Interest rate hike will out-price more home buyers

NAHB says a quarter-point rate increase could force 1 million buyers to sidelines.

BY HBSDealer Staff

A $1,000 increase in the cost of a median-priced newly-built home pushes 127,560 prospective buyers out of the market, according to a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Based on incomes, theses households would no longer be able to qualify for a mortgage after a $1,000 increase. The levels of buyers out-priced by the market is expected to rise with potential, additional interest rate hikes

According to the NAHB, a quarter-point rise in the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage would price out around 1 million households.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates 4 times in 2018.

“This study illustrates how even a relatively small increase in price or interest rates can dramatically impact housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “Housing affordability is a serious problem right now in communities across the country. Rising interest rates, regulatory barriers, higher building materials costs and labor shortages all add to the cost of a home, and are preventing households from achieving the goal of homeownership.”

The number of priced-out households varies across both states and metropolitan areas, largely affected by the sizes of local population and the affordability of new homes. The study examines priced out estimates for every state and more than 300 metro markets.

Among all states, Texas had the largest number of home buyers that would be priced of the market. The $1,000 price increase would push 11,152 households out of the market in Texas, followed by California with 9,897 households forced to the sidelines, and Ohio with a 7,341 total.

The metropolitan area with the largest priced-out effect, in terms of absolute numbers, is Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Ill.-Ind.-Wis., where 4,499 households are squeezed out of the market for a new median-priced home if the price increases by $1,000.



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