(NEXSTAR) – U.S. home sales fell in September for the eighth straight month, but thanks to soaring mortgage rates, things haven’t gotten easier for first-time home buyers.
Real estate site Point2Homes.com looked at the 50 largest cities and calculated whether or not a renter could, on average, comfortably afford the median starter home.
The study found that only four major U.S. cities fit the criteria after mortgage rates jumped to 7 percent in October: Detroit, Tulsa, Memphis and Oklahoma City.
|City||State||Median Starter Home Price September||Starter Home Down Payment||Loan Amount||Yearly Payment (7%)||Yearly Income Required (7%)|
Since August, when rates were closer to 5.5%, Kansas City, Missouri and Baltimore have both fallen off the list of affordable cities. To qualify, the monthly mortgage payment had to be no more than 30% of a renter’s household income, assuming a 20% down payment.
For the breakdown of all 50 cities and the full methodology, see the report on the Point2Homes site.
Higher mortgage rates reduce homebuyers’ purchasing power, resulting in fewer people being able to afford to buy a home. Consider, a buyer who got a 3% rate on a 30-year mortgage to buy a $300,000 home last year would only be able to borrow $190,000 today for the same monthly payment.
“This is why the buyers have essentially been pushed out of the market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.
Mortgage rates have risen sharply along with the 10-year Treasury yield, which has been climbing amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep hiking interest rates in its bid to bring down inflation. The 10-year yield reached its highest level since June 2008 last week.
In September, U.S. home sales fell 1.5% from the month before and 23.8% from the torrid pace of the previous year, according to the NAR. First-time buyers made up 29% of sales for the second month in a row.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.