Research Report Housing Finance: At A Glance Monthly Chartbook, January 2024
Laurie Goodman, Janneke Ratcliffe, Michael Neal, Jung Hyun Choi, Linna Zhu, John Walsh, Daniel Pang, Amalie Zinn, Katie Visalli, Aniket Mehrotra, Matthew Pruitt, Alison Rincon, Todd Hill, Anna Barcus, Erin Koons
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Fact sheets

The January 2024 edition of At a Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center’s reference guide for mortgage and housing data, shows GSE gross and net issuance was significantly lower in 2023 than 2022, relatively small changes in the interest rate composition of outstanding loans despite sustained high interest rates and persistent unaffordability in homebuying. This edition also includes a feature on the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances.

Findings from the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances

The housing market experienced an unprecedented growth in house prices during the Covid-19 pandemic (page 24). For the January 2024 Chartbook Special Feature, we use the triennial Survey of Consumer Finances to explore changes in income and net worth by housing tenure, race and ethnicity, and age from 2019 to 2022.

Homeowners and renters experienced similar gains in wealth and income during the Covid-19 pandemic

From 2019 to 2022, the inflation adjusted median household income for homeowners increased by 4.8 percent to $94.0 thousand whereas renters’ median household income grew by 3.1 percent to $42.6 thousand (page 38).

After adjusting for inflation, homeowners’ median net worth increased by 35 percent or $102.3 thousand. Counterintuitively, Renters’ median net worth increased at a greater rate of 42 percent or $3 thousand (page 39). While homeowners’ gains were due to a 44 percent increase in median housing equity. Renters’ gains were likely due to the federal CARES stimulus checks, which provided $3,400 in direct financial aid to families of 4 earning less than $150,000 annually.

Housing equity reached an all-time high

Unlike the build-up to the 2008 housing financial crisis, housing equity grew faster during the Covid-19 pandemic than mortgage debt. Homeowners’ median housing equity was higher in 2022 than the previous peak in 2007 after adjusting for inflation (page 40). At the same time, median mortgage debt was lower than the 2007 peak. These trends hold for each racial and ethnic group.

The median value of all owner-occupied homes was 3.4 times the median family income of homeowners in 2022, this is a series high for this ratio since the beginning of the SCF in 1989. The previous series high was 3.2 in 2007. This ratio is highest for Latine homeowners with median home value 3.9 times median annual income.

Inequalities persist by race and ethnicity in housing equity and mortgage debt

Housing equity is an important source of net worth for all borrowers, constituting 50.2 percent of overall homeowner net worth. However, it is a higher share of net worth for the median Latine and Black homeowner at 65.7 and 60.2 percent respectively, than the median White homeowner at 46.5 percent. Mortgage debt has declined over time but is still a large part of total debt. The numbers differ by race/ethnicity; it is 85.8 percent of total debt held by the median Latine homeowner, 72.9 percent of the median white homeowner’s debt and only 68.9 percent of the median Black homeowner’s debt. In dollar values, the median white homeowner has $83.4 thousand more in housing equity and $6.2 thousand less in mortgage debt than the median Black homeowner (page 40).

Homeownership is less affordable for older homeowners than in previous years

Data from 2022 shows the share of older homeowners, those 75 years or above, with a mortgage and mortgage debt for the same group has been increasing, constraining homeownership affordability for older households. The share of older homeowners with a mortgage rose rapidly from 13 percent in 2007 to 25 percent in the next survey year and has been trending upward since, reaching 30 percent in 2022 (page 41). Not only is the share of older homeowners (75+) with a mortgage risen, but the median mortgage debt, after adjusting for inflation has risen as well, from 71.5 thousand in 2007 to 106.8 thousand today. The median mortgage debt is higher now than the 2007 peak for three age groups—35-44, 45-54 and 75+, with the largest increases in the latter two groups. In 2022, the median mortgage debt owed by homeowners 75 years or older with a mortgage was 1.6 times the median income for the same group, this is higher than the same ratio for homeowners 35-74 years.

Research Areas Housing finance
Tags Housing Finance at a Glance: A Monthly Chartbook
Policy Centers Housing Finance Policy Center