CoreLogic’s February MarketPulse report shows that home affordability continues to be a challenge for home buyers, although this may benefit the single-family rental market in 2014.
CoreLogic’s Marketplace analyzes the trough-to-current growth rate in U.S. home prices, homeowner affordability rates and then reviews trends in the single-family rental market.
As HousingWire covered extensively: general income stagnation, restrictive lending requirements, and the inflation of home prices owing largely to investor single-family home purchases is making home buying increasingly unaffordable.
But here are the three things the CoreLogic report says now about home affordability:
1. Crash rebound
A review of trough-to-current changes in home prices among states reveals that one-fifth of all states grew faster from their respective troughs than the nation overall. Seven of the top 10 states among this group are located in the western part of the country. Although these states were the hardest hit during the housing crisis, they are now making a strong recovery.
2. Rate/sticker shock for first timers
Examining the projections of a "shock" decline in affordability in 2014, CoreLogic analysis shows that while affordability can vary substantially by market, it's important to look at how it affects existing versus new homebuyers. First-time homebuyers' affordability is affected more significantly than existing homeowners, with rising rates and increasing prices causing a greater decline in affordability for those just entering homeownership.
Even so, affordability for first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners remains well above the levels of the early 2000s.
3. Boon for REO-to-rental
The single-family rental market will likely continue to be an attractive or necessary option for many households, as constraints on credit as well as housing affordability prevent many from moving into homeownership.
A specific review of the Los Angeles market serves as an illustrative example of the single-family rental market and shows that the increase in former owner-occupied homes converted into rental units is satisfying the increase in demand for rental housing. So far, so good.