Easier for Houstonians to own homes

As homeownership costs continue to rise, many economists worry homes may be unaffordable for middle class Americans.

A new study finds Houston is the most affordable metros for lower-middle class families, as well as middle-middle class families.

LendingTree examined housing affordability for different ends of the middle class spectrum. The middle class is anywhere from incomes of nearly $42,000 to $125,000.

"Because home prices in Houston are relatively affordable compared to the rest of the country, the median value in Houston we found was $167,000," said Lender Tree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze.

He said typically homes on the market to be sold are priced higher than this.

"Houston was one of the most affordable cities for people at all levels of the middle incomes," said Kapfidze.

Lending Tree broke up the middle class into three subgroups.

Houston, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo are the metros where lower-middle class families have the easiest time purchasing a home. Lower-Middle Class (those who make two-thirds of the median income).

Houston, Dallas, and Minneapolis are the metros where members of the middle-middle class have the easiest time paying for a median-priced home. Middle-Middle Class (those who make exactly the median income).

Upper-Middle Class (those who make double the median income) have the easiest time affording a median-priced home in Washington, D.C., Minneapolis and Hartford, Conn.

Kapfidze said lower interest rates are also helping the housing market.

Buyers should work on a better credit score and shop for the best lender.

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