Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Relative Cost of Housing

Last month the Housing Affordability Story Map used Esri’s Housing Affordability Index to map the local affordability of housing across the United States. The map looked at the share of average income in an area to the size of the average mortgage to determine how affordable local property is for local people.

Mortgage Magnitude is another Esri story map which uses the Housing Affordability Index to show how affordable property is for local people across the United States. This map also looks at the median local income and median local home value to show the relative affordability of property in each US county.

The success of Mortgage Magnitude is due in large part to the simple measurement of property values to the local median salary. In other words the value of the average property is expressed in the number of years salary it costs. This measurement is represented visually on the story map by the number of red people (each person representing one year's income).

This simple form of measurement is then used to look at the affordability of housing across the United States. As you scroll through the story map Mortgage Magnitude is able to show you counties in the USA where local property costs around one year's income (in other words where property is reasonably affordable). It then progresses to show you counties where property is around two years total salary, three years salary, four years salary and so on ... until we reach 9-10 years local salary for those living in some California coastal counties.

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