent."

    The study found an annual income of nearly $85,000 was needed to afford the median-priced U.S. home.

    In the New York metropolitan area, a $500,000 median-priced home required a $171,000 annual salary. The median-priced home in San Francisco, the most expensive U.S. market, was $759,000, requiring income of $260,000. In less-expensive Chicago, the median-priced home cost $254,000, requiring an $87,000 salary.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, Mansfield, Ohio, homes cost a median $85,000, requiring $29,118 in income.

    The study assumed home buyers needed a 10 percent down payment and could afford to pay 28 percent of their income on mortgage payments, property taxes and home insurance.

    In reality, many households expend a much higher percentage of their incomes on mortgage payments, Lipman said. To afford that, consumers cut other expenses such as for health care and transportation, she said, citing research showing unaffordable housing is the major reason families lack health insurance.

    Other ways families cope with high housing expenses is to work longer hours or extra jobs, or by crowding in more income producers, she said. An October 2006 survey by the group found families who seek to buy less-expensive homes in further-out suburbs -- adding to urban sprawl -- pay so much more for transit that it eliminates the savings.

    While home prices range widely across the country, wages for low-wage jobs -- from teachers to janitors -- are about the same no matter where they are located, Lipman said.

    The report cited housing aid programs offered by some big-city hospitals that have plenty of modestly-paid workers.

    "For the low- to moderate-income individuals that we're talking about, they're not going to be helped by marginal declines in home prices," Lipman said. "The only way to address the problem is to create more affordable units (homes) -- which may mean higher density units, townhouses and condos."
    The information provided is not, and should not be considered legal advice. All information provided is only informational and should be verified by a law practioner whenever possible. When confronted with legal issues contact an experienced attorney in your state who specializes in the area of law most directly called into question by your particular situation.

  • #2
    "For the low- to moderate-income individuals that we're talking about, they're not going to be helped by marginal declines in home prices," Lipman said. "The only way to address the problem is to create more affordable units (homes) -- which may mean higher density units, townhouses and condos."
    I don't neccisarily agree with this idea alone. The concept in itself is good though--but this concept "creates" a lot of other issues that must be addressed. What really needs to happen, is the inflated mortgage prices in major metropolitan areas need to be deflated! The price of real estate has been artificially inflated for the past 3-4 years now. Private sellers, and Builders need to stop being so profit greedy, and reduce the selling prices of the properties they've listed for sale. The average price of real estate has been criminal for the past 3-4 years, and really needs to end! Families are driving themselves into severe debt trying to afford the cost of a median home prices in major metropolitan areas.
    The information provided is not, and should not be considered legal advice. All information provided is only informational and should be verified by a law practioner whenever possible. When confronted with legal issues contact an experienced attorney in your state who specializes in the area of law most directly called into question by your particular situation.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here in southern California, home prices are obscenely expensive. The average home in San Diego sells for over 700k!!! That takes an executive salary 250k plus which is way above means for most folks. Of course its a bubble and with easy credit loans disappear it will deflate hopefully.

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17445891/page/2/

        Cohabitation replacing marriage. Married couples have children because they have the money??!!

        People can't afford to buy an average home in areas where they live??!!

        These are symptoms of a much bigger problem.
        Filed Ch 7 - 09/06
        Discharged - 12/2006
        Officially Declared No Asset - 03/2007
        Closed - 04/2007

        I am not an attorney. My comments are based on personal experience and research. Always consult an attorney in your area to address concerns related to your particular situation.

        Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate. - Woody Allen...

        Comment


        • #5
          Good info folks-
          My strategy is to wait at least another 2 years to buy a new home. Home prices are finallyn dropping here in San Diego and I can save up for the down payment! With a big downpayment, I can get better loan and by then my FICO should be much higher since it will be 3.5 years since the discharge process of the BK.

          Comment


          • #6
            Real Estate Prices To Fall Hard!!!

            If you can hang on another two years, you may actually find that Real Estate prices will fall so far that many of you will effectively get much of your financial BK losses back when you buy another home in 2 years!

            Real Estate prices increased by over 90% from 1999 to 2003 while salaries only increased by 20% over the same period. Real Estate prices then increased another 40% from 2004 - 2006 while salaries only increased by 10%over the same period. This bubble has already began to stretch out within the last 12 months and will POP for sure at some point within the next 12!
            Case Type: Chapter 7, Caused By Business Failure
            Filed: 11/18/07
            Discharged: 03/28/07
            Status: Awaiting Closing

            Comment


            • #7
              A prime example of how crazy it got and how fast, we had the opporunity to purchase 4 acres of land, there was no home on the property, it was located in a good established country area, no restrictions and could buy it for $8000.00. That was 7 years ago and we simply couldn't afford it at the time 9we had just bought our home). Well it sold and then sold again to a developer who bought up alot of the land in that area and that same piece just sold again with no home on it for building a home in the new flashy restricted neighborhood that has been built for $145,000.00!!!!! Just for the property. That it the insanity of over- inflated housing/property prices. Hopefully there will be an end to this at some point. Greedy developers.
              "Try to save money. Someday it may be valuable again." - Anonymous

              Comment


              • #8
                Real Estate bubble and subprime mess

                I agree- in southern California, home prices dropped about 5-10% this year and are falling with the credit tightening and subprime explosion.

                After my ch discharge in March 2006, I set out to rebuild my credit. I've been current on all bills and credit payments on time since then and now my FICO is between 646-701 which is better than the 550 FICO score that I had in 2006. So I am confident that in 2 years, I can boost the scores up to mid 700's and buy a modest home. My car is paid off- I kept it through the BK since I only owed a couple grand on it and now it helps my credit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  [removed] The prices for houses in the USA decrease[/url] on a background of negative effect which on the market of the real estate. Interesting articles about this...
                  Last edited by HHM; 02-26-2008, 03:04 PM. Reason: Removed active link.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jack77 View Post
                    [removed]The prices for houses in the USA decrease[/url] on a background of negative effect which on the market of the real estate. Interesting articles about this...
                    Last edited by HHM; 02-26-2008, 03:04 PM.
                    Filed Ch7 3/6/08 [X]
                    341 hearing 4/10/08 [X]
                    Last day for Objections 6/9/08 [X]
                    Discharge AND Closed 6/23/08 [X]

                    Comment

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