Median Home Prices Not Affordable to Average U.S. Wage Earner in 2019

According to ATTOM Data Solutions fourth-quarter 2019 U.S. Home Affordability Report, the median home prices in the fourth quarter of 2019 were unaffordable for average wage earners in 344 of 486, or 71 percent of the U.S. counties analyzed in the report. That figure was down from 73 percent in third quarter and 75 percent from a year earlier. The report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed to make monthly house payments -- including mortgage, property taxes and insurance -- on a median-priced home, assuming a 3 percent down payment and a 28 percent maximum "front-end" debt-to-income ratio. That required income was then compared to annualized average weekly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see full methodology below).

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