Oct 12, 2022 - Real Estate

Nashville's housing costs soar, pinching buyers

Cities with the biggest change in annual income needed to afford a home, 2020 to 2022
Data: Zillow; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The minimum income buyers need to afford a typical Nashville home has more than doubled since 2020, per data from Zillow.

Why it matters: While sales have slowed down in recent months, prices have continued to climb — along with mortgage rates — putting homeownership out of reach for many residents.

  • Nashville's market has appreciated more rapidly than most other cities.

State of play: A monthly mortgage payment is considered affordable if homebuyers spend no more than 30% of their income on housing.

  • In 2020, Nashville households had to earn at least $40,348 annually to spend 30% or less of their monthly earnings on a typical home mortgage payment, Zillow found.
  • This year, they needed to make $84,111.

The latest: Prices are still surging, according to data released last week by Greater Nashville Realtors.

  • In September, the median single-family home in the region cost $475,000, up from $414,583 a year ago, the group said.
  • Meanwhile, the median price for condos went from $298,000 a year ago to $335,000.

Between the lines: Rising prices closer to the city have pushed more buyers to consider the surrounding suburbs.

  • Rutherford and Wilson counties have already seen their populations surge.
  • Realtors have reported Dickson, Robertson and Sumner counties are becoming more attractive to prospective buyers.

Zoom in: Greater Nashville Realtors president-elect Brad Copeland tells Axios that prospective buyers he's talked to have struggled to "adjust expectations about their buying power" as price increases and rate hikes limited their options in real-time.

Reality check: People are still moving to Middle Tennessee in significant numbers. That dynamic will continue to drive prices upward even if sales continue to soften, says Copeland.

  • "I don't think anything is going to happen from the price point perspective any time soon," he says.

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