MReport October 2022

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48 | M R EP O RT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST ORIGINATION Homeownership Remains 'Historically' Unaffordable in Most of U.S. According to ATTOM's 2022 Home Affordability Report, homeownership costs require 30% of the average national wage as of Q3, leaving the majority of homebuyers in most markets facing unaffordability nationwide. Here are the latest findings. A TTOM has released its Q 3 2022 U.S. Home Affordability Report showing that median- priced single-family homes and condos remain less affordable in Q 3 of 2022 compared to histori- cal averages in 99% of counties across the nation with enough data to analyze. Numbers contin- ue to be far above the nearly 70% of counties that were historically less affordable in Q 3 of 2021— marking yet another high point reached during the country's 11-year housing market boom. The report also shows some potential relief for homebuyers as the portion of average wages nationwide required for median major homeownership expenses has dipped slightly from 30.9% in Q2 of 2022 to 30% in Q 3. "Homeownership remains largely unaffordable for the major- ity of homebuyers in the majority of markets across the country," said Rick Sharga, EVP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM. "While home prices have declined a bit quarter over quarter, they're still higher than they were a year ago, and interest rates have essentially doubled. Many prospective home- buyers simply can't afford the home they hoped to buy, and in many cases, no longer qualify for the mortgage they'd need." The third-quarter figure does remain above the 28% ceiling lenders generally like to see when issuing a mortgage. It's also well above the 23.4% level from a year ago. However, the current decline in the portion of wages needed to afford the typical home nation- wide marks the first quarterly improvement in almost two years and comes as the median national single-family home price has taken a rare third-quarter fall. The latest median value of $340,000 is down 3% from Q2 of 2022—the first spring-to-summer decline since 2008. The report determined afford- ability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed to meet major monthly homeownership expenses—includ- ing mortgage, property taxes, and insurance—on a median-priced single-family home, assuming a 20% down payment and a 28% maximum "front-end" debt-to- income ratio. Compared to historical levels, median home prices in 574 of the 581 counties analyzed in Q 3 of 2022 are less affordable than in the past. The latest number is up from 568 of the same group of counties in the second quarter of 2022, 398 in the third quarter of 2021, and just 284, or less than half, two years ago. The increase has continued as the median national home price—despite dipping quarterly—is still up 10% over the past year, while average annual wages across the country have grown just 6%. Affording a home remains slightly out of reach for many Americans but may begin to get easier for average workers amid a time if significant headwinds stall or even reverse a boom in prices that dates back to 2012. As prices remain historically high, home-seller profits have surpassed 50%, and homeowner equity keeps rising across the country. As homebuyers continue chasing an extremely small supply of properties for sale, elevated demand has helped push the na- tional median home price up over the past year faster than the pace of wage growth. Meanwhile, home sales are down as mortgage rates have steadily climbed this year from just above 3% to near 6% for a 30-year loan, driving up expenses for buy- ers. Higher interest rates, grow- ing inflation, elevated fuel costs, and a declining stock market all strain the finances of prospective

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