As home prices rise far faster than income, EXIT backs measures to improve financing, build multi-family homes.
With U.S. housing prices rising exponentially faster than incomes, EXIT Realty is driving creative solutions at local, state, and even national levels to make housing affordable for all.
Recent reports show stark disparities between people’s income and the cost of homes. The median sales price of homes nationwide has nearly doubled in the last decade, to about $408,000, while incomes from 2010 to 2020 increased just 15%, to about $67,500.
That means buying a home is more challenging than usual. The traditional rule of thumb is that a home’s price is about two and half years of income. Now, on average, it’s six times a person’s annual income.
“Over the last 30 years, the median income really hasn’t gone up that much for a household or a family, compared to how much housing and the cost of living have increased,” said
Tami Bonnell, Co-Chair of EXIT Realty Corp. International. “On top of that, housing prices increased even more during the pandemic and rent costs are higher in many places than owning homes. Simply put, safe, affordable housing is an urgent need.”
“However, as we look around America, there is hope for solutions to this problem, and at EXIT Realty, we are helping to lead these creative solutions that can get more people into homes they can afford.”
Individual real estate agents can make a difference, Bonnell said, such as EXIT’s
Corwyn Melette, broker and owner of EXIT Realty Lowcountry Group in North Charleston, S.C.
Melette grew up in the rural South at a time when tobacco farming was declining and military bases closing, so he has been dedicated to finding affordable housing solutions and helping people build the dream of home ownership, especially first-generation homeowners.
In a webinar interview with Bonnell, to be broadcast May 18, Melette will share teaching moments, including the importance of exposure through experience, the first places people should look for affordable housing options, success stories and next steps.
Bonnell also points to bigger system-level fixes, like a California Association of REALTORS’® plan in partnership with various non-profits to close the gap that impacts the state’s underserved communities regarding home ownership, and the National Association of REALTORS’ call for measures to develop affordable housing.
EXIT also supports measures to encourage the construction of what Bonnell calls the “missing lane” to homeownership: the multi-family duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes, and townhomes, traditional affordable starter homes that have dropped out of favor with builders. Local and state governments can promote their construction with remediation, zoning changes, financing adjustments, tax credits, and other programs, Bonnell said.
“We’re extremely encouraged by the creative solutions we’re seeing enter the marketplace and by seeing organizations join together to create affordable housing,” Bonnell said.
“We’re also proud of our real estate professionals who are educating potential buyers on financing the homebuying process in their local communities and helping them become homeowners. EXIT was founded on the idea of helping people– both our agents and their clients– to live their dreams, and so we are dedicated to homeownership, the traditional number one way to build true family wealth and stability.”