Income wages aren't meeting Houston's higher cost of living

The National Association of Realtors report that housing affordability dropped this quarter to the lowest since late 2008.

There was a time when you could buy a nice, new home in Houston for $70,000, which now costs more than $200,000.

East and West coasters love our housing prices, but for many Houstonians, it's simply unaffordable.

HAR board member Shad Bogany said this means the middle-class can't buy a house anymore.

“Everything is rising. Gas is up. Home prices are up. But, our wages are not rising, which makes it become unaffordable. But, people still have to have a place,” said Bogany.

He added that the hottest Houston market right now is between $500,000 to $750,000.

Bogany said we’ll have to change our mindset, not about single-family, but having an affordable place to live.

“Affordability is not as what it was once in Houston, and I think what would start to bring back affordability, we’re going to have to start looking at condos, maybe duplexes or fourplexes,” said Bogany.

ATTOM Data Solutions reports that average wage earners would need to spend 31.2 percent of income to buy a median-priced home this quarter.

ATTOM reported that home price appreciation along with rising mortgage rates, “have pushed three-quarters of average wage earners out of the market with property costs rising faster than wages in 64 percent of regions surveyed.”

Pre-Harvey

When Hurricane Harvey hit, Bogany the Houston market was already four months tight on affording housing inventory because builders from the last slow down had already stopped building spec homes, so a lot of pressure was put on the resale market.

The city now requires houses must be raised in order to get building permits.

Bogany said houses are flooded, and investors are coming in to buy them to be turned into rental properties, because they've been flooded more than three times.

Post-Harvey

According to Bogany, you can get better deals in North, Northwest Harris County—like in Spring.

Also, in a master plan community, you will pay more for a smaller house, but you’re also paying for the environment and amenities. Another thing to take into consideration when it comes to paying more for a house is the school district you're located in. Bogany said you'll never find an excellent school district with cheap homes.

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