Can an elementary school teacher afford a median-priced house in San Diego?
Can a police officer afford a median-priced house in Miami?
Can a graphic designer afford a median-priced house in Seattle?
Answers. No. No. And … no.
How do I know this? From a cleverly designed website put together by the Center for Housing Policy, the research arm of a 75-year-old housing-affordability advocacy group called the National Housing Conference.
The agenda of the organization is evident in the available selection of jobs that you can plug into the affordability calculator—high-paying jobs like doctor and lawyer aren’t listed.
But the methodology seems perfectly sound, drawing on median-price data from the National Association of Home Builders and wage data from Salary.com.
Check out the calculator at this link.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.