Tag Archives: community analysis

Owner Costs Rise, Incomes Don’t Keep Up

NC2SD route stops, organized by a ratio of affordability: Change in Median Selected Monthly Owner Costs (SMOC) / Change in Median Owner Income. The heavy black line indicates a ratio of 1.0, while the purple dashed lines show the NC2SD and national averages. Places with a green background experienced greater increases in income than owner costs; the red background indicates the converse.

[Part of a series on the 2012 NC2SD Bike & Build route]

It goes without saying that most prices increase over time, and real estate is a particular investment where you may even hope that’s the case.  However, higher real estate prices could also mean higher owner costs, ranging from larger monthly mortgage payments to additional repairs or maintenance.  As long as incomes rise along with home values, affordability is not necessarily hindered.   Continue reading

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More Building, More Affordability? Not For These Cities.

Plotting changes in occupied housing units against changes in total housing units helps illustrate the housing market's supply-demand relationship. Green/Red markers indicate places that More/Less affordable (see yesterday's post for a definition), and the size of marker represents the relative gap size between income and affordability (either positive or negative). The dashed line is where every unit of housing added becomes occupied, 2000-2010.

If you’ve looked at any sort of news media during the last several months, you’ve probably heard or read about the nation’s housing market.  Housing as an industry includes way more than buyers and sellers – there are developers, construction workers, banks, land owners, local governments, and probably more that I’m forgetting.  The issue of affordable housing is inextricably linked to this larger housing market, and as we’ve heard and read, it’s been a rough couple of years. Continue reading

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Tracing Lines of “Perfect Affordability”

A different way of considering affordability along the 2012 NC2SD Bike & Build route. The size of blue marker represents the relative rate of homeownership (average = 58.5%) and the dashed line illustrates a "perfectly affordable" scenario (30% median income = median owner costs).

There are a variety of ways we can illustrate affordability.  Here’s a different way to consider yesterday’s data, which looked at the match (or, more often, the gap) between area median incomes and owner costs.  Some interesting trends immediately pop out when you plot these two variables against one another.  This is probably a simpler way to look at the whole sample of NC2SD route sites and how they tend to fall below the line of “perfect affordability.” Continue reading

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Where Does Monthly Income Cover Homeownership?

The difference between "affordable" and actual monthly payments in the places NC2SD will ride through this summer.

This might look like a elevation map for my upcoming bike trip, but it’s not.  Though, in terms of considering difficult parts of the journey, this illustrates where homeowner affordability is struggling.

To do this analysis, I used the traditional definition of “affordable” – 30 percent of household income going toward homeownership. Continue reading

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Affordability in the Nation’s Capital

I did a post a few weeks ago that featured some affordability indicator maps I made for Philadelphia.  This afternoon I wanted to try out some different indicators… what better place than the nation’s city, Washington D.C.? Continue reading

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