Measuring housing affordability: Looking beyond the median
We draw a distinction between the concepts of purchase affordability (whether a household is able to borrow enough funds to purchase a house) and repayment affordability (the burden imposed on a household of repaying the mortgage). We operationalize this distinction in the context of a new methodology for constructing affordability measures that draws on the value-at-risk concept and takes account of the whole distribution of household income and house prices rather than just the median. Empirically we find that the distinction between purchase and repayment affordability can be pronounced. In the Sydney prime mortgage market over the period 1996-2006, repayment affordability deteriorated very significantly while purchase affordability remained quite stable. This difference can be attributed to the loosening of credit constraints in the mortgage market which it seems has carried through primarily into higher house prices rather than an improvement in purchase affordability. We also show how median house-price-to-income ratio measures of affordability can be extended to take account of the whole distribution of income and house prices, and how as a result of differential skewness in the house price and income distributions the housing affordability problem may be significantly worse for lower income households than suggested by standard median measures.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Englund, Peter & Quigley, John M. & Redfearn, Christian L., 1998. "Improved Price Indexes for Real Estate: Measuring the Course of Swedish Housing Prices," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 171-196, September.
- Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "The Paris OECD-IMF Workshop on Real Estate Price Indexes: Conclusions and Future Directions," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-12-12, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
- Vigdor, Jacob L., 2006. "Liquidity constraints and housing prices: Theory and evidence from the VA Mortgage Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1579-1600, September.
- Monika Piazzesi & Martin Schneider & Selale Tuzel, 2004.
"Housing, Consumption and Asset Pricing,"
2004 Meeting Papers
357c, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Engle, Robert F. & Manganelli, Simone, 2001. "Value at risk models in finance," Working Paper Series 0075, European Central Bank.
- 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.
- 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.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2002.
"The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability,"
NBER Working Papers
8835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, 2002. "The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1948, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko, "undated". "The Impact of Zoning on Housing Affordability," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers 395, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
- Luci Ellis, 2006. "Housing and Housing Finance: The View from Australia and Beyond," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2006-12, Reserve Bank of Australia.
- Souphala Chomsisengphet & Anthony Pennington-Cross, 2006. "The evolution of the subprime mortgage market," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 31-56.
- Majumder, Amita & Chakravarty, Satya Ranjan, 1990. "Distribution of Personal Income: Development of a New Model and Its Application to U.S. Income Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 189-196, April-Jun.
- Robert J. Hill & Daniel Melser, 2008. "Hedonic Imputation And The Price Index Problem: An Application To Housing," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 593-609, October.
- Jonathan McCarthy & Richard Peach, 2004. "Are home prices the next "bubble"?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Dec, pages 1-17.
- Liu, Benjamin & Skully, Michael, 2005. "The determinants of mortgage yield spread differentials: Securitization," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(4-5), pages 314-333, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhouse:v:18:y:2009:i:2:p:115-125. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.