ATTOM Data Solutions' quarterly U.S. Home Affordability Report compares the current cost of owning a home – including mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance – to historical averages. The report looks at how much income is needed to cover monthly homeownership expenses on a median-priced single-family home across 574 counties nationwide. According to the most recent release, affordability levels declined during the second quarter, mostly due to home price increases this spring. Rod Barber, ATTOM's CEO, says prices have been moving higher. “The U.S. housing market has done an about-face following a downturn that threatened to usher in an extended period of flat or falling prices,” Barber said. “Whether this is just a temporary blip amid this year's peak buying season or a sign of another extended price surge is anyone's guess.” The report cites future mortgage rate increases, a cooling stock market, and recession as a few hypothetical factors that could soften prices, and overall affordability conditions, in the months ahead. However, absent those factors or an increase in available for-sale inventory, home buyers should continue to prepare for a competitive market.
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