By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Crunched: Mortgage out of reach of many homeowners

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The average apartment rent in McMinnville is $1,113, Richards said. To afford a typical two-bedroom apartment, a renter’s monthly household income would need to be $49,680.

Dear Editor: That's not right.

A New Generation

The window of opportunity to buy a home has passed for many gainfully employed persons, about ten years ago. Wages have not kept up with mortgages/rents, it's that simple.

This is born out in the article:
"McMinnville’s median household income is $55,440. To afford a home on that income, a person would need to buy a home that costs approximately $271,000.

Yet, the median price for a home in McMinnville is $344,450, noted Richards. However, she said, the average sale price for a home is $317,000.

The average apartment rent in McMinnville is $1,113, Richards said. To afford a typical two-bedroom apartment, a renter’s monthly household income would need to be $49,680.

Part of the problem is that McMinnville’s housing supply is falling far short of the demand, Richards said."

Who makes that kind of money? "Starter" homes averaging well over a quarter of a million dollars, each? Sadly, this trend is adding to those who cannot afford a roof (apartment or house) over their heads, as well as cutting short business growth/ability of attracting new business investment in our area, due to both the housing shortage and the ability of potential workers to afford what little there is (currently exists) or is planning to be built (profits: developers). Cui bono? (Translation: who benefits?)

Think about it, McMinnville (and Yamhill County). Strategic planning, anyone?

Yes, bonnybedlam, it's NOT right. And, it's not sustainable. The next mortgage crash will make 2007-10 look like a dress rehearsal.


If the information is correct ,according to this article ,you need a yearly income of
$595,160.00 to rent any form of housing.To bad info isn"t checked before publishing.


I suspect the author meant to use the word yearly, not monthly. This error should have been caught by an editor.

Ossie Bladine

Error should have been caught.

The sentence has been corrected to "annual" income.


Ossie Bladine


Welcome to the Californication of Oregon! Tons of vagrants tons of illegals sky high housing costs. Now we just need to throw in huge tax increases (which is also in the works now with super majority)!


Does the city have a list (inventory) of vacant lots and land within the city limits? Are there pre-approved residential (both single and multi-family) plans that a builder can use to make the process easier. How about holding a competition for architects to submit plans for say standard 25' and 50' lots? Criteria could include affordability, green building techniques, energy efficiency, best use of space, parking, etc... I would imagine that part of the hassle and expense for contractors is the time spent developing a design, getting a plan approved and the associated fees that go along with that. Streamline the process...have one or two plans that are pre-approved if built as designed. Plans could include all specs, materials take-off and permits. I don't know, but maybe the city of McMinnville already has such a program. It's just a thought.


I know last year the school tax almost doubled on new construction. These things have consequences. People keep voting in new taxes and bonds in McMinnville then complain about home prices.

Reporter Starla Pointer

JA74, if you're talking about the McMinnville School District's construction bond, approved by voters in 2016, saying property taxes "almost doubled" is incorrect. In fact, the current tax rate per $1,000 assessed valuation is lower than it has been, and lower than expected when the bond passed. The district estimated it would cost about $2.80 to $2.83 per $1,000; due to increasing property values in the area, largely because of new construction, the rate per $1,000 is now $2.69, according to the school district's finance director.


I think JA74 is actually referring to the excise tax the district assesses on new residential and commercial construction. But if so, he has his facts radically, radically wrong.
Last year, the school board hiked the residential bite by 3 cents, pushing it to $1.26 per square foot. It hike the commercial bite by 2 cents, pushing it to 63 cents per square foot.
JA74 accused the district almost doubling the tax is assesses on new construction. That would be an increase of almost 100 percent.
In fact, the increase worked out to 2.4 percent for residential and 3.2 percent for commercial. For residential, the 1/40th what was alleged. For commercial, it's 130th what was alleged.
But hey, never let facts get in the way of a good complaint. Just let fire.


Rent is outrageous! I'm VERY thankful we own our house, we would have to cut WAY back on our spending to afford rent! I know of a STUDIO in Dayton, the owners want $1200 a MONTH!!

Chris Chenoweth

Why is SB100 and the UBG not mentioned anywhere in this article? This is the elephant in the room that led to this crisis in most of Oregon.

"The review, updating the city’s 2001 Buildable Lands Inventory, will determine how much land is still within the city limits, what will likely develop in the next five years and what local housing needs are for up to the next 50 years, she said."

This almost addresses the issue. It's not rocket science, we need more buildable land. Those with the most to lose pay the price created by these no growth policies.

Don Dix

Chris Chenoweth -- you are correct -- Senate Bill 100 and the application of the UGB have increased the price of land beyond the fiscal ability of many prospective homeowners. In 1972 a 10K sq. ft. bare lot went for $1500 -- today, the minimum price is over $125K (an increase of 80+ times). It is common knowledge who pushed and coerced the UGB into existence, but predictably refuse to stand up and take credit for what the resulting costs have become. Hint -- they aren't your 'friends'!

Chris Chenoweth

Don, In 2018 dollars the price of land as you said it was in 1972 ($1,500) would be $9,000. During my attempted run for City Council I spoke to Heather Richards and she expressed that starter home lots run between $110,000 - $150,000. That is a increase of 12-16 times and for no other reason that an artificial land crisis created by SB100 and the application of the UBG.

Don Dix

Chris -- you are using the 'inflation factor' for the 1972 prices. Look at it another way -- at $1500, a lot was about one and a half to 2 times the monthly income. Today that monthly factor is about 41 times, depending where the income falls (based on income of $37,000).

It didn't have to be that way, but here we are, with total credit to those who claimed (without foundation) to know everything land use. So much for actual wisdom, eh?

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