Most families in Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast now find home ownership within reach
In Palm Beach County, nearly two-thirds of homes sold in the first quarter were in reach of a typical family, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index. And in the Treasure Coast, more than four-fifths of homes were affordable for a median-income family.
In Palm Beach County, 65.7 percent of new and existing homes sold in the county were affordable to a family making the county’s median income of $67,600, the study says. That’s up from 53.5 percent in the fourth quarter. Affordability hit a low of 28.8 percent in 2006.
In the Treasure Coast, the housing affordability index soared to its highest level in 15 years, the index says. Some 81.4 percent of homes sold in the first quarter were in reach of a family making the area’s median family income of $59,600.
Surprisingly, incomes changed little from 2008 to 2009, according to the index. Despite rising unemployment rates and a weakening economy, the region’s estimated median family income held steady. Income rose 2.4 percent in Palm Beach County from 2008 and fell 0.3 percent in the Treasure Coast.
The national housing market saw a similar trend, as affordability rose to its highest point in the 18-year history of the index. A family earning the U.S. median income of about $64,000 could afford around 73 percent of all the homes sold in the first quarter, said David Crowe, NAHB’s chief economist.
Crowe has forecast that the housing market will begin picking up toward the end of this year and turn around by 2011.
Builders, however, still face challenges getting loans from banks to finance new construction projects, while many borrowers must comply with more stringent standards that often require them to come up with more money for a down payment.
The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.
All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.