12 cities where clients are losing homebuying power
Even though income growth, declining mortgage rates and edged-down home prices have boosted affordability nationwide, some clients may face difficulties when house hunting.
Average household wages increased 3% in April from the same period a year earlier, according to First American Financial's Real House Price Index. At the same time, housing prices decreased 0.04% year-over-year and 0.9% from the month prior, data shows. Overall, consumer purchasing power rose 5.2% from March 2018 and 1.5% from February.
"What began as a modest shift toward a buyers’ market in six cities last month has expanded into a national shift in affordability," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American. "The shift is a departure from the long-term trend in the Real House Price Index, which had been steadily increasing throughout the rising mortgage rate environment that began in 2017 and continued until late 2018. Rising mortgage rates caused consumer house buying power to decline at the same time as tight supply pushed house prices up rapidly."
Yet not all cities are experiencing this shift. Some still have a gap between home prices and affordability. From secondary markets along the East Coast to the heart of the Midwest, here's a look at cities where consumers are losing ground in home buying power.
Data from the First American Real House Price Index that follows measures annual home price changes, taking local wages and mortgage rates into account "to better reflect consumers' purchasing power and capture the true cost of housing." Cities are ranked by the largest year-over-year changes in RHPI, as of March.