A record 8.2 percent of homes in the United States are now worth $1 million or more, up from 4.8 percent just two years ago, according to a March report from Redfin. New research shows that some large cities still have affordable homes available, but they’re becoming more scarce.
In a recent analysis of the most populous and expensive U.S. cities, the real estate analysis firm Point2 found that five of them — San Francisco; Irvine, Calif.; Oakland, Calif.; Gilbert, Ariz; and Henderson, Nev. — had zero starter homes, or those listed for less than $150,000, available on the market.
“The basic need for housing is so critical and essential,” said Doug Ressler, the manager of business intelligence for Yardi Matrix, a division of Point2’s parent company, Yardi Systems. “Right now, the thought is that the affordability of homes is declining.”
According to the Point2 study, the share of affordable homes on the market was greater than 10 percent in only two U.S. cities: Mesa, Ariz., and St. Petersburg, Fla. The percentage of affordable homes fell considerably from there. In Dallas and Tampa, Fla., the next two cities on the list, the share of affordable homes was a little more than 5 percent.
California and Connecticut, which have revised zoning laws to give communities more flexibility to increase housing density.
“People have to find the right fit, the right size shoe,” he said. “Not every policy will fit everywhere.”