Buying a House? Odds Are Rising You Have a Six-Figure Income
(Bloomberg) -- As the U.S. grapples with a housing affordability crisis, a new analysis by Zillow shows 38 percent of homebuyers earned more than $100,000 in 2017.
That’s up 8 percentage points from 2012 and reflects the fact that home values have risen at a much faster clip than wages, making purchases accessible only to those at the top of the income ladder. The figure has climbed quickly in some predictable locations like Seattle, which saw some of the swiftest home-value growth in the nation, Zillow found. But the trend is also pronounced in places such as San Antonio and Minneapolis, which saw increases at double the national rate.
All this is bad news for the widening gulf between rich and poor in the U.S., since households often build wealth through their homes, Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow, wrote in a statement accompanying the findings. Between 2012 to 2017, the share of homebuyers earning between $50,000 and $100,000 stayed constant. Those making $50,000 or less fell 8 percentage points, Zillow found.
“If becoming a homeowner trends further toward the exclusive domain of society’s most fortunate, wealth inequality could see an acceleration in the years ahead,” Terrazas wrote.
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.