Monday, February 1, 2016

Data Review: Housing Prices by Region versus Median Household Income in the USA

Housing affordability remains a key issue in the USA right now, with home ownership declining to levels not seen since the 1960s. 

Let's take a look at housing prices over time and compare a chart of the median household income over time. One is rising significantly while the other is falling. These are two factors that may help explain the fall in home ownership rates. 

The median home price is split by geographic region. As you can see, if the housing bubble burst in 2008, you'd be hard pressed to see that reflected in prices. Housing prices are now higher than they were during the peak of the "bubble." It appears that the FED has done an excellent job re-inflating home asset values. 

Data courtesy of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

Next we can look at real median household income. Asset prices are easier to inflate than salaries. Household incomes are at levels from 1997. Americans have the nearly same real median household income as 20 years ago.

Data courtesy of St. Louis Federal Reserve.

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