Median Homeowner Costs Across The US

The costs associated with home-ownership vary across the U.S.  The US Census Bureau recently released statistics from the 2017 American Community Survey, an annual program that asks millions of Americans each year about several social, economic, and demographic attributes. The Bureau publishes figures for each of the 50 states and Washington DC. Using Census information, Insider, Inc has compiled how much the average homeowner pays each month in each state to own a home.

One of the measures on the survey is a set of selected monthly housing costs for homeowners with a mortgage. The costs include mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance, utilities and fuel, and, when applicable, condominium or mobile home fees.

Those median monthly costs vary widely across the states and DC. On the lower end are states in Appalachia like West Virginia, with a median homeowner cost of $984, and Arkansas, at $1,025. Coastal states like California, Hawaii, and New Jersey are on the higher end of the scale, and Washington, DC’s median homeowner cost of $2,432 was the highest in the country. 

How does your state stack up?  Check out the map above to see the median costs for your state and then check out the surrounding states.  Its easy to see why states like Nevada and Arizona are experiencing a huge influx of people relocating from California with average monthly savings of close to $1,000.

What Happened to Rates Last Week?

Mortgage backed securities (FNMA 4.50 MBS) gained +20 basis points (BPS) from last Friday’s close which caused fixed mortgage rates to move slightly lower compared to the previous week.

Overview:  We had a holiday-shortened week (Christmas) with only three full trading sessions that saw lighter volumes.  Overall, the economic data was one again very strong which is normally negative for mortgage rates but geo-political concern and end-of-year positioning continued to provide plenty of support for our long bonds and kept mortgage rates very low.

Manufacturing: The December Chicago PMI reading was very robust and was much stronger than market expectations (65.4 vs est of 62.0). Any reading above 50 is expansionary and this is yet another reading above 60.0 which is very, very strong and shows that there is no slow down in manufacturing growth.

Taking it to the House: The FHFA Home Price Index for October showed a 0.3% gain vs est of 0.2%. The YOY gain in home prices is now 5.7%. November Pending Homes Sales matched market expectations with a MOM pull back of -0.7%. The October YOY Case-Shiller 20 metro city home price index hit 5.0% vs est of 4.9%.

Consumer Confidence: The December Consumer Confidence report was lighter than expected (128.1 vs est of 134.0) November was revised upward from 135.7 to 136.4. Overall, it is the lowest survey response since July but just about every reading since July has been a new record high or just off of it.

What to Watch Out For This Week:

The above are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week. They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages. I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises.

It is virtually impossible for you to keep track of what is going on with the economy and other events that can impact the housing and mortgage markets.  Just leave it to me, I monitor the live trading of Mortgage Backed Securities which are the only thing government and conventional mortgage rates are based upon.