Can’t live in one, can’t live without one

From MarketWatch:

Mortgages are unaffordable in half of America’s largest housing markets

Owning a home is becoming an increasingly unaffordable proposition in many of the largest metropolitan areas across the U.S.

In more than half of the nation’s 35 largest markets, buying a typical home listed for sale now requires a greater share of income than the median-valued home entailed historically, according to a new report from real estate website Zillow. Californians have it worst when it comes to home loan affordability. Mortgage payments as a share of income are higher in Los Angeles than in any other major city — for a typical property, these payments would eat up 46.8% of the median income. Historically, loan payments only represented 35.2% of median incomes for owners in the City of Angels.

Not far behind are San Francisco and San Jose, where mortgage payments represent 40.2% and 39.3% of median income respectively. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, home owners in the Midwest and Rust Belt states must devote a far smaller share of their income to mortgage payments. In St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, loan payments represent roughly 13% of median income.

Nationally, homeowners must spend a fifth of their income in mortgage payments for the typical home on average — roughly in line with historical levels. But things could soon get worse, said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell.

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43 Responses to Can’t live in one, can’t live without one

  1. grim says:

    New York/Northern New Jersey

    % Income Spent on Mortgage – ZHVI, Q1 2017 – 26.9%
    % Income Spent on Mortgage – ZHVI, 1985-2000 – 29.7%

  2. JJ fanboy says:

    Are those income percentages gross or net?

  3. grim says:


  4. D-FENS says:

    Trump to visit Poland and give a speech there ahead of the G20 summit. Lots of nationalists and patriotism there. Should be interesting.

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    “First consolidate towns? Absurdly communist. Secondly if we pay our way why on earth would a town like millburn want to “consolidate” with union? Or Glen ridge with east orange? Or Soma with Newark. Peddle that rubbish elsewhere and send me my quarterly tax bill. Closest thing as a wall we have…..”

  6. The Great Pumpkin says:

    3b, greatest wall ever built…..the “nj property tax wall.” Keeping these communities safe from what lurks outside that wall. Lol

  7. grim says:

    Nice production and audio – amazing what some contrast and ominous music does to the tone of a biased video. American news media are probably in awe. Even snopes called this mostly false. The hooligan marches do take place at the same time – and it’s easy to focus on their negative attitudes, and maybe ignore the rest, except when you need sweeping panorama shots of people. There were inclusive LGBT parades that day too.

    Anyhow – what is nice about it is that it would give Russia pause about ever moving west again. Poland wouldn’t roll over to Russian aggression.

    Most were marching under banners that said “Polska Bastionem Europa”. Poland is the Bastion of Europe – in reference to it being the easternmost fortification against communist Russia.

    Having suffered under communist rule and aggression, and having fought for independence … and to protect the rest of Europe … would you fault them for being proud on their equivalent of the 4th of July?

    By the way it’s common for the police to round up hundreds of hoologans who are really just more interested in causing trouble. This has been going on for years now, and every year it’s huge, and every year there are clashes and controversies – all the sudden calling it an anti-Muslim march is silly.

  8. JJ fanboy says:

    Thanks Grim.

  9. 3b says:

    Pumps tax wall or not with all the new low income housing coming those you are afraid of will be coming anyhow. As for consolidation it’s the only way. You are right in that some towns won’t want to because of socio demographic issues. Some of the most liberal people I know ironically are opposed to consolidation for this very reason.

  10. 3b says:

    Grim throw in the property taxes. When we first bought everyone we knew had stay at home wives. Parks were packed. Now it’s predominantly 2 incomes. Suburbs are a ghost town during the week. And they are living in the same houses we lived in. So something changed.2 incomes to afford the same house. Thats not going forward in my mind.

  11. Phoenix says:

    Elizabeth Warren (AKA Pochahontas) made a video on this NINE years ago. The video was telling at the time and it is increasingly accurate today.
    Many don’t like her and that is their choice. I like to look at both sides of a story and make my own decisions. I think her video made a lot of sense.

  12. Phoenix says:

    Correct. If the middle class is collapsing, it is more like dividing. The ship is listing and those that can’t hang on fall into the water. No lifeboat for them. Pumps will either climb the ladder or, more likely, fall into the water. He is not of the “Grey Poupon” class. Same with most other middle class people. Think boiling frog. Blue ribbon gets it also-the system that worked for years is no longer going to save you or your children.
    One sickness, one job loss, one divorce, off you head into the water. No lifeboat for you.

    Pumps tax wall or not with all the new low income housing coming those you are afraid of will be coming anyhow.

  13. 3b says:

    Phoenix I agree. She makes valid points even if way too dramatic.

  14. Anon E. Moose, Ghost of JJ says:

    Phoenix [10:15];

    This most damaging critique I’ve heard of Warren’s work there is her blind spot for the expansion of government and taxes over the time span she studies. If government spending as a percentage of GDP has remained flat, the “decline of the middle class” would have been lost in the noise. That blind spot is why her preferred solution to the highly regulated and government-involved mortgage market implosion was… MORE COWBELL (Government)!!!

  15. Phoenix says:

    Nothing more dramatic than watching it happen in real life. Listen to the stories on this forum. Families with illnesses and astronomical healthcare bills. Divorces. People barely hanging onto jobs. Rising home prices, healthcare costs, etc.
    Low hanging fruit will get picked off first. Hit to the stock market (only those in the know will be warned) will take some of that 401k money off the table.
    She is right. The anger you see on the street is partially from financial stress. Every company I worked for people were happy until someone tightened the belt. Soon everyone is at everyone else’s throat. Anger levels rise.
    When money is flowing it’s like a party. When it dries up it’s like a bloodbath…

  16. 3b says:

    Phoenix I agree. My whole concern in all of this is for the next generation. I came of working age in the early 80s . It was not a great time to start a career but that passed and had many excellent years of promotions big bucks etc. Pensions were still the norm health insurance premiums were barely noticeable. I could go on and on but you get the message. My kids all graduated and have good jobs but we prepped them well. They always had summer jobs and were taught they need and have to work hard and they do. But there is so much that we took for granted in our day that they simply can’t. So I have no problem saying this generation has it tougher than we did. Even my immigrant father who worked two jobs for years worried until his passing about how things would be for his grandkids.

  17. 3b says:

    Even today’s article half of Americans can’t afford the mortgage payment. And this is something to cheer about??

  18. Phoenix says:

    Pocahontas is right. At least I believe she is.

    I hope we are both very wrong…

  19. grim says:

    Womans place is home, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen?

    Mutually assured destruction of the middle class. As soon as the first middle class family realized they could do better than the neighbors if both spouses went to work, it was all over.

    You don’t fix this, it doesn’t change, because it’s not the problem.

    It’s the symptom of Americans fighting to preserve their middle class lifestyles in a world where they won’t exist much longer. Can you blame them?

  20. 3b says:

    Grim a womans place or man’s place for that matter is in the home barefoot or not if that is what one would like. They should have the choice which they don’t have any more. And all for the same house that one income supported not too long ago. That’s not my idea of progress.

  21. 3b says:

    Grim they may not be doing better when you factor in childcare. I think it’s more the case now that one income is precarious if that income is lost and so the other income to keep pumping until the lost income is replaced.

  22. grim says:

    Like I said, the first neighbor that realized they’d get ahead by doing it, did it, and the rest is history.

  23. grim says:

    Don’t forget about the links between income inequality and dual-income households either.

    Lawyer marries a doctor – and people are up in arms about income inequality?

    Perhaps we should decree that princesses can only marry paupers?

  24. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    grim – you’re a little too young to know what really happened. Inflation drove women into the workplace in the late 70’s to early ’80’s, not keeping up with the Jones’s. I saw it on every block you could walk to. People stayed in their same houses and drove the same types of cars with the exception that 1 car homes now became two car homes. Our house was identical to all the other 4BR 2.5 bath CH colonials built in 1965 except my parents opted for the 1 car garage instead of the 2. Why would you ever need more than one car? All of the moms were home, non worked. By 1975 50% of the neighborhood was divorced and by 1980 all of the wives were working (no day care, all of the kids were in HS and came home to an empty house).

    Mutually assured destruction of the middle class. As soon as the first middle class family realized they could do better than the neighbors if both spouses went to work, it was all over.

  25. Phoenix says:

    All of this was described in Pocahontas’s video. She explains the prices of items over times-needs vs wants, etc. It’s a bit dry-but sobering. One thing she does not mention is the effect of AI and robotics, nor does she bring up the H1B visa issue.

    Death by 1000 cuts….

  26. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    The video was very good. Health insurance has just been a killer over the last couple decades. I used to gladly pay COBRa in the late 90’s. How health insurance can go from $250 per month to $2500 per month in 20 years is beyond me.

    My father went 9 years to school at night to get his engineering degree while my Mom stayed home and they were still able to buy a home and trade up to a bigger home and have four of five children before he graduated in 1966 without taking on any debt other than their mortgage. Can you imagine doing that today?

  27. Still stuck in Jerzy says:


    Your dad’s time political leadership was pragmatic and many considered their public service a “duty”.

    Trump is the perfect person to book-end the boomer locust generation’s president. Starting with Clinton, all boomer presidents – like other members in leadership position in corporate, academia ,etc . All have in common their full of sh*t, selfish, lacking empathy, full of “fill in here” ideology, worthless, most corrupt, most damaging generation ever this country has had so far.

    That’s the difference. When you have a boomer in charge, you don’t need enemies. In fact, your enemies will probably have more mercy on you that a boomer would.

    PS. The Beatles’ s#cked, they were overrated acid heads, being listened by druggies.

  28. Fast Eddie says:

    Stuck in jerzy,

    What generation do you identify with? By the way, the device you’re using to spew your sh1t was developed by a boomer locust member.

  29. Stuck in jerzy says:

    Slow Eddie,

    I’m an X-r. The first batch of boomers’ kids. We were the most uncared for generation. Because our boomer parents were too busy being “me”, doing drug, and getting AIDS.

    Yeah it was done by a boomer. Who built their selfish tech world upon the scientific and social infrastructure of their fathers and forefathers. Those fathers and forefathers did the best to ensure their kids had a future.

    Would Steve Jobs have done anything with Apple’s GUI/Mouse if it was not for Xerox’s PARC . Would Bill Gates have done anything if not for IBM, Intel, HP. In fact Xerox, IBM, Intel, HP went downhill once a boomer got there.

    I hope Medicare & Social Security are destroyed. Once boomers are gone, than reset the social contract.

  30. Fast Eddie says:

    Every time I cash my social security check when I retire, I’ll think of you and laugh.

  31. Stuck in Jerzy says:

    GrandPa Eddie,

    Watching Glen Beck, reading Trumps tweeting and asking the illegal lady to change your diaper and put you back on the Rascal so you can go to another Tea Party rally, then Wal-Mart for Metamucil, and stop by Paterson for a “bit” of a fix (left over habits) is no way to go thru life.

    Your generation might get drafted again for that Social security check. You’ll be assigned to the 3rd Motorized Rascal Scooter Cavalry – aka The Lithium battery suicide Squadron.

    PS. A few post without the Pumpkin, what a relief!

  32. D-FENS says:

    I thought millenials were the children of the boomers.

  33. D-FENS says:

    Snopes is fake news.

  34. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever had central A/C in my life, if you can believe that. What do you guys set it for? It seems like anything below 76 degrees is too cold. I couldn’t figure out what that was about but I think it just came to me. When you’re running the heat you’re heat source is low down, but the warm air rises which probably distributes and homogenizes the temperature pretty well but with A/C you’re cooling from the ground up with probably a lot less air circulation and greater striation. I just checked and with the AC set at 77 degrees the temp at the floor is 72. I just turned it up from 76 to 77 as it was feeling too cool even at 76. What do you guys use for an A/C set temp if you’re going to be indoors?

  35. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    I think 10-15 years ago Snopes was pretty good, now they are definitely on board with the “I don’t care how f.ucking biased you think we are” Alt+left media.

    Snopes is fake news.

  36. Stuck in Jerzy says:


    Gen-Xrs were the first set of kids of older boomers. Millenials are the product of older boomers’ 2nd/3rd marriages.

    Example – myself and siblings are all Gen-Xrs. Our parents divorced in ’81. Went on to have half-siblings which are all Millenials from other later marriages.

    Many helicopter parents are actually Gen-Xrs. They were raised without attention or careas latch key kids and socialized in wolf-packs. So they are doing the exact opposite thing and helicoptering their kids too much.

    Recommend comedy movie called “ACOD – Adult Children of Divorce” . Very funny. You’ll see the interaction of boomer parents with first set of kids (GenXrs) and second set of kids (Millenials).

  37. Stuck in Jerzy says:

    I guess GrandPa Eddie still can get back into his Rascal Scooter after his trip to Paterson yesterday to score some H.

  38. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    My wife and I are the very tail-end of the boomers and our two kids are the very tail-end of the Millennials or the leading edge of Gen-Z. I guess I would place them in Gen Z since being born in 2002 and 2004 they never knew any TV except Hi-Def, no TV recording technology except for DVR, and no experience with pre-broadband internet.

    I wonder when the last car with factory carburetor was built?

  39. D-FENS says:

    70 Degrees.

  40. Fast Eddie says:

    Stuck in Jerzy,

    I did a 10 mile bike ride this morning, then trimmed a few trees on my property, ran to a nursery, planted some things, jumped in the pool, swam a few laps, put together the deck trunk to store the outdoor pillows and now, I’m laughing at you. I would have some empathy due to your f.ucked up childhood but you don’t deserve it.

  41. Stuck in Jerzy says:

    Grandpa Eddie,

    I won’t doubt you did all of that. Just take off your virtual reality goggles.

    But just in case. These is what I mean. I really hope Paul Ryan nixes Medicare. If you boomer locust want your Social Security + benefits. Got to earn it. The empire awaits your drafting to fight in off colonies.

  42. Fast Eddie says:

    Just take off your virtual reality goggles.

    What does that even mean? And hey, genius, do you realize we’re probably only a few years apart in age? Depending on who you ask, I’m a gen-xer.

  43. Fast Eddie says:

    If you boomer locust want your Social Security + benefits. Got to earn it.

    Your grammar s.ucks as well. But please entertain us and explain how the boomers need to earn their SS and benefits?

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