Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Work-Force Income Lags Behind Housing Prices

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Work-Force Income Lags Behind Housing Prices

Article excerpt

INCOMES CONTINUE TO LAG DRAMATICALLY behind housing costs nationwide, particularly among the working classes, according to a study by the Center for Housing Policy, a research affiliate of the National Housing Conference (NHC), Washington, D.C.

NHC's annual housing study, Paycheck to Paycheck: Wages and the Cost of Housing in America, found that the median price of a home in the United States rose 20 percent in just a year and a half, while at the same time wage growth for key community workers ranged between weak and stagnant in comparison.

Between the fourth quarter of 2003 and the first quarter of 2005, the cost of a median-priced home increased from $186,000 to $225,000, or 20 percent, while at the same time the annual income needed to qualify to purchase a home grew from $54,855 to $71,354, according to NHC.

The study of nearly 200 metropolitan areas and more than 60 occupations found that the wages for key community workers--including elementary school teachers, police officers, licensed practical nurses, retail salespeople and janitors--in the majority of cities nationwide remained flat. …

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