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.