Housing Affordability is Taking a Plunge in Most Sectors

housing-affordability

Attom Data Solutions is a trusted authority on the housing market and its new report reflects a bleak outlook on housing affordability. According to the most recent information collected, fewer people in the United States will be able to secure affordable home loans because of the conditions affecting wages and the rising price of quality housing. The news is fairly grim, but there are some bright spots for those who are in the market to purchase a home.

What is Attom Data Solutions?

Attom Data Solutions is a national company that serves as a data warehouse collecting pertinent information about all aspects of the housing market from multiple sources. It is a useful resource for anyone who wants to know more about the past and present housing market statistics, the current trends in price, foreclosure rates, natural hazards, environmental risks, characteristics of specific neighborhoods within key cities. They are an excellent resource for discovering more about housing affordability and the factors that are influencing affordability.

Why is housing affordability becoming an issue?

The overall economy in most areas has affected wages a large segment of the population. Wage growth is on the decrease while the price of homes in the most desirable areas is on the rise. The two are not maintaining equilibrium and this creates a disparity in how affordable the cost of a home is when compared to income and cost of living increases. Home loan lenders take these factors into consideration when determining loan eligibility. Of course creditworthiness is also reviewed and an excellent credit rating can help in getting the best possible rates for financing while less than perfect scores can result in higher interest rates which make the prospect of purchasing a home outside of the real of affordability for many people in the certain regions of the United States.

How widespread is the problem?

In general, this is a national problem that affects most areas. Of course, those with higher income levels will still be able to secure new housing, but those who are perhaps first time buyers, or who have lower annual salaries will have a tougher time of it. This is certanly nothing new, but the current trends are showing that some sectors of the housing market are showing a price increase which adds to the problem of quality housing affordability.

Factors that affect housing affordability

The report is showing that homes in areas with the best amenities are the ones that are showing the greatest increase in value and asking price. This includes homes in neighborhoods with good schools and those near desirable communities. Those with lowest crime rates, in neighborhoods featuring historic landmark registries and with fewer natural and environmental hazards are seeing the sharpest increase in price. In short, houses in the safest and most convenient neighborhoods or those with scenic views are realizing their full income potential in many cases.

What this means for consumers in the market for housing

While the situation is less than optimal, there are still good options available for most potential homeowners. It means that finding affordable housing is going to take a greater search effort. The prices are rising in most sectors of the housing market, but it’s still possible to find some good deals out there. Of course, the most affordable homes will be found in areas with higher crime rates and fewer local amenities. This has always been the case within the market, but if you have time and patience, you may be able to locate a better deal that is offered by a motivated seller.

Strategies for securing affordable housing in a good location

Keeping credit ratings at their highest possible point is one of the most important factors. This will determine your final interest rate which can decrease the overall cost of a mortgage over the years. Having a good sized down payment can also help to defray the total cost of the home. The larger the down payment, the smaller the monthly mortgage payments will be.

Use all of the tools that you can find to enhance your search. Attom Data Solutions provides the information that is helpful in finding out which neighborhoods are in the safest zones. Statistics on crime rates, school ratings and local amenities are available for many neighborhoods and cities within the US. This will allow you to locate homes in neighborhoods which will be the most suitable for your situation. Some may require quick access to a main metropolitan area while others may prefer more rural settings. They have tools within their network of resources that can help you to learn more about specific areas along with the specs on any special hazards or risks that may be associated with a given neighborhood.

Foreclosures

Many people who are looking for a home in a certain area may find that foreclosures offer more affordable alternatives. In some cases, homeowners who are in pre-foreclosure may be motivated to sell a home to protect their own credit ratings and this can in some cases offer more affordable deals. In these cases it’s important to work with a realtor to ensure that there are no existing liens against the property, as often is the case with pre-foreclosure. After a property has gone into full foreclosure it is often sold at auction by the lender and the prices can range from well below market value to a little above, depending on the motivation of the seller and interest from prospective buyers. This can be a good option in some cases, but it doesn’t always mean that the property will end up being sold for an affordable price.

Final thoughts

Housing affordability is reaching a low and there is no disputing that it is more of a sellers market than a buyers. Even though conditions are on the stormy side currently, it doesn’t necessarily mean that quality housing is out of reach. It can pay to link with a reliable resource such as Attom Data Solutions to find the most viable alternatives. They do most of the work for you and it just makes sense to investigate all avenues in the areas of interest when looking for the most affordable housing options.

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