Housing has never been more affordable, and yet home ownership is still falling and more Americans are renting. The supply of homes for sale is down 24 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors, but that still doesn’t explain why so few buyers are jumping in. The answer lies in the immobile move-up buyer.
“At current mortgage interest rates, the monthly cost of the typical new mortgage – at about 12 percent of median income – is not much more than half normal levels,” notes Paul Diggle of Capital Economics. “In other words, housing is very affordable.”
Still, while mortgage refinances soar to a two-year high, weekly numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that applications to purchase a home are down by 6 percent over the past year.