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2010-06-16
Home Sales and Affordability Stage A Comeback!

 

A study this week by the Joint Center For Housing Studies at Harvard University found very low mortgage interest rates and recovering labor markets should be enough to shore up home sales and housing starts, even with the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credit.

'If history is a guide, what happens with jobs will matter the most to the strength of the housing rebound,' said Eric S. Belsky, Executive Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies.

The report noted that the bright spots on the homeownership front were the dramatic increase in affordability and the growth in first-time buyers it produced.

For instance, near the height of the housing boom, mortgage payments on a median-priced home peaked at 32.7 percent of median household income. By the first quarter of 2009, the share had retreated to just 19.6 percent of median income. By the first quarter of 2010 payment-to-income ratios hit a new low of 18.9 percent.

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