In Some Areas, Renters Earn More Than Enough to Buy


One of the big challenges of real estate markets today is moving renters that want to buy into the homeownership column. Renters wanting to buy is the first step, but they have to come up with a downpayment and that’s where many are stymied. The job market is key, because everything starts with the availability of good paying jobs. Of course, a good paying job in Columbus, Ohio, is not the same as one in New York City.

VRE 52 stillNAR Research looked at renters’ ability to buy and identified the top 10 metro areas in the United States where a high percentage of renters earns more than they need to buy a home at the area median sales price. Not surprisingly, almost all of the metro area were in the Midwest and South, because in those areas, the gap between what people earn and what homes cost is narrower than it is in the Northeast and West.

Among the top 10, three are in Ohio: Columbis, Dayton, and Toledo. In these markets, almost 40 percent of renters earn more than enough to buy a median-priced home.

NAR looked at other criteria, too, and found that these markets were dynamic enough that jobs were being created.

Other top ten markets include Little Rock, Ark., St. Louis, and Atlanta. A couple were in Florida. Only one market, Ogden, Utah, was in a region other than the South and Midwest.

NAR’s research on these top 10 markets is one of the stories in The Voice for Real Estate news video for the week of August 15. Another story looks at tightening lending standards for commercial real estate by banks. For developers and investors, bank tightening will be felt especially in smaller markets, because it’s in these markets that bank lending is most important; in big cities, the lending options are more varied.

The video also looks at the rise of women in commercial real estate, among other statistical shifts the industry is seeing. The percentage of women among the newest practitioners in the field has almost doubled, which means the share of women could be quite a bit higher down the road, as those getting into the business now start gaining more experience, taking on bigger deals, and attracting more women to the profession.

Another story looks at NAR’s involvement in a recent White House conference on drones. NAR talks a lot about drones, something whose commercial use might seem remote to many real estate practitioners right now. But there’s a reason for NAR’s intense interest in the topic. It’s a new technology and it’s been important for NAR to work with the Federal Aviation Administration now, while it’s writing rules on the commercial use of the devices, to ensure the point of view of REALTORS® is represented. Given how important drones are likely to be for real estate marketing in the future (and also for appraisals, home inspections, and insurance adjustment, among other things), it’s crucial the rules be written in such a way that REALTORS® can use them, or work with companies that operate them, within a reasonable regulatory environment. As it is, the government’s commercial drone rule comes out in just a few weeks, so the issue is moving into the here-and-now.

Another issue NAR has been into quite a bit lately is wire fraud, because it’s a growing problem in real estate (downpayment are a tempting target), and the video points you to a notice you can include in your email signature line to remind consumers about precautions to take before sending sensitive information by email. The notice was written by NAR Legal Affairs and it’s an easy way for you to play a part in the broader effort to combat fraud. If one person is protected from sending money to a criminal in the mistaken belief it’s a title agent, a lot of good has been accomplished.

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Zach@ZachKidd.com

Your Florida Suncoast Realtor®, serving Dunedin, Gulfport, South Pasadena, St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island, and nearby areas.

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