Earlier this morning, we referenced the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) which is published by the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.). According to the last published index (February), the percentage of households that could afford to purchase a median-priced home in the Bay Area was 12% (and only 9% in San Francisco).
Almost right on cue, C.A.R. released a new First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index (FTB-HAI) this afternoon:
C.A.R. began producing its Housing Affordability Index (HAI) in 1984. At that time, fixed-rate mortgages were the prevailing form of financing a home purchase, while the calculations used to produce the HAI reflected a 20 percent down payment. The methodology also assumed a monthly payment for principal, interest, taxes and insurance that was no more than 30 percent of a household’s income.
In the more than two decades since the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® first conceived the HAI, the mortgage finance landscape has changed dramatically. The range of mortgage products available to buyers as well as underwriting criteria has changed.
C.A.R. developed the new index measuring affordability for first-time home buyers to better reflect the realities of today’s real estate market.
According to the new model, the percentage of first-time buyers able to afford a median-priced home in the Bay Area stands at 24% (16% in San Francisco). And while that’s more palatable than 12% and 9% respectively, keep in mind that based on this new model (which takes into account relaxed lending standards and the shift away from long-term, fixed-rate mortgages), affordability in San Francisco is down about 18% from a year ago, down 28% from two years ago, and down 35% from the second quarter of 2003. That’s the market reality.
∙ Nobody Actually Owns A Home In “Bay Area” [SocketSite]
∙ Housing affordability at 23 percent, according to newly developed index [C.A.R.]