Lack of wage growth hinders affordability across U.S.

  • Home price is outpacing wage growth in 61 percent of markets, while wage growth is outpacing home price in 39 percent of markets.
  • Major contenders for unaffordability include New York City and San Francisco, which also top the list for the five most-populated county housing markets that are less affordable than years past.
  • Chicago, located in Cook County, has only seen 3 percent wage growth year-over-year, but the city is within the top 20 county housing markets for most affordable compared to historical norms.
  • While jobs might be soaring, income levels aren't helping offset the costs in many major cities.

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Wage growth has largely failed to keep up with rising home prices in many major metro areas across the nation, according to RealtyTrac’s 2016 Home Affordability Index. The real estate data firm’s latest study shows 9 percent of U.S. counties are less affordable than their historical normal levels, up from 2 percent one year ago.