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Where Can the Middle Class Buy a Home?

first_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Where Can the Middle Class Buy a Home? The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago May 15, 2014 771 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago About Author: Colin Robins Where Can the Middle Class Buy a Home? For the majority of homes, buying is cheaper than renting. But as home prices rise faster than incomes and mortgage rates slowly head upwards, the question of national affordability becomes ever more germane. Compared to the longer-term past, homeownership still looks relatively affordable as home prices remain undervalued and mortgage rates remain near historic lows. However, affordability for the middle class in some areas of the nation is becoming problematic.In a blog post, Trulia’s Jed Kolko notes that certain discrepancies do arise, specifically along the coasts, for middle class homeownership. Kolko explains his methodology of defining what counts as middle-class, and what counts as affordable before breaking down nationwide trends.Affordability is based on whether a home’s monthly payment, which includes mortgage, insurance, and property taxes, was less than 31 percent of the surrounding metro’s median household income. The designation “middle class” is fluid, dependent upon each metro’s local median household income.Kolko found that the middle class is getting priced out of California, but finds more success in the Midwest. In 80 of the 100 largest U.S. metros, most of the homes for sale are within reach of the middle class.In the most affordable housing markets, more than 80 percent of homes are within reach. Akron, Ohio tops the list at 86 percent of homes affordable for the middle class. “The 10 most affordable markets include eight in (or near) the Midwest, plus the southern markets of Columbia, South Carolina, and Little Rock, Arkansas. Five of the top 10 are in Ohio,” Kolko writes.Indeed, the top three metros for affordability include Akron, Toledo, and Dayton, Ohio, each sporting percentages above 80 percent of homes as affordable for the middle class in May 2014.Seven of the 10 least affordable markets reside in California. Not surprisingly, the rest of the top ten is rounded out by New York City, Fairfield County, Connecticut; and Honolulu, Hawaii. San Francisco remains on top as the least affordable city in the nation, with only 14 percent of homes for sale in San Francisco affordable to the middle class, despite higher median incomes.Education also plays a factor, affecting income which in turn directly reflects one’s ability to afford a home.”Household income is strongly correlated with education. Median household income is $33,500 for households headed by someone with a high school degree or less, $49,300 with some college or an associate’s degree, $77,500 with a bachelor’s degree, and $100,000 with a graduate degree,” Kolko commented.He notes that the higher the education of a metro’s population, the more homes will be available for purchase with a median income: “Take the Washington, D.C., metro area as an example: for a high-school-or-less household, just 23% of homes for sale are affordable, compared with 75% for a bachelor’s-degree household and 83% for a graduate-degree household.”Furthermore, the supply of available homes matters, with lower affordability markets experiencing a low supply from a lack of new construction, driving prices upward and out of the range of middle class families. For America’s most expensive markets to come down in price, there would have to be a subsequent drop in demand or an increase in construction. Cities like San Francisco, south Florida, and parts of the Northeast are geographically limited by their availability to construct new homes, and thus, are inherently limited in their ability to construct new homes, according to Kolko.Unfortunately, his conclusions aren’t exactly great news for the middle class family looking to purchase a home in more expensive markets. “In all, today’s unaffordable markets are likely to stay unaffordable. A collapse in demand is nothing to wish for; geographic constraints are nearly impossible to change; and strong political forces make building regulations difficult to relax,” he writes. in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, Market Studies, News Previous: 5 of 6 Banks Meet Mortgage Settlement Expectations Next: Johnson-Crapo Bill Clears Senate Banking Committeecenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Related Articles Home Ownership Housing Affordability Middle-class Trulia 2014-05-15 Colin Robins  Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save Sign up for DS News Daily Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News’ sister site. Tagged with: Home Ownership Housing Affordability Middle-class Trulialast_img read more

Papua New Guinea ready to  be cricket’s next fairytale story

first_imgBy Amlan ChakrabortyNEW DELHI (Reuters) – Papua New Guinea believe they could be cricket’s next rags-to-riches story after securing a place among the sport’s elite in next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.After three near-misses in the last six years, the ‘Barramundis’ under Assad Vala punched their tickets to Australia where they will join 15 other teams in Twenty20 cricket’s biggest stage.“Definitely the greatest moment for every cricketer in the country,” Vala told Reuters from Dubai where they finished runners-up in the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers.“We came so close on so many occasions. To get the job done this time, a lot of hard work has been put in behind the scenes to get where we are.“It will open more doors for cricket. More people will come and support cricket, the sponsors and all those stuff,” said the 32-year-old all-rounder.Cricket PNG chief executive Greg Campbell said the team had a few “quiet drinks” but proper celebration will be once they return home.“I don’t think players will know the enormity of it until they go home,” the former Australia player told Reuters.“Once they land home, they will understand and take it all in. They might do a few more celebrations in the next few weeks.”As he predicted, Vala and his men returned to a hero’s welcome on Monday.PNG, should they make the Super 12 stage in Australia, will clash against the traditional powerhouses but Campbell said that will not unnerve a bunch chasing bigger dreams. “The long-term goal is to make the 50-overs World Cup. We want to perform at this stage consistently and we want to be the next rising cricket associate powerhouse in the world.“The players know they got a lot of work to do. They are laying a legacy, a foundation for the young boys. It’s not a one-off, we want to play consistently on this stage.”SPIRITUAL HOME Cricket has come a long way in PNG since British missionaries introduced the game in the early 1900s.They secured ODI status in 2014 and draw most of their players from the coastal village of Hanuabada, considered the game’s spiritual home in the country. “You can’t put finger on it, but they just love it,” Campbell said of the “cricket-mad” village on the outskirts of Port Moresby.The massively popular Liklik cricket competition could be one of the reasons, he said.“The village closes down on weekends…with so many kids playing on the street with houses on one side and the ocean on the other.”PNG has engaged nearly 250,000 school students and 48% of them are girls, Campbell said. Their women’s team were one match away from reaching the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia but lost to Bangladesh in the semi-finals of the qualifier.Cricket PNG has introduced contracts to their elite men, women and rookie players though cricketers are encouraged to find other means of livelihood. Campbell is grateful to the International Cricket Council for its help but wished there was more help from the governing body.“ICC are really good to the associate world, but I’m not the only associate CEO sitting here and saying we need more money,” he said.“We’re very lucky in PNG that we do quite a bit of money outside of ICC with our sponsors. “I think there’s a big gap between full members and associate world. I’m not having a go at the ICC about that but I think that gap could be closed a little bit.”last_img read more