|by Paul Davidson and Meghan Hoyer, USATODAY|
Rising home prices and stagnant incomes are pushing home ownership beyond the reach of middle-class Americans in more cities, a new study finds.
In 20 of the 100 largest metro areas, a majority of homes on the market are not affordable for middle-income buyers, according to a study released Tuesday by real estate research firm
A home is considered affordable, by
Rising home prices and interest rates, combined with modest wage increases, have chipped away at affordability over the past year, says
"Affordability is worsening," Kolko says. "Prices are still rising faster than wages and income."
By historical standards, homes are still relatively affordable as the nation continues to recover from the 2007 housing crash. Nationally, home prices late last year were 20% above their 2011 nadir but 21% below their 2006 peak, according to CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes out Tuesday. Interest rates remain low. And buying is cheaper than renting in all of the 100 metro areas,
In a a separate report released Tuesday, the
Affordability varies widely across the
Seven of the 10 least affordable markets are in
Several metro areas had particularly steep drops in affordability the past year. In
At the other end of the spectrum, five of the 10 most affordable areas are in
A big reason housing is expensive in many areas is a dearth of new home construction. Land for development is limited and building regulations are onerous in parts of coastal
Existing home inventories are also low in part because the foreclosure crisis has eased, thinning the stock of low-priced homes on the market.
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