MiamiRealEstateKing

Housing less affordable for many Americans

In real estate on March 1, 2011 at 7:33 pm

WASHINGTON – Feb. 28, 2011 – Although home values have fallen over the past few years, housing affordability has significantly decreased for working owners and renters, according to an annual report released by the Center for Housing Policy, the research affiliate of the National Housing Conference.

The report, titled “Housing Landscape 2011,” provides an in-depth look at housing affordability trends for working households between 2008 and 2009 focusing on the effects of employment, income and housing costs.

According to the report, nearly one in four working households had a severe housing cost burden in 2009, spending more than half of its income on housing costs. Nationwide, some 10.5 million working households experienced a severe housing cost burden in 2009 – an increase of nearly 600,000 households from the prior year. This increase occurred despite a drop of 1.1 million in the overall number of working households.

“Housing costs for existing homeowners have declined only slightly, while housing costs for working renters have actually gone up,” said Jeffrey Lubell, Executive Director of the Center for Housing Policy. “Meanwhile, high unemployment and falling incomes have left low- and moderate-income families struggling to make ends meet.”

The study found that five states’ share of severely cost-burdened working households exceeded the national average, and they had a statistically significant increase between 2008 and 2009: Florida, Arizona, California, New Jersey and New York.

Among the 50 largest metropolitan areas, the following five metropolitan areas had the highest share of working households with a severe housing cost burden in 2009:

Nationally, housing affordability declined substantially for working renters across the country. Approximately one-fourth of working renters (24.5 percent) had a severe housing cost burden in 2009 – an increase over the 22.1 percent with the problem in 2008.

Housing affordability declined among homeowners as well. Some 21.2 percent of working homeowners had a severe housing cost burden in 2009, as compared with 20.1 percent in 2008.

The report identified several factors as contributing to the decline in housing affordability, including an increase in rents, a reduction in the number of hours worked per week, and falling incomes.

In a state-to-state comparison, the share of working households with a severe housing cost burden increased significantly in 25 states and decreased significantly in none. The share of working households with a severe housing cost burden increased significantly in 16 of the largest metropolitan areas and decreased significantly in none. Of these 16 metro areas, 14 are located in the Midwest and the South.

Overall, the level of severe housing cost burden amongst working households displayed a high level of variation at the metropolitan level. Levels ranged from a high of 42 percent in Miami to a low of 15 percent in Pittsburgh and Louisville.

The complete report, “An Annual Look at the Housing Affordability Challenges of America’s Working Households,”is available in PDF format online.

Reprinted by Permission: © 2011 Florida Realtors®

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