Priced Out: Where Higher Rates Could Hurt Home Buyers Most

By Suzanne Woolley - 2014-01-09T16:47:41Z

Photograph by Mark Crosse/The Fresno Bee/Xinhua/Zuma Press

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Pain at 6%: Fresno, Calif.

Monthly income devoted to mortgage bill:

• historic average: 22.1%

• at 6% interest rate: 24.3%

Rising prices have made housing less affordable in Fresno, and the promise of a high-speed rail system means the trend is likely to continue. At 17.5 percent, the chunk of monthly income eaten up by mortgage payments was way down in 2013's third quarter compared to the 22.1 percent historic average. At 5 percent, it would still be below average, at 21.8 percent. At 6 percent, it becomes a potential problem for home buyers, at 24.3 percent of monthly income. The median home value is expected to rise 10.8 percent by September, to $185,156. The median annual income is $43,803.