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Top 10 U.S. Housing Markets Considered Affordable in Q3 2023

Also, Northeast Rent Growth Takes Historic Lead Over U.S, Why Columbus is Booming and more

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Estimated read time: 2 minutes 44 seconds.

Macro Trends

Economic Watch: September’s Surprisingly Strong Job Growth Increases Pressure on Fed link

  • The U.S. added 336,000 jobs in September, nearly double the consensus estimate of 170,000 and the biggest monthly increase since January. Job totals for July and August were revised upward by 79,000 and 40,000, respectively.

  • The leisure & hospitality sector led job gains in September with 96,000, followed by government with 73,000 and education & health services with 70,000. The unemployment rate remained at 3.8%.

  • Robust job growth in September suggests that interest rates may remain higher for longer, despite the continued fall in inflation. This could impact the Fed's decision on raising short-term rates in November.

Real Estate Trends

Top 10 U.S. Housing Markets Considered Affordable in Q3 2023 link

  • ATTOM's Q3 2023 U.S. Home Affordability Report shows that home affordability has worsened nationwide due to rising home prices and mortgage rates, pushing the typical portion of average wages required for major home-ownership expenses to 35%.

  • This 35% is considered unaffordable by common lending standards, which recommend a 28% debt-to-income ratio. This is the highest level since 2007 and a significant increase from the 21% in early 2021.

  • The report highlights the top 10 U.S. counties where homeownership is deemed affordable by common lending standards in Q3 2023, including Macon County, IL; Wayne County, MI; and Montgomery County, AL, among others.

Top 10 U.S. Counties Where Home Prices Are Rising Faster Than Wages link

  • ATTOM's Q3 2023 U.S. Home Affordability Report reveals that median-priced single-family homes and condos are less affordable in 99% of U.S. counties analyzed, continuing a two-year trend of increasing difficulty in home ownership for average wage earners.

  • Home affordability has deteriorated nationwide due to rising home prices and mortgage rates, pushing the typical portion of average wages required for major home-ownership expenses to 35%, the highest since 2007.

  • Annual price appreciation has outpaced weekly annualized wage changes from Q3 2022 to Q3 2023 in 47% of the counties analyzed, with notable counties including Cook County (Chicago), San Diego County, Orange County, Miami-Dade County, and King County (Seattle).

Northeast Rent Growth Takes Historic Lead Over U.S. link

  • The Northeast apartment region has taken a record lead in rent growth over other U.S. regions, with average effective asking rents up 3.1% year-over-year, outpacing the U.S. average by 300 basis points.

  • Despite the national lead, the Northeast's rent growth of 3.1% is slightly below its 10-year average of 3.5%. The leading performance is attributed more to the decline of rents in other regions than significant hikes in the Northeast.

  • Smaller apartment markets in the Northeast, such as Springfield, Rochester, Trenton, and Providence, have shown significant rent growth, with Springfield recording an 8.7% increase year-over-year.


The 20 US metro areas expected to see the biggest price booms, according to a property-data firm link

  • CoreLogic's home price index showed a 3.7% increase in home prices from the previous year in August, marking the 139th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, home prices have surged by 42%.

  • Here is the full list of Metro Areas with Projected HPI Forecast

  1. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett WA Metropolitan Division: 8.58%

  2. Grants Pass OR Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.78%

  3. Casper WY Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.73%

  4. Fairbanks AK Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.44%

  5. Vallejo-Fairfield CA Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.35%

  6. Pocatello ID Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.23%

  7. Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville AL Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.21%

  8. Sebastian-Vero Beach FL Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.20%

  9. Cheyenne WY Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.12%

  10. Napa CA Metropolitan Statistical Area: 7.09%

  11. Fort Collins CO Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.89%

  12. Lakeland-Winter Haven FL Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.86%

  13. Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine CA Metropolitan Division: 6.85%

  14. Oakland-Hayward-Berkeley CA Metropolitan Division: 6.84%

  15. Merced CA Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.83%

  16. Scranton--Wilkes-Barre--Hazleton PA Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.83%

  17. Bend-Redmond OR Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.80%

  18. Madera CA Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.74%

  19. Walla Walla WA Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.73%

  20. Albany OR Metropolitan Statistical Area: 6.71%

Something I found Interesting

Demand Continues To Soar In Luxury Retail link

The luxury retail market in the US is predicted to surpass $75 billion by the end of 2023. The focus is now on a niche audience that highly values brand prestige and quality.

Luxury brands have been opening in malls, accounting for 38% of new store openings in the past year. Brands like Alexander McQueen and Dior have chosen malls for their new store locations.

India is emerging as a significant market for luxury retail growth. With a middle class larger than the entire US population, India presents a lucrative opportunity for luxury brands.

Location Specific

Why Columbus is Booming link

  • Columbus has seen a surge in construction and tech-related projects, with significant investments from companies like Intel and Google. The city's steady growth during the 2008 financial crisis hinted at its potential for future expansion.

  • The city's appeal lies in its business-friendly environment, with state and local government agencies effectively attracting global corporations. In 2022, businesses initiated 75 projects in sectors like semiconductor, electric vehicle, and life sciences.

  • Despite the booming construction industry, Columbus faces challenges in staffing projects. The construction sector has 363,000 open positions, leading to competition for skilled labor. The industry is investing in training and education to address this issue.

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