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March 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is down from last month and down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.42 percent this March, up 8.2 percent compared to 4.28 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in March moving the index down 7.0 percent from 150.4 to 161.7. The median sales price for a single family home sold in March in the US was $252,111 up 5.9 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 35 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points), while median family incomes rose 2.7 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in price at 8.5 percent. The South had an increase of 6.0 percent while the Midwest had a gain of 5.1 percent. The Northeast had the smallest incline in price of 3.5 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.2 percent. The South had a decline of 7.3 percent followed by the Midwest with a drop of 5.7 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop of 2.7 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is down from last month in all four regions. The West had a decline of 4.7 percent followed by the Northeast with a dip of 5.6 percent. The South had a drop of 5.9 percent followed by the Midwest, which had the biggest; dip in affordability of 8.6 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 194.7. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.6. For comparison, the index was 151.8 in the South, and 163.5 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently down 2.5 percent. Mortgage credit availability in April was flat. Rates are rising which will increase-housing costs. Home prices are up 5.9 percent while median family incomes are only growing 2.7 percent. Inventory gains will help ease the pressure on home prices.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

More Properties Were Sold at or Above the List Price in March 2018

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, the survey asks, “Compared to the original listing price, at how much of a net discount or net premium did the property sell?”

According to a survey of REALTORS® who responded to the March 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, 37 percent of properties that closed in February 2018 sold at or above the list price. One year ago, 35 percent sold at or above the list price, and during the months of January in 2012 through 2015, about one in four sold at or above the list price. Buyer demand continues to outpace supply of homes being listed for sale in the market, sustaining the upward pressure on home prices.

According to respondents who reported closing a sale, 17 percent of properties sold at a net premium in March 2018, an increase from the nine percent share in 2014 and 2015. Of properties that sold at a premium, 87 percent sold at 101 to 110 percent of the list price, seven percent were sold at a premium of 11 to 20 percent, and five percent were sold at more than 20 percent premium.

The price distribution continues to skew to the right. In 2012, 34 percent of properties were typically listed at $150,000 in 2012, but as of March 2018, only 22 percent of properties listed were typically at this price level.[1]

Use the data visualization below to view the median listing price of properties listed on Realtor.com in March 2018. Red areas are areas where the listing price is higher than the U.S. median sales price of all existing homes sold in March 2018, at $250,400. Hover on the map to see the distribution of listing prices from June 2012 through March 2018 on Realtor.com data.

 

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[1] To access Realtor.com data, go to https://www.realtor.com/research/data/.

 

 

Two Rivers Realty &
Property Management

730 Main  Avenue
St. Maries, ID 83861
Phone: 208-245-2551
Fax: 208-245-4982
info@tworiversstmaries.com



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