National Association of Realtors identifies markets where renters can afford to buy

(Washington, DC – Insurance News and Markets) – The National Association of Realtors has figured out which metro areas are healthy enough, with above-average hiring and a large segment of current renters who earn enough income to qualify to buy a home.

NAR reviewed employment growth, household income and qualifying income levels in nearly 100 of the largest metropolitan statistical areas2 across the country to determine which areas with employment gains above the recent national average also have the largest share of renters who can currently afford to buy a home. Of the top 10 metro areas with the highest share of renters who earn enough to buy, nine were either in the South or Midwest — including three cities in Ohio.

“Even in a time of expanding home sales, steady job growth and historically low mortgage rates, the homeownership rate recently tumbled to its lowest level in over five decades as many renters struggle to juggle escalating rents without commensurate income gains,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, this new study reveals that there are several affordable, middle-tier markets with solid job gains and a large segment of renters who earn enough to buy.”
The top markets with the highest share of renters who can afford to purchase a home are:

Toledo, Ohio (46 percent)

Little Rock, Arkansas (46 percent)

Dayton, Ohio (44 percent)

Lakeland, Florida (41 percent)

St. Louis, Missouri (41 percent)

Columbia, South Carolina (41 percent)

Atlanta (40 percent)

Columbus, Ohio (38 percent)

Tampa, Florida (38 percent)

Ogden, Utah (38 percent)

“Overall housing affordability and local job market strength play a pivotal role in a renter’s decision on whether to buy a home or sign another lease,” adds Yun. “The good news is that other recent NAR survey data shows that those residing in the two regions were the most likely to say that now is a good time to purchase a home.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS.