The Impact of Mortgage Rate Increases on Housing Affordability

Research Report

The Impact of Mortgage Rate Increases on Housing Affordability

November 12, 2013

Abstract

By most measures, the US housing market appears to be in strong recovery. House prices have risen consistently since January 2013, and by August, the US median home price was the highest it had been since December 2004. As a result of a stronger economy, mortgage rates also have increased consistently since December 2012. Though rising mortgage rates and house prices indicate that the country is in a housing recovery, they indicate housing is less affordable than it was several months ago. Moreover, employing a unique methodology that accounts for regional differences in debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios, we find that affordability varies significantly among major metropolitan areas.

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