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Some industry pundits are saying that the housing market may be heading for a slowdown. One of the data points they use is the falling numbers of theHousing Affordability Index, as reported by the National Association of Realtors(NAR).
Here is how NAR defines the index:
“The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.”
Basically, a value of 100 means a family earning the median income earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a median priced home, based on the price and mortgage interest rates at the time. Anything above 100 means the family has more than enough to qualify.
The higher the index the easier it is to afford a home.
Why the concern?
The index has been declining over the last several years as home values increased. Some are concerned that too many buyers could be priced out of the market. Here is a snapshot of the index since 2009:
But, wait a minute…
Though the index has decreased over the last four years, we must realize that at that time there was an overabundance of housing inventory and as many as one out of three listings was a distressed property (foreclosure or short sale). All prices dropped dramatically and distressed properties sold at major discounts. Then, mortgage rates fell like a rock.
The market is recovering and values are coming back nicely. That has caused the index to fall.
However, let’s remove the crisis years and look at the current index as compared to the index from 1990 – 2008. We can see that, even though prices have increased, historically low mortgage rates have put the index in a better position than every year for the nineteen years prior to the crash.
The Housing Affordability Index is in great shape and should not be seen as a challenge to the real estate market’s continued recovery.
MLS #72056898 70 Patten Street, Unit 1, Jamaica Plain
Offered at $424,000 5 rooms 2 bedrooms 1 full bath Approx. Living Area 1,056 sq. ft. Approx. Lot size: 1,056 sq. ft.
Classic Jamaica Plain condo offers the best of both worlds, past and present. The beautiful updates blends with the original architectural details. Welcome home to an inviting front porch and charming entryway with center hall with pendant lighting. Enjoy a sunny living room, open dining room. Julia Child would be at home in this graciously remodeled kitchen with granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, gas range, and crown molding. Two well-proportioned bedrooms, updated bath with modern vanity. You got to love this home with a hidden washer/dryer, high ceilings, lots of windows, hardwood/pine flooring, and Pottery Barn paint colors.
Step out the covered rear porch and enjoy the brick patio and shade garden. Garage parking.
Excellent owner-occupied association that is also pet-friendly with low condo fees.
Located on tranquil side street in desirable Bourne neighborhood. Only 0.7 miles to MBTA Forest Hills Station. Walk to grocery store, coffee shop, restaurants, and gym. Surrounding neighborhood includes some of the best outdoor space in the Greater Boston Area with the nearby Arboretum and F.H. Cemetery.
Listing agent is Ron Trapasso, Keller Williams Realty. If you would like a Buyer Agent’s assistance in finding similar homes, contact me at 617-797-9497 or email Janet@JanetPorcaro. I’m ready to move when you are.
MLS #72054110 63 Maplewood Ave, Newton Offered at $650,000 8 rooms 3 beds 2.5 baths 1,620 living area 6,154 lot size
Pride of ownership is evident in this pretty cape style home located in Newton Centre. First floor has a large living room with fireplace, eat-in kitchen, formal dining room with chair rail and wainscot. A powder room is also on the first floor. The second floor is dormered with three bedrooms, and full bath. There is also a later addition of one room on each floor – and either could serve as a sitting room, office, reading room, or playroom. The home features central air, hardwood floors, and a large, large unfinished basement. There is a level yard and an attached garage. The home is located on a tree-lined street with an easy commute to Boston Proper or the Longwood Medical Area. Convenient to Route 9, and the malls in Chestnut Hill with restaurants, shops, Wegmans, and more.
The home has been owned and meticulously maintained by one family since it was built in 1947. The time has come for a new family to move in, decorate, perhaps update, enjoy as your charming new home.
Listing agent is Chris Kostopoulos at Keller Williams Realty Chestnut Hill.
If you would like a Buyer Agent’s assistance in finding similar homes, contact me at 617-797-9497 or email Janet@JanetPorcaro. I’m ready to move when you are.
Real Estate Values Today Compared to Pre-2008 Peak
This housing market has many people talking about home values; where they are and where they are headed. It’s also interesting to look back and see how home prices compare to values prior to the housing crisis.
Every quarter, Freddie Mac releases their House Price Index. The index usually provides monthly home values for:
the nation as a whole
each of the 50 states
367 metropolitan statistical areas
This quarter, the report also included a look at today’s home values as compared to Pre-2008 values. Following is a graphic that breaks down the numbers on a state-by-state basis.
Below is the Freddie Mac chart for Massachusetts, December 2000 to June 2016.
Life will be easy in this magnificent renovated five bedroom, two and a half bath condominium located on a desirable street on the north side of Newton.
Sunroom through french doors
High end finishes throughout with dark stained hardwood floors, crown molding, and designer chosen paint colors, paneled doors, beautiful lighting throughout, and central air.
Luxurious Master Bath
First floor features a spacious living room with marble fireplace, beamed ceiling and pocket french doors leading to a beautiful family room with three walls of windows. Fabulous chef’s kitchen has a real WOW factor going with stunning quartz countertops and marble backsplash. The industrial range hood, vented out of course, will bring out the great chef in you! When you entertain, guest will gather around the beautiful kitchen island. Kitchen opens to a lovely dining room with white chair rails and wainscot perfect for formal dining. Hall leads to a half bath with marble tile and Duravit vanity.
The other end of the first floor has three spacious bedrooms with large closets. A beautiful deck is off one of these bedrooms. White family bath is gorgeous with beadboard, subway tiles, and a glass enclosed tub.
Second level has amazing master suite with three walk-in closets. The luxurious master bath has a soaking tub, glass enclosed extra large shower and double sinks. A fourth bedroom and the laundry room are also located on the second floor.
Marble fireplace with sconces
The yard is divided so that each unit has a private yard, along with shared yard space. One garage space and two off-street parking spaces are included with this fabulous home.
Listing agent is Kathleen Alexander, Keller Williams Realty If you would like a Buyer Agent’s assistance in finding similar homes, contact me at 617-797-9497 or email Janet@JanetPorcaro. I’m ready to move when you are.