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MoneyGeek scrutinises real estate landscape from 2021 to 2023, shedding light on counties where typical family can no longer afford to own a home

Representational image from Unsplash. 

Ever wondered if owning a home is slipping further from your grasp? Do you ache for a place to call your own? 

Well, brace yourself because it's not just an affluent dilemma. It's a widespread crisis hitting 57 counties across the nation, as revealed by a recent study from MoneyGeek.

The dream of homeownership becomes increasingly elusive as home prices soar, leaving income growth trailing behind. MoneyGeek's analysis from 2021 to 2023 spotlights 57 counties where owning a home has become an unattainable feat for the average family.

Adding to the list are the exurbs of San Francisco and several Sacramento-area counties. Driven out of the Bay Area by high prices, people sought refuge in places like Placer, Solano, and San Joaquin counties, only to witness home prices skyrocket out of reach.

Venture further up the West Coast, and you'll find 10 counties in Oregon and Washington grappling with the same issue. Clackamas County, just outside Portland, stands out, experiencing a staggering 33% increase in home prices in just two years, according to MoneyGeek's analysis.

In Travis County, Texas, home to the bustling state capital Austin, the situation is dire. Home prices have surged by almost 50% since 2021, now reaching a daunting median price of $610,000. MoneyGeek's scrutiny focused on counties with populations exceeding 250,000, undergoing population growth above the national average.

The already challenging landscape worsened over the past two years due to climbing interest rates. Although economists predict a slight decline in the average rate on a 30-year mortgage this year, it's anticipated to linger above 6%. Despite a recent dip, the current average rate remains significantly higher than the 3.22% observed just two years ago.

This difference in rates has dissuaded homeowners with rock-bottom rates from selling, exacerbating the challenge of low inventory and soaring home prices. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, acknowledges the relief of lower mortgage rates but underscores the persistent challenges of low inventory and rising home prices for potential homebuyers.

With dreams of homeownership being increasingly shattered, the pain points of low inventory, high prices, and the struggle to secure a mortgage resonate deeply. 

The quest for a place to call home becomes an even greater challenge for many, amplifying the urgency of finding solutions amidst a shifting housing market.


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