Despite continued growth in national home prices, housing remains more affordable today than long-term benchmarks, according to Black Knight.
As of September, U.S. residents require 21.4% of the median income to purchase the median-priced home, compared to 24.2% from 1995-1999 and 26.2% from 2000-2003. However, the national payment-to-income ratio remains 2.8% below the 24.2% average in the late 1990s and 4.9% lower than the 26.2% average from 2000-2003.
Interest rates declined about 40 basis points over the past six months, offering the opportunity for potential savings, but these would-be savings continue to be offset by the growing rates of home price appreciation across most of the nation.
"In looking at the affordability landscape across the country, we certainly see varying levels of affordability in each market compared to their own long-term benchmarks," said Ben Graboske, executive vice president of data and analytics at Black Knight, in a press release.
"But, by and large, the overall theme is that affordability in most areas, while tightening, remains favorable to long-term norms," he continued.
When exploring state-level data, payment-to income ratios in 47 states are sitting below their 1995-2003 averages, with only Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington, D.C., having greater ratios today than their long-term benchmarks.
In September, the national delinquency rate spiked almost 12% month-over-month and rose nearly 3% from a year ago, marking the first annual rise in the delinquency rate since July 2010. The rate jump was due in large part to recent hurricanes as well as some calendar related factors.