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Why Affordability and Credit Access Both Matter in This Housing Market

Jul 18 2016

There’s been an “unprecedented” slide in the homeownership rate, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, which released its annual “The State of the Nation’s Housing” report on June 22. The national homeownership rate fell more than 5 percentage points to 63.8 percent in 2015 from the 69 percent peak in 2004, the report highlighted. However, foreclosure and delinquency rates are falling.

“There’s still a long way to go and there are still many remaining, persistent challenges that are facing many households,” Daniel McCue, senior research associate at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, says.

One of the major challenges, affordability, is showing signs of recovery in some parts of the country. But many low- and moderate-income households are still feeling pressure in this area, McCue says.

“There’s a mismatch between income and cost, literally,” says Anne McCulloch, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president for credit and housing access. “Household incomes have not kept pace with the cost of housing — period.”

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