The number of people who can qualify for a mortgage with a down payment of at least 30 percent of the median income of their county has fallen by more than half in the past decade, according to a new study by a New York-based real estate consulting firm.
The report from The Urban Institute found that in 2017, the percentage of households in the top 10 percent of income earners who could qualify for the lowest mortgage interest rate increased from just 4 percent in 2006 to 16 percent in 2017.
In the past four years, the number of households earning more than $100,000 per year fell from 19 percent in 2016 to 14 percent in 2021.
The number living in homes with more than 100 square feet of floor space also dropped from 11 percent in 2015 to 6 percent in 2019.
The median income for the nation as a whole rose by 3.9 percent in that time, according the report.
But while that income is rising, the median home price fell 5.2 percent in the same period.
The report’s authors noted that this trend could be driven by a growing number of lower-income people moving into the country to take advantage of low interest rates.
“There is an expectation that these people will be able to refinance into mortgages with lower interest rates,” said John Burt, a senior vice president at The Urban Group, who helped write the report and who is a co-author of the report with fellow Urban Institute economist Richard Gertz.
But the real estate market remains deeply uncertain, and the housing market as a result of a lack of foreclosures, said Burt.
According to the report, median home prices in the metro area fell by more $2,843 in the three years from 2018 to 2021.
That represents an average decline of $5,637 per home over that period.
The average home price in the entire country is $180,000, according a recent report from the real-estate website Zillow.
Meanwhile, home values in metro areas that experienced a greater share of foreclosed homes are seeing even more decline in the median value of their homes.
In some cases, the decline in home values is more than double the decline seen in metro cities that experienced fewer foreclosings, according