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Once Upon A Time… 1% Inflation Was A Major Emergency by Simon Black

In 2016, the median home price in the US was $306,000. And the average national 30-year mortgage rate was 3.5%. So with a 20% down payment, anyone buying a median-priced home in the US would have had a monthly principal & interest payment of $1,096.53 back in 2016. Today the median home price is just shy of $375,000, and the national average mortgage rate is 3.21%. That makes a 30-year mortgage payment on today’s median-priced home $1,637.93. That’s a 49% increase in the mortgage payment for a median-priced home between 2016 and 2021– and that doesn’t factor in the price increases from related costs like insurance, home owner association dues, and property taxes. (This 49% increase over five years works out to be an average 8.3% annualized increase– FAR higher than the 2% that we’ve been promised.) What’s more, the median wage in 2016 (according to US Labor Department data) was $3,588 per month. So the mortgage payment back then would have been about 30.5% of monthly income. Today’s median wage is $4,290 per month… which means that mortgage costs have risen to 38.1% of monthly income.

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