With the country’s population swelling and an aging population expected to double by 2050, home ownership and affordable housing are becoming more important than ever.
But even as the economy and housing market has become more competitive, affordability remains a concern for many Americans, and while many are choosing to sell their homes, they’re finding themselves struggling to find affordable options for their family members.
According to a survey by Zillow, the number of home sales in the United States increased by 11.7% in the first quarter of 2018, the highest rate of growth since the middle of 2016.
That’s according to Zillower’s latest figures, which track the number and prices of homes sold in the country each quarter.
According a Zillows spokesperson, that’s due in part to the “tremendous number of empty homes” that are often waiting for buyers to find new homes in order to qualify for a mortgage, or even sell them for a down payment.
“With so many people being priced out of homes in the housing market, a significant number of people have to find other housing to live in,” the spokesperson said.
“It can be tough for people who are trying to make ends meet, and it can be challenging for people with disabilities, elderly parents, or anyone in need of help.”
“Some people are choosing not to sell because they feel they can’t afford to sell,” she continued.
“Some people who need to sell have their credit score and housing costs constantly in the background.
Some people are simply finding it harder to get mortgages.”
As home prices have risen, so have the number, types and prices available for homeownership in the nation.
While the average price of a home is now $315,000, it’s more than $50,000 more expensive than it was in 2016.
Zillowers data indicates that the average house sold in 2018 is worth a total of $8,500, or $1.1 million.
While that’s still well below the median family income of $60,000 in the U.S., it’s up from $5,600 in 2017.
The median household income in the entire U.s. was $50.6 million, but median home values in the cities and suburbs have grown by a combined $5.9 billion.
While many of the nation’s largest cities saw the fastest growth in median home prices, cities like New York and San Francisco saw the biggest gains.
In addition, many Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to qualify as homeowners.
According to Zellow, there were 9.5 million properties that were “underutilized” in the third quarter of 2017, down from 10.2 million the previous year.
This is a drop of 2.5% from 2016, but a significant increase from the 9.1% the country was in when the last recession ended.
Zillow’s survey also found that more than one-third of the households with mortgage debt in the three-month period ended in 2019 had at least one borrower with credit score below 640, which means they were likely to be at a higher risk of foreclosure.
“There is a strong correlation between high credit scores and lower affordability,” ZillOW’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“Low scores can also have negative consequences for borrowers who have less money to spend on housing.”
“The housing market is in the midst of a tremendous supply and demand crisis,” said Rebecca Bynum, vice president for consumer advocacy at National Low Income Housing Coalition.
“With so much uncertainty and uncertainty surrounding what the future holds, it is especially critical that families and individuals who have financial resources, such as those with credit scores above 640, make informed decisions about whether or not to buy a home.”