The affordability of homeownership to middle-income Americans
AbstractFrom 1971 through mid-2007, the nominal national sales price of housing grew almost eightfold. Controlling for inflation, this represented a near doubling in the relative price of housing. The retrenchment in prices that began in 2007 has so far remained small compared to the earlier increase. ; As house prices climbed, many people complained that housing had become unaffordable to middle-income Americans. As early as 1998, newspapers warned that homeownership was becoming a heavy financial burden. As sales price rises accelerated in 2003 and crested in 2006, homeownership was increasingly portrayed as the “unattainable” American dream. ; Notwithstanding such concerns, homeownership actually rose strongly beginning in the mid-1990s and in 2004 attained its highest level ever. The more recent surge in foreclosures suggests many households indeed purchased homes they could not afford. Still, this does not necessarily imply that housing in general has become unaffordable to middle-income households. Instead, it may be that many defaults resulted from specific households purchasing specific houses whose location, size, and other attributes made their sales price too high relative to the purchasers’ financial resources. ; Rappaport seeks to answer the question of whether homeownership has indeed become less affordable to middle-income Americans. He also discusses some reasons why perceptions of affordability may have decreased. past.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.
Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): Q IV ()
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2004.
"Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?,"
Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series
qt1vp9j3k0, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
- John M. Quigley & Steven Raphael, 2004. "Is Housing Unaffordable? Why Isn't It More Affordable?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 191-214, Winter.
- Lynn M. Fisher & Henry O. Pollakowski & Jeffrey Zabel, 2009. "Amenity-Based Housing Affordability Indexes," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 705-746.
- James Poterba & Todd Sinai, 2008. "Tax Expenditures for Owner-Occupied Housing: Deductions for Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest and the Exclusion of Imputed Rental Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 84-89, May.
- Follain, James R. & Ling, David C., 1991. "The Federal Tax Subsidy to Housing and the Reduced Value of the Mortgage Interest Deduction," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 44(2), pages 147-68, June.
- Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, 1999.
"A look at real housing prices and incomes: some implications for housing affordability and quality,"
Economic Policy Review,
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sep, pages 63-77.
- Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, . "A Look at Real Housing Prices and Incomes: Some Implications for Housing Affordability and Quality," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 324, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
- Greenwood,J. & Seshadri,A. & Yorukoglu,M., 2002.
"Engines of liberation,"
1, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2002. "Engines of Liberation," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 2, Economie d'Avant Garde.
- Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2003. "Engines of Liberation," RCER Working Papers 503, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- David Albouy, 2008. "Are Big Cities Bad Places to Live? Estimating Quality of Life across Metropolitan Areas," NBER Working Papers 14472, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Roback, Jennifer, 1982. "Wages, Rents, and the Quality of Life," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1257-78, December.
- Glaeser, Edward L & Gyourko, Joseph & Saks, Raven, 2005. "Why Is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in Housing Prices," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 331-69, October.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005.
"Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals and Misperceptions,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 67-92, Fall.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing high house prices: bubbles, fundamentals, and misperceptions," Staff Reports 218, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Charles Himmelberg & Christopher Mayer & Todd Sinai, 2005. "Assessing High House Prices: Bubbles, Fundamentals, and Misperceptions," NBER Working Papers 11643, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Katharine G. Abraham & James R. Spletzer & Jay C. Stewart, 1998. "Divergent Trends in Alternative Wage Series," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 293-325 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dora L. Costa, 2000.
"From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 101-122, Fall.
- Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," NBER Working Papers 7608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Claudia Goldin, 2006.
"The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family,"
NBER Working Papers
11953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
- Rappaport, Jordan, 2008. "Consumption amenities and city population density," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 533-552, November.
- John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LDayrit).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.