The following is from today’s Boston Business Journal web site:

The sixth annual survey of the regional housing market is being released Tuesday by The Boston Foundation. The study found that while young people still find homeownership out of reach, rapid price declines is undermining equity area residents have built up over the last decade. Also, neighborhoods with high concentrations of subprime mortgages could return to areas of urban blight if homeowners lose their homes foreclosed upon.

More recently, the impact of a widespread housing crisis has had significant impact on economic trends in Greater Boston. Among the findings from The Boston Foundation’s Housing Report Card for 2008:

• The number of foreclosures on single family homes in Greater Boston has increased by more than 100 percent each year since 2005, with an estimated 4,000 foreclosures predicted for 2008.

• Rents have increased while renter incomes have declined, resulting in a ratio of rent to income of 0.35, up from 0.28 in just six years and placing increased economic pressure on low-income area residents.

• Greater Boston will continue to see its population age, with the number of households aged 35 to 44 projected to decline by more than 50,000 units by 2017 while households aged 55 to 64 increase by almost 70,000 and households aged 65 to 74 increase by almost 74,000 units in that same time.

The recent decline in home prices has made the region more affordable — but only marginally. Between 2005 and 2007, home prices dropped 5.5 percent, while median household income grew be about 9.3 percent. As a result, the ratio of home price to income stands at 5.77 for 2007, down from a high of 6.68 in 2005.

The Housing Report Card study was produced by economist Barry Bluestone, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University.

I would be interested to hear what bostonreb.com blog readers think of this report.

Boston real estate

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