At some point I wrote that, in the last few years, I couldn't remember a single instance when I sold a property to a local buyer.
Most of my sales have been to foreign buyers. A few to out-of-state people, in search of vacation homes at the bargain prices seen since 2008 were the exception, but most of my buyers spoke French, Spanish, Portuguese, even Russian.
It's not only a question of "affordability". Mortgage Lenders are immensely more demanding nowadays that at the good times of the freewheeling loans, subprime programs, no-income-verification, negative amortization, you name it.
But that is just one point.
Confronted with the strict requirement of verifying a high income in order to be granted a loan, a typical middle class person, or family just does not meet these requirements.
People income has shrunk, or is stagnant at the best. Talking of salary increase is anathema in the new corporate culture, and would almost automatically blacklist the unfortunate employee who voices such an incongruous subject.
Sub-employment is also much more frequent. Or, to put it in other words, people do not get to work full time. They have flexible schedules, at the whim of their employers, which depend on the day-by-day needs of the corporation, not on the employee's need to pay a rent, a car bill, or a mortgage.
Then there is job security that is a thing of the past for the great majority. Taking a thirty or even a fifteen year term loan to buy a house is an audacity that needs a great amount of mad hope. You grow older and your chances of being retained due to an increased experience or skill are not very high.
To make it short, it's easier, simpler, and safer to just rent.
I read this article today. It confirms all the above.
It is not based on speculations, but on statistics.
After all, I wasn't so wrong.
From the South Florida Business Journal - Aug 13, 2013,