The Rich Get Richer: Gap Widens Between Most and Least Affordable Housing Markets

New data indicates that housing prices are rising unequally across the United States, with the least affordable markets rising faster than more affordable ones. The growing gap could have implications for demographic trends and housing policies.
June 7, 2013, 6am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Jed Kolko parses the latest data from the Trulia Price Monitor and Trulia Rent Monitor and finds home prices rising at a faster pace in America's least affordable cities. "Among the 10 least affordable metros, the average [Year-over-Year] asking price gain was 16.3%," he notes. "In contrast, among the 10 most affordable metros, prices rose 9.5% on average – same as the national price increase, but well behind the average price gain for the 10 least affordable metros."

"That means that homeownership affordability is becoming more unequal across the U.S. – the gap between more affordable and less affordable markets is growing," Kolko explains. "This growing gap means two things for the housing market:

  • First, as local markets become more unequal, more people will consider moving from less affordable to more affordable areas.
  • Second, a widening affordability gap puts pressure on housing policy. It’s harder to come up with one-size-fits-all national housing policies when local markets are becoming more different from each other.
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Published on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Trulia
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