Thursday, February 12, 2009

Rule-of-thumb sane home price

... but first:
Home Prices in U.S. Slid 12% in Fourth Quarter, Most on Record
By Kathleen M. Howley
Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices dropped the most on record in the fourth quarter as foreclosures dragged down values and the recession pushed buyers out of the market.

The median price of a U.S. home declined 12 percent to $180,100 from a year earlier and sales of properties with mortgages in default accounted for 45 percent of all transactions, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors said today.

What's a reasonable bottom?

A few posts back I mentioned a website that suggested one oughtn't pay more than 2.5 times one's household income for a house.

In 2007 the median household income of homeowners was $61,581. This suggests that the median home price ought be about $154,000 (2007 dollars). Adjusted for inflation, this is just under $158,000.

I'd guess we have a ways to go before housing prices reach a natural bottom.

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