Housing Affordability Goes South

Buyers’ outlook for housing affordability took a sharp negative turn in the final quarter of 2022, when a record high of 87% reported being able to afford fewer than 50% of the homes for-sale in their markets. The remaining 13% can afford the majority of homes available, less than half the 31% who could in the third quarter.

Affordability expectations between the third and fourth quarters of 2022 worsened in all regions. The share of buyers able to afford less than half the homes available in their markets rose in the Northeast, from 66% to 89%; in the Midwest, from 83% to 84%; in the South, from 77% to 83%, and in the West, from 58% to 87%.