OK, let me toss in a few disclaimers here. First off, I’m a Realtor, so ’nuff said. Second, I’m about to give a link to a report from the National Association of Realtors, which is a trade group dedicated to selling houses. So perhaps you’ll want to take all this with the requisite spoonfulls of salt.
I just got this sent over in an e-mail to me from a mortgage broker, who in turn got it from a seminar he went up to in San Francisco. What’s more, I believe that this is not new information, but in fact came out last year sometime. Although the report itself I believe is a year or so old, the data in it is probably much the same. The only thing that’s changed, I think, is that interest rates are a bit higher, and home prices are, commensurately, a tad lower – which in fact kind of underlines the point of the article, which is that while the Home Price-to-Income ratio has gotten out of whack over the past several years, the Home Payments-to-Income ratio has gotten far less out of whack than people have supposed, and is only a bit less affordable than the historical norm in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Of course, this isn’t the San Francisco Bay Area – this is Santa Cruz! However, a lot of the dollars that drive our market comes from the Bay Area, as anyone who has the pleasure to sit on Highway 1 Northbound on any weekday will tell you. It would be nice to see NAR do a report just on Santa Cruz, since do have the honor of being one of the least-affordable housing markets in the country…but I haven’t seen the NAR guys down here snooping around lately.