You're not alone if you're concerned about buying into today's market. Across the country, we are seeing housing prices much like 2006, but there are four key metrics that explain why this market is quite different than 12 years ago. 1. Home Prices 2. Mortgage Standards 3. Mortgage Debt 4. Housing Affordability HOME PRICES Yes, they are high, but if you account for inflation, after more than a decade, values should be much higher. Chief Economist for CoreLogic, Frank Nothaft, explains it like this, “Even though CoreLogic’s national home price index got to the same level it was at the prior peak in April of 2006, once you account for inflation over the ensuing 11.5 years, values are still about 18% below where they were.”    MORTGAGE STANDARDS Some folks are concerned that lending standards are easing, which was a big contributor to the 2006 housing bubble. However, according to the Urban Institutes Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI), the riskiest loan products have been eliminated and lending standards are much tighter on a borrower's credit situation.   MORTGAGE DEBT In 2006, many homeowners continued to withdraw from home equity and spend it without concern for ramifications. That is not occurring in today's market. The Federal Reserve Board's household Debt Service Ratio for mortgages calculates mortgage debt as a percentage of disposable personal income. At the height of the 2006 bubble market, the ratio stood at 7.21%, today, the ratio is at 4.48%. This is the lowest in 38 years! HOUSING AFFORDABILITY Lastly, with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, there is concern that homeownership may not be feasible for many buyers. From a National perspective though, the Housing Affordability Index shows that homes are more affordable now than an other time since 1985 (with the exception of after the 2008 crash). BUT WHAT ABOUT COLORADO AND BOULDER COUNTY? Here in Colorado and specifically Boulder County, it may not seem that we are aligned with National averages. However, according to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American Financial Corporation, Boulder County homes are still more affordable than they have been in anytime over the last 40 years, and Longmont leads the pack! If  you missed it, Kyle Snyder of First American Title, along with First American Financial Corp and the Longmont Association of Realtors released the Annual Longmont Affordabilty Review at the end of March. Read the full review here: ​No matter the market, deciding to buy a home is one of the biggest decisions of a lifetime. Our team takes the time to educate our buyers on the local market and can help unravel the questions and concerns that come along with buying a home. Give us a call at 303-776-4004 or send us an email at - we'd love to help YOU!