- Homebuyers across the country need to earn substantially more money than they did a year ago to buy a home
- Redfin says it is due to high mortgage rates and persistently high home prices
- Income increases required to buy a home are especially eye-popping in Florida
A homebuyer must earn $107,281 to afford the $2,682 monthly mortgage payment on the typical U.S. home, according to a new report from Redfin.
The technology-powered real estate brokerage said that the increase is due to mortgage rates that have more than doubled over the last 12 months — up 45.6% from $73,668 a year ago — combined with persistently high home prices.
From February 2020 (just before the pandemic started) to October 2022, Redfin found that the monthly payment for an American family buying the median-priced home increased by roughly 70%. Affordability challenges are a major reason why home sales have slowed so dramatically over the last few months.
“High rates are making buyers rethink their priorities, as many of them can no longer afford the home they want in the location they want,” said Washington, D.C. Redfin agent Chelsea Traylor. “If you had a $900,000 budget a few months ago, rising rates mean it’s now around $700,000–and sellers aren’t dropping their prices enough to make up for the change. So buyers are searching further away from the city in more affordable areas or waiting for prices and/or rates to come down before making a move.”
“I’m encouraging buyers to think long term,” Traylor continued. “Prices are unlikely to fall drastically in the long run, so buying a home now–if you can afford the monthly payment–will still help you build wealth over time, especially if you plan to live in it for several years. Even though rates are high, another advantage of buying now is the lack of competition and opportunity to negotiate with sellers.
The trend also spilled over into the Sunshine State, where the income increase is higher than the national average.
Buyers in North Port, FL need to earn $131,535 annually to afford the metro area’s typical monthly mortgage payment of $3,288. That’s up 73.9% from $75,659 a year earlier, the biggest percent increase of any major U.S. metro.
North Port is followed by Miami, where homebuyers need to earn $128,892, up 63.7% year over year. El Paso, TX ($64,580, up 63.6%), Tampa ($101,682, up 62.4%) and Cape Coral, FL ($104,943, up 60.6%) to round out the top five.
Additionally, several Florida metros, including North Port and Cape Coral, were hit hard by Hurricane Ian in September, resulting in sharp drops in pending sales and new listings. It remains to be seen whether that will translate to outsized price declines.