In the second quarter release of the Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) report, NAR asked consumers their thoughts and perceptions on housing affordability in their communities. The responses were nearly split down the line, where 49 percent of buyers felt that homes are affordable for buyers with above average incomes, 41 percent felt that homes are affordable for almost all buyers, and nine percent felt that homes are only affordable for buyers with high incomes.
Fifty-three percent of those that make under $50,000 a year felt that homes are affordable to almost all buyers, compared to only 30 percent of those that make over $100,000 a year. Only 29 percent of those in the West region felt that homes are affordable to almost all buyers. Forty-six percent of buyers 34 years and under and 65 years and over felt that homes are affordable to almost all buyers. Those with no college education were less likely to feel that homes are affordable than consumers with some education. Those in rural areas are more likely than those in suburban areas to feel that homes are affordable.
What is more interesting is that some buyers have considered moving to more affordable communities due to current home prices. Nearly a third of consumers (29 percent) 34 years and under said they have considered moving to a more affordable community, compared to only 17 percent of those 45 to 54 years of age. Over a quarter of consumers (27 percent) of those that make under $50,000 a year also said they have considered moving to a more affordable community. Consumers in the Northeast, Midwest, and in urban centers are more likely to say they have considered moving.
The rise in mortgage interest rates is influencing consumer-purchasing choices. Twelve percent of all buyers said they might have to delay purchasing a home due to the rise in mortgage interest rates, while seven percent say it would speed up their process. A quarter said that mortgage interest rates, however, had no impact on their process. This trend was fairly consistent across regions, income levels, and age. The process was delayed in the West (15 percent), in urban areas (16 percent), for those 35 to 44 years of age (14 percent) and for consumers with a somewhat difficult ability to qualify for a mortgage (16 percent).