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Is It Getting More Affordable To Buy a Home?

Thursday, April 25, 2024   /   by Marvin Centura

Is It Getting More Affordable To Buy a Home?

Over the past year or so, a lot of people have been talking about how tough it is to buy a home. And while there’s no arguing affordability is still tight, there are signs it’s starting to get a bit better and may improve even more throughout the year. Elijah de la Campa, Senior Economist at Redfin, says:


We’re slowly climbing our way out of an affordability hole, but we have a long way to go. Rates have come down from their peak and are expected to fall again by the end of the year, which should make homebuying a little more affordable and incentivize buyers to come off the sidelines.”


Here’s a look at the latest data for the three biggest factors that affect home affordability: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages.


1. Mortgage Rates


Mortgage rates have been volatile this year – bouncing around in the upper 6% to low 7% range. That’s still quite a bit higher than where they were a couple of years ago. But there is a sliver of good news.


Despite the recent volatility, rates are still lower than they were last fall when they reached nearly 8%. On top of that, most experts still think they’ll come down some over the course of the year. A recent article from Bright MLS explains:


Expect rates to come down in the second half of 2024 but remain above 6% this year. Even a modest drop in rates will bring both more buyers and more sellers into the market.” 


Any drop in rates can make a difference for you. When rates go down, you can afford the home you really want more easily because your monthly payment would be lower.


2. Home Prices


The second big factor to think about is home prices. Most experts project they’ll keep going up this year, but at a more normal pace. That’s because there are more homes on the market this year, but still not enough for everyone who wants to buy one. The graph below shows the latest 2024 home price forecasts from seven different organizations:


 


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These forecasts are actually good news for you because it means the prices aren’t likely to shoot up sky high like they did during the pandemic. That doesn’t mean they’re going to fall – they’ll just rise at a slower pace.


3. Wages


One factor helping affordability right now is the fact that wages are rising. The graph below uses data from the Federal Reserve to show how wages have been growing over time:


 


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Check out the blue dotted line. That shows how wages typically rise. If you look at the right side of the graph, you’ll see wages are climbing even faster than normal right now.


Here’s how this helps you. If your income has increased, it’s easier to afford a home because you don’t have to spend as big of a percentage of your paycheck on your monthly mortgage payment.


Bottom Line


If you stack these factors up, you’ll see mortgage rates are still projected to come down a bit later this year, home prices are going up at a more moderate pace, and wages are growing quicker than normal. Those trends are a good sign for your ability to afford a home.



My Home Group | Heidi Spielman Dream Homes Team
Heidi Spielman
8405 E Baseline Rd., Ste 105
Mesa, AZ 85209
480-414-8902

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