A caption accompanying a housing graph in yesterday's editions incorrectly identified the chart as showing the median net worth of home buyers by age. The graph referred to the median price of houses bought by each age group.
Contrary to pronouncements by "doomsayers," housing in America is not too expensive, the U.S. League of Savings Associations declared yesterday. As prood, league President Joseph Benedict pointed to last year's record sales.
Moreover, an increasing share of houses (36 percent in 1977) are being purchased by singles and couples under 30, another indication that home buyers are not all middle-aged and wealthy, Benedict said. The report, conflicts with governmental and academic studies that found more and more young persons being priced out of the market. These studies drew comparisons between house prices and the median income of all Americans, found prices rising faster.
The league base its conclusions on a survey of 8,500 conventional mortgages at 200 thrift institutions. It found that hoese prices and incomes varied considerably in different geographical areas. The median purchase price in the largest cities was $52,500, while median income of city buyers was $26,588. In the country, the price median was $37,300 and the income median was $19,541.
Second incomes are increasingly important in purchases, the league continued. More than half (51 percent) of young couples depend to some extent on a secondary earner, and in nearly one-third of the cases (30 per cent) that other wage earner contributes between 30 and 50 percent of the total household income.
Half of all first-home buyers had incomes of $20,000; the median purchase price for this group was about $38,000. This did not include multi-family housing, mobile homes, or housing purchased with loans insured by the FHA or VA. The median income for all households where the head of family is between 25 and 34 - the peak years for buying a first home - is $14,000.
City dwellers' households are getting smaller. Half of the sales last year were to one person units, including 18 to 19 percent singles and 7 per cent unmarried couples. These patterns were observed nationwide.
Only California presented a radically different picture. There the league found the home buyer had a higher income, more net worth, and bought a more expensive home, but had less equity in it.