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Looking at the affordability of South Florida real estate

Homeownership is supposed to be a major part of the so-called "American Dream." Many of our South Florida readers are either getting ready to buy a home or might be interested in selling, and fortunately for both groups owning a home still has some major positive points for families and individuals in America. But is owning a home becoming a more income-restricted option in the local residential real estate market? According to a recent report, the answer to that question might be "yes."

The recent report indicated that when looking at the median household income, which is currently $47,715, for Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County, a whopping 62 percent of the homes for sale are considered to be unaffordable at that income range. That percentage is the highest of all major metropolitan areas in the country.

So, is the land and residential development that has been booming in South Florida over the last couple of years pushing sales prices for homes into exclusive territory? As it turns out, our readers may be surprised to hear that the dollar amount that households in the local area are devoting to paying their mortgages is actually still lower than it was before the housing bubble burst.

Affordability is always a major concern for anyone who is interested in purchasing a home. Experts throw out all kinds of factors to consider, the most popular of which is that the amount of a mortgage payment shouldn't be more than a set percentage of a homeowner's income - usually somewhere around 25 percent. In South Florida, even after the real estate market bottomed out at historic levels, it appears that the affordability concerns have crept back into the equation for buyers - which will also have an impact on sellers going forward.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Zillow: South Florida homes affordable, but many listings out of reach," Paul Owers, April 4, 2014

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