(NEXSTAR) – The housing market remains hot two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities nationwide have seen record-high home prices coupled with record-low inventory. If you’re in the market to buy, a new report says you may struggle to find a home within your budget.
The high prices and low inventory, dubbed “double trouble,” is making it incredibly difficult for home buyers right now, according to an analysis by the National Association of Realtors and Realtors.com.
The NAR found that more than 400,000 fewer affordable homes are listed for buyers earning $75,000 to $100,000 compared to the start of the pandemic. Among the same income group, there is just one affordable listing available for every 65 households.
In 2019, there was one affordable listing for every 24 households in that income group, according to NAR.
While the market has fewer options, home prices are still rising. NAR’s analysis found the total home valuation nationally has risen by about $8.1 trillion from the first quarter of 2020 to the end of 2021.
For those middle-class households earning between $75,000 and $100,000, there are some cities that have more affordable listings than others. Realtor.com looked at the top 100 metro areas when it comes to listings per household and compared that to the number of affordable properties.
Here are the top 10:
|Area||Listings per household||Total affordable listings|
|Des Moines, Iowa||26||1,256|
|Baton Rouge, La.||36||873|
|Virginia Beach, Va.||39||2,226|
|Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla.||43||746|
On the other end of the spectrum are, of course, the 10 areas with the fewest homes for sale per household. If you’re hoping to move to California on a limited budget, you may not have much luck:
|Areas||Listings per household||Total affordable listings|
|San Jose, Calif.||2,043||30|
|Salt Lake City||348||175|
While home availability is limited for the middle class, the NAR found households with higher incomes may find some of the more expensive metros, like San Jose and San Francisco, are more affordable than two years ago.
Household incomes in San Jose and San Francisco rose 15% and 13%, respectively. Despite a greater income, the latest housing report shows higher income groups are still seeing fewer housing options than before the pandemic.
To make matters more challenging, the average long-term U.S. mortgage rates jumped last week, reaching their highest level in more than two years, the Associated Press reports. According to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, the average rate of a 30-year loan jumped nearly a quarter point to 3.69% last week.
A year ago, that rate was 2.73%. The average rate for a 30-year loan hasn’t been this high since the start of 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.