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Report: Close to half of Phoenix-area houses for sale not affordable

PHOENIX -- Plenty of homes around the Phoenix metropolitan area might be for sale, but according to one online real estate database, nearly half of them are not affordable for the general public.

According to PhoenixBusinessJournal.com, Zillow Inc. believes that around 44 percent of all listings are unaffordable -- a sizable percentage and one that is higher than the national average.

PBJ noted that Zillow breaks down affordability based on three different data sets: fourth-quarter median household income, fourth-quarter median list price and how much of a typical family's household income was historically spent on mortgage payments during pre-bubble years (1985 to 2000).

Zillow determined about 56 percent of metro Phoenix listings are affordable because the typical buyer ($53,556 median income) purchasing the typical home ($187,900 median price) would spend less than 22.3 percent (historical pre-bubble figure) of their income on mortgage payments.

"As affordability worsens, we're already beginning to see more of the kinds of worrisome trends we saw en masse during the years leading up to the housing crash," Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in the report. "These include a greater reliance on non-traditional home financing, smaller down payments and a greater pressure to move further away from urban job centers in order to find affordable housing options."

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