How affordable is housing in our area? This is Part One of a two-part blog post, which will take a closer look at housing affordability in Harrisonburg (Part One) and Rockingham County (Part Two). Housing Virginia — along with the Virginia Association of Realtors®, Virginia Tech, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority — has created a fantastic new online tool for gauging housing affordability in all areas of the Commonwealth. Lets take a look at the stats for Harrisonburg City.
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 Harrisonburg:
- Median household income (2nd quarter of 2010): $39,407
- Overall Housing Affordability Index (HAI): 25.4% of income required
- Purchased homes HAI: 30.6% of income required (median monthly cost = $1,005)
- Rented homes HAI: 22.1% of income required (median monthly cost = $725)
Okay… what does this mean? For those living in Harrisonburg making the median income of $39,407, it would require 30.6% of their income to purchase a home, and would require 22.1% of their income to rent a home. See below for a chart showing the affordability index as it has changed over the years:
According to this chart, purchased housing is becoming more and more affordable because it takes less income to stay in a home now than it did just three years ago. It takes more income, though, to rent a home now than it did a few years ago. Overall, housing in the City of Harrisonburg is quite affordable, having stayed below the 30% national benchmark for the past three years!
Interested in finding out more? See more charts and read up on all the details of housing affordability in the City of Harrisonburg.
Stay tuned for part two of this post with details on Rockingham County’s housing affordability index…