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Charlotte area remains more affordable than US average

Despite strong home price appreciation in the Charlotte area, ebbing interest rates and wage growth still make it affordable to buy a home here.

That’s according to a report by RealtyTrac, which found that Mecklenburg County homeowners paid 25.5 percent of the average wage to cover house payments in the second quarter of this year.

That’s quite a bit lower than the national average. RealtyTrac said that assuming a 3 percent down payment, monthly outlays on an average-priced U.S. home, including property taxes and insurance, required 35.4 percent of the average income in the second quarter.

Median home prices in Mecklenburg County rose 4 percent over the last year to $208,000, while average wages have increased 7 percent. At the same time, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped 37 basis points, RealtyTrac said.

According to the company, the most affordable time to have bought a house in Mecklenburg County was in the first quarter of 2012, while the least affordable time to buy was in the second quarter of 2006.

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