'High-cost housing refugees' are bringing the real estate crunch into Middle America
By Andrea Riquier
And even those cities hit hardest by the bust are benefitting
Homes across the country became even less affordable over the summer as the housing crunch pushed "refugees" from high-priced metro areas into communities previously sheltered from the competition of coastal markets, according to data released Thursday.
The Home Affordability Index (https://www.attomdata.com/news/affordability/q3-2017-u-s-home-affordability-index/) from real estate data provider Attom Data Solutions edged down to 100 in the third quarter, the lowest level since the third quarter of 2008, which was just as the financial crisis was taking hold.
Attom says that what it calls "meat-and-potatoes" Middle America markets are attracting what it calls "high-cost housing refugees" priced out from metros like Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego and Brooklyn.
Also read:As housing reignites, even bust towns are booming again (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/as-housing-reignites-even-bust-towns-are-booming-again-2016-08-29)
Attom's index draws on wage, home price and mortgage-rate data. The higher the reading, the more house a potential buyer can get. So, a reading of 100 means that the share of average wages needed to buy a median-priced home is on par with historical averages. At the depth of the housing slump in 2012, when prices fell, that index stood as high as 154, but has fallen steadily since.
Home prices have roared higher as demand for housing surges even as supply remains constrained.