ATTOM: Home Affordability Worsens

(Curtis Adams via

ATTOM, Irvine, Calif., found median-priced single-family homes and condos were less affordable in the second quarter compared with historical averages in 98% of the U.S.

This continues a pattern that began in early 2022, ATTOM said in its second-quarter 2023 Home Affordability Report.

Currently, the typical portion of average wages nationwide required for major homeownership expenses is sitting at 33%, which ATTOM noted is unaffordable by common lending standards that call for a 28% debt-to-income ratio. It’s also the highest portion since 2007.

The report pinned the median single-family home value at $350,000, with a 10% increase from Q1 to Q2–one of the biggest quarterly increases in the past decade.

“The U.S. housing market has done an about-face following a downturn that threatened to usher in an extended period of flat or falling prices. With that has come another blow to how much house the average worker around the country can afford,” said ATTOM CEO Rob Barber. “Whether this is just a temporary blip amid this year’s peak buying season or a sign of another extended price surge is anyone’s guess. But any predictions of a market demise were certainly premature–and house hunters are feeling the pinch.”

ATTOM’s report determined affordability for average wage earners by calculating the amount of income needed to meet major monthly home ownership expenses–including mortgage payments, property taxes and insurance–on a median-priced single-family home, assuming a 20% down payment and a 28% maximum “front-end” debt-to-income ratio. That data was then compared to annualized average weekly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.