U.S. home prices appear to be getting out of hand again as the gap between home price growth and household real income growth is close to where it was just before the housing collapse.
It’s also notable, and worrying, that the housing market is back in a “flipping frenzy” with non-bank actors climbing aboard to fund the speculation.
Since 1999 year-end through 2015 home prices have risen 76% while household mean real income has grown less than 2%; the millennium-to-date gap between the two growth rates peaked at 84% during 2005-2006 and has risen back to 74% as of 2015 year-end. Gap at year-end 2007 was 75%.
This millennium through 2015 has seen average new and existing home sale prices rise 84% and 55%, respectively, despite the lack of income growth.
Existing and new home sales average prices peaked at $280.2k in June 2015 and $384k in Oct. 2014, respectively; both peaks exceeded levels seen during housing boom.
Over the same period outstanding home mortgage debt has risen 14%, though it’s notable that with the end of easy mortgage credit it has fallen 11% from its June 2008 peak.
Concurrent with this 11% fall, the homeownership rate (63.8% at 2015 year-end) has slid back to levels last seen in the mid-1960s.