Housing becoming less affordable, for several reasons.

US Census data shows that from 2000 to 2005, median home values in the United States have risen by 32%, while median household income declined by 2.8%.

Nationwide, homeowners are now spending 21% of their income on housing costs (mortgage, taxes, insuarnce and utilities), up from less than 19% in 1999. This is due not only to declining median income but also to higher interets rates and surging home prices.

Of course this trend is not sustainable. Eventually something has to give. If median income does not rise, then housing prices and/or interest rates will have to fall.

Meanwhile, you might want to move. Cheapest houses are in Detroit and Mississippi — roughly $83,000 median. (SF is the highest median at $726,700.)

Lowest housing costs are in West Virginia ($797 a month) while highest are in New Jersey ($1,938).

Renters might want to consider North Dakota (at $479 a month), but they would want to stay away from Hawaii, where median renatls are at $995 a month.

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