Ada And Canyon County Homes Are Becoming Less Affordable

Jun 23, 2016

Home ownership in Idaho’s two most populous counties is getting less affordable. That’s according to a report released Thursday by real estate data company RealtyTrac.

How affordable your home is has to do with the percentage of your income you have to spend on it. RealtyTrac says home prices are going up faster than income in Ada and Canyon Counties. So homes are getting less affordable.

Between the second quarter of 2015 and the same time this year, RealtyTrac says median home prices increased by 11 percent in Ada County while the average wage went down by 1 percent. In Canyon County home prices went up 9 percent and wages grew by 4 percent.

The report says an Ada County resident making the average county wage would have to pay 40.4 percent of her income on the mortgage of a median-priced house. That’s based on a 30-year mortgage. A Canyon County homebuyer would have to pay 36.6 percent. Housing experts say paying more than 30 percent of your income on rent or mortgage is financially burdensome.

These two counties were among the 45 percent of U.S. counties where home-price growth outpaced wage growth from 2015 to 2016. But homes in both counties are slightly more affordable than what RealtyTrac considers their historically normal level. That takes the last 11 years into account.

The least affordable time to be an Ada or Canyon County homeowner was back in 2006. Home prices are actually slightly higher now than they were then, but wages are also higher.

The most affordable time to own a home was in 2011 when median home prices were about $100,000 lower than they are now.

Credit Data provided by RealtyTrac
Credit Data provided by RealtyTrac

Comparing these two charts you can see Ada and Canyon County home prices take a big dip during and soon after the Great Recession. While home prices were falling, wages were mostly stagnant. When home prices went back up wages increased as well, but not at nearly as a fast a pace. 

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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