Housing Affordability in Rockingham County

In Part One of this post, we discussed the affordability of housing in the City of Harrisonburg. Now in Part Two, we’ll take a closer look at housing affordability in Rockingham County. Is it affordable to live in Rockingham County? How has it been trending? Is it more affordable now than it was a few years ago?

Remember to keep in mind these facts:

First, some figures.

1. The national standard for whether a home is “affordable” is 30% — that is, if a home costs more than 30% of a household’s income, the family is considered “cost-burdened.”

2. If you take an area’s median income, a family that brings in 100% of that is solidly middle class, while a family that brings in 60% or less than the median is considered lower income. (Many state and federal departments use that 60% figure to decide eligibility for various social programs.)

Housing Quick Facts for Rockingham County:

  • Median household income (2nd quarter of 2010): $54,354
  • Overall Housing Affordability Index (HAI): 22.2% of income required
  • Purchased homes HAI: 24.2% of income required (median monthly cost = $1,096)
  • Rented homes HAI: 16.0% of income required (median monthly cost = $725)

These numbers are even better than those for the City of Harrisonburg. Median income is higher (by 38%), and the overall HAI is lower (by 3.2%). So for those living in Rockingham County making the median income of $54,354, it would take about 24% of their monthly income to stay in their purchased home, or 16% of their monthly income to stay in a rental home.

Here is a graph showing how the HAI has changed over the years in Rockingham County:

Again, the national benchmark for housing affordability is 30%. Besides the 3rd quarter of 2007, Rockingham County overall housing affordability has stayed below that 30% mark for the past three years. This chart proves that owning a home in Rockingham County is extremely affordable, and if you are currently renting, now would be a great time to consider buying! The HAI for purchased homes is currently below 25%, which is pretty incredible.

Just for the record, I looked up HAI statistics for some other areas of the Commonwealth:

  • Augusta County: 24.3% (26.0% sold; 16.7% rented)
  • City of Staunton: 22.7% (24.7% sold; 19.4% rented)
  • Charlottesville MSA: 28.2% (32.5% sold; 19.9% rented)
  • Richmond MSA: 22.5% (24.1% sold; 18.9% rented)
  • Blacksburg MSA: 25.8% (28.9% sold; 20.8% rented)

Interested in finding out more? See more charts and read up on all the details of housing affordability in Rockingham County.

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About Lisa Oates

Lisa is the creative mind behind The Harrisonburg Homes Team, providing streamlined content management, quality authorship, and graphic design for Harrisonblog. She's passionate about blogging, enjoying life, and a good cup of coffee.

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