New data from the National Housing Conference (NHC), a broad coalition of affordable housing stakeholders, has found that the nation’s housing affordability crisis continues to escalate.
Its Paycheck to Paycheck database, which examines wage data and housing costs for 150 occupations across 390 metropolitan areas, finds that the income needed to purchase a typically priced home increased in 96% of the tracked homeownership markets year over year in June. In addition, the average cost of a two-bedroom rental rose by 10% or more in over half of the markets studied.
“By comparing wage data with housing costs, our Paycheck to Paycheck database demonstrates the stark reality of the affordability crisis faced by many Americans,” said NHC president and CEO David M. Dworkin. “While nominal wage increases have been observed in response to higher labor costs, soaring levels of inflation have significantly eroded those gains. As both housing and rental prices skyrocket, the dream of a decent home is slipping out of reach for far too many hardworking individuals and families.”
According to the database, the income needed to afford a typically priced home increased an average of 11% when compared with a year ago. For example, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the income needed to afford a home with a 10% down payment increased 21% from $61,788 to $74,539. Fayetteville had the highest increase of the tracked areas, followed by Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, Alabama; Columbia, Missouri; and Hinesville, Georgia, which all saw increases over 19%.
NHC noted Seattle and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida, as other examples. In Seattle, households must be prepared to pay over $703,000 to afford a typical home. This would require an annual income of $234,800 to consider homeownership as a viable option or $98,200 to rent a two-bedroom apartment, a 20% surge in year-over-year rental costs. In Tampa-St. Petersburg, households must be prepared to pay $370,418 to afford a typical home. This would require an annual income of $123,614 to consider homeownership or $66,360 to rent a two-bedroom apartment, a 23% year-over-year increase in rental costs.
“In light of the data provided by our Paycheck to Paycheck database, it is evident that the housing affordability crisis continues to loom over aspiring homeowners and renters across the nation,” added Dworkin. “Seattle and Tampa-St. Petersburg are just two examples of the many metropolitan areas where the barriers to afford housing have intensified. The urgent need for comprehensive and sustainable solutions to address the affordability crisis has become increasingly apparent.”