According to CoreLogic's latest CoreLogic Home Price Index, U.S. home prices continued to increase in February 2021, reaching the highest annual gain since April 2006, as demand continues to clash with historically low supply. These factors have created increased affordability challenges, especially as mortgage rates also begin to rise.
CoreLogic analysis also shows homebuyers have steadily moved away from densely populated, high-cost coastal areas in favor of more affordable suburban locales. The number of homebuyers in the top 10 metros with the largest net out-migration -- including West Coast metros like Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Jose -- who chose to move to another metro increased by 3 percentage points in 2020 to 21% from 2019. This sentiment is reflected in CoreLogic's recent consumer survey, which found that 57% of current non-homeowners on the West Coast feel the home options in their area are not at all affordable.
"Homebuyers are experiencing the most competitive housing market we've seen since the Great Recession," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Rising mortgage rates and severe supply constraints are pushing already-overheated home prices out of reach for some prospective buyers, especially in more expensive metro areas. As affordability challenges persist, we may see more potential homebuyers priced out of the market and a possible slowing of price growth on the horizon."
"The run-up in home prices is good news for current homeowners but sobering for prospective buyers," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "Those looking to buy need to save for a down payment, closing costs and cash reserves, all of which are much higher as home prices go up. Add to that a rise in mortgage rates and the affordability challenge for first-time buyers becomes even greater."
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