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Housing Affordability Expected to Improve with Stable Mortgage Rates

By March 29, 2024No Comments

By Brent Ruffner | Daily Independent

Housing affordability may continue to hinge on whether or not interest rates fall, according to Tina Tamboer, housing analyst with the Cromford Report.

But it’s tough to get an accurate read with old data continuing to be used to measure affordability, Tamboer said.

During fourth-quarter 2023, only 21% of listed homes in the Phoenix area were affordable to those making a median household income of $99,000 per year, Tamboer said.

The figures — which come from the American Community Survey of Housing and Urban Development — uses old 2021 U.S. Census data for 2023 affordability measures, she said.

The new report — expected to be released April 1 —will use 2022 data for 2024, Tamboer said.

“So, essentially, we are comparing today’s prices with incomes from two years ago,” Tamboer said. “Knowing how many people moved here in 2022 in the ‘work from home’ movement, I think it’s safe to say that Greater Phoenix will see a higher median income in the next (survey) release.”

Median sales prices for homes in the Phoenix area have hovered between $435,000 to $445,000 for single-family homes, she said.

Demand for single-family homes is down and those who commit to buy will likely get a smaller home for their dollar since the price per square foot is up slightly, the housing analyst said.

Rates are still volatile and there’s too much uncertainty in the marketplace, Tamboer said.

“The market isn’t exciting for sellers,” Tamboer said.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 6.87%, according to the Freddie Mac website. One year ago, that rate was 6.42%, the website stated.

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