Labor Day Blues: Can The Average American Worker Afford To Buy A House?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS This Labor Day weekend, some workers are wondering what happened to the American Dream of earning enough from a nine-to-five job to buy their own home — with or without the white picket fence.  According to officials at the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the median sales price of a new home in July 2022 was $439,400. The thumbnail measurement for home affordability is a house that costs roughly 2.6 years of your household income, or a 2.6 “price-to-income ratio.” Using the 2.6 price-to-income ratio, your household’s earners would need to bring in $169,000 a year to be able to afford a new home. That is higher than most U.S.…

Refi Closing Costs Still Less Than 1% Of Loan Amount In 2021

The national average closing costs in 2021 for a single-family property refinance were up $88 YOY, but still less than 1% of the average refi loan amount, according to CoreLogic’s annual Refinance Closing Cost Report. The average closing cost was $2,375, up 3.8% from 2020’s $2,287. The average refi loan amount was $304,909. By contrast, the national average for purchase closing costs was $3,860. The main difference in closing costs between the two are owner title insurance and inspection fees common for purchase transactions, but less often required for refis. Most third-party fees were still lower for refis. “In 2021, homeowners were still able to get good deals on both interest rates and closing costs,” said Bob Jennings, executive, CoreLogic…

Millennials At Risk Of Becoming House-Rich, Cash-Poor

Millennials spend more of their monthly income on homeownership costs than other generations and are at the greatest risk of becoming house-rich and cash-poor, according to a new study from Hometap. The study, a survey of 1,000 US homeowners, found that 83% of millennials carry at least some debt, compared to 72% of baby boomers.  Of everyone surveyed, 47% were negatively impacted by the pandemic, and 77% carried some debt. More than a quarter of all homeowners say they plan to tighten their budgets until their debts are paid. But as homeownership costs rise, paying down the debts may become increasingly difficult. Hometap found that 52% of homeowners spend at least 16% of their monthly income on mortgages, and 46%…

RIHA: Americans’ Net Worth Rose 17.6% From 2016 To 2019

The median net worth of American households rose 17.6% between 2016 and 2019, according to a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA). The report, titled The Distribution of Wealth in America Since 2016, found that median net worth increased from $103,000 in 2016 to $127,000 in 2019, the highest amount since 2007.  “The increase in homeownership, and the steady rise in home values and the stock market drove the increase in middle-class wealth. The median net worth of every racial and ethnic category also increased, with the largest increases coming from Black and Hispanic households,”  said Dr. John C. Weicher, author of the report and Director for the Center for Housing and…