As Chapel Hill wrestles with whether and how to expand housing choice, it’s worth documenting how many homes here are available to middle income buyers.
Our method is simple: we determine the maximum amount of home a middle income buyer can afford, then check to see how many homes are for sale in Chapel Hill. The median household income for Chapel Hill is $77,037. Based on Redfin’s affordability calculator, a household earning that amount with zero debt (lol) and $20,000 set aside for a down payment can afford a home that costs just under $275,000 (an amount that includes estimated principal and interest based on a 6 percent interest rate, insurance, and PMI, but excludes utilities or any HOA dues).
Chapel Hill has a large renter population, driven in part by our student population. That also contributes to a large gap in household incomes based on tenure: the median income for renter households is $39,395, about a quarter of that for owner households ($162,671).
Still, there’s a sizable contingent of households here with middle incomes: there are over 1,800 households in Chapel Hill with incomes between $50,000-$100,000 and between the ages of 25-44 (including renter and owner households). This group likely includes renters who are looking to buy their first home and young families looking to move into a larger home to accommodate a growing family.
So, what options do these households have?
The following table shows active listings in Chapel Hill for homes less than or equal to $275,000 (i.e., affordable for a household with an income of $77,000, no debt, and making a $20,000 down payment).
For the sake of comparison, we also include homes for sale for $1 million or more (which would be affordable for a household with an income of $250,000 making a $200,000 down payment).
Since real estate markets are constantly in flux, we intend to update this table on a regular basis.
|Week of:||Homes for sale
|Homes for sale
≥ $1 million
|January 23, 2023||There is 1 condo for sale for $149,900.||There are 9 homes available ranging in price from $1,000,000 to $6,000,000. All 9 are single family homes.|