Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

December 31, 2014

Reiss on Housing Unaffordability

By David Reiss quoted me in Homeownership Unaffordable For Most Americans in Major Cities. It reads in part,

Homeownership remains unaffordable for most Americans who are living in major cities.

A median-income household can only afford a median-priced home in 10 of the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, which is actually an improvement from 2013, according to a report by, the Chicago-based consumer financial information website.

The most affordable metro areas area Atlanta, Minneapolis and St. Louis while San Francisco is the least affordable since the median income in the city is 46% less than what is required to buy a median-priced home in the area. Median-income households in San Diego, New York and Los Angeles don’t fare much better.

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Many potential homeowners should evaluate what kind of mortgage they really need, said David Reiss, a law professor at Brooklyn Law School. Since most homeowners only stay in their house for an average of seven years, getting a traditional 30-year mortgage may not be the solution and an adjustable rate mortgage which resets after a period of years could be more affordable.

“This advice holds particularly true for families that are thinking about having more kids, since they may move sooner than they think if they come to realize that they want more space,” he said.

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