Home af­ford­abil­ity

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - BUSINESS -

The Hous­ton area ranks just be­hind At­lanta in the 10 fastest-grow­ing metros.

Raise your hand if you know some­one who re­cently moved to At­lanta, Dal­las-Fort Worth or Hous­ton. A lot of hands went up, be­cause those are the three fastest-grow­ing met­ro­pol­i­tan ar­eas in the U.S. — and they have rel­a­tively af­ford­able home prices.

NerdWal­let cal­cu­lated home af­ford­abil­ity for the 10 metro ar­eas that had the most pop­u­la­tion growth from mid-2016 to mid-2017, the lat­est data avail­able from the U.S. Cen­sus Bu­reau. Among them, At­lanta had the most af­ford­able home prices this spring and Seat­tle had the least af­ford­able.

Af­ford­abil­ity was es­ti­mated by com­par­ing each metro area’s me­dian house­hold in­come with the monthly prin­ci­pal-and-in­ter­est pay­ment for a me­dian-priced sin­gle-fam­ily home in the sec­ond quar­ter. Af­ter a 20 per­cent down pay­ment, house pay­ments were cal­cu­lated at an in­ter­est rate of 4.71 per­cent, the av­er­age rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mort­gage in the sec­ond quar­ter in NerdWal­let’s daily mort­gage rates sur­vey.

The three most af­ford­able metros for buy­ing a home have two things in com­mon, says Danielle Hale, chief econ­o­mist for Re­al­tor.com: space to grow and lo­cal gov­ern­ments that “are more will­ing to per­mit and al­low de­vel­op­ment, too.”

The rank­ings were com­piled us­ing data from the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors, the Cen­sus Bu­reau and NerdWal­let.

John Bazemore / As­so­ci­ated Press

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