Home affordability dropped a record low in 2018, according to data solutions provider ATTOM’s Home Affordability Report. The score dropped from 102 in 2017 to 92 in 2018. This is the lowest the score has been since 2008’s index of 87. The report says that an index below 100 indicates that home prices are less affordable than before. Know all about the United State’s housing affordability crisis and ways you can find a home in these trying times.
America’s Affordable Housing Crisis
The report also tackled that households in over 69 counties in the United States need an income of $100,00 or more to buy a home within the median price. The median household income of Americans, according to recent data from the U.S. Census, is only $61,372. As such, the average joe won’t be able to live in over 16% of the counties in the U.S.
Topping this list are the California counties like San Mateo and San Francisco, and New York counties like Westchester and Kings County. The report also measured the housing affordability index of over 128 counties in America that had a population of at least 500,000 or more. Denver County, Colorado had the lowest affordability score with 70. This is followed by Arapahoe County, Colorado (73), and Tarrant County, Texas (74).
A survey, run by government-owned mortgage corporation Freddie Mac, showed that over 78% of renters still believe that renting is more affordable than owning. About 66% of them say they’re having trouble in paying their rent, and 51% of them stated that it affects their spending for other essential items like food and utilities. If you’re sharing the same problems as them or you’re having a had time finding a home you can afford in your city, consider these options.
If you’re fresh out of school and just starting on your new job, you may have a hard time finding a new place that fits your budget. However, you can opt for state-owned housing under the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This program is available for low-income households, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Check your county’s income limits if you qualify.
Be warned, however, that even if you are eligible, there may be a long waiting period before you’re assigned a unit, as public housing is almost always in high demand. If you feel like you’re being denied the right to rent by your provider because of discrimination, you may need to file a case with a real estate lawyer and contact your regional Housing and Urban Development office to settle the dispute.
Like the bustling co-working spaces like WeWork and Regus, co-living spaces allow you to rent a single room in a large apartment with other tenants. While this is nothing new, investors everywhere are doubling down on building homes for refurbishing old ones specifically for communal living. Some even have free Wi-Fi, gyms, and lounges. If you want to enjoy an affordable room with amenities and don’t really mind sharing the rest of the apartment with strangers, co-living is for you.
The rising prices in individual homes and even rental units have pushed people away from suburbs and into public housing and co-living spaces. While these options may limit your privacy, they’re just leagues more affordable than an individual home. And because they’re so tight-knit, these kinds of units encourage you to engage with other people in your community. You’re saving money and gaining friends at the same time.