As residential real estate prices continue to increase every month and more and more homes are sold way over asking price, is homeownership starting to fade away for those who can't compete with these higher prices?

Housing affordability — or housing balance as some refer to it — isn't necessarily a new issue, but it's impacting more people now based on what's happening with housing prices.

In February, in Collin County, the median sales price for a home was $475,000. That number was up 26.7 percent when compared to February 2021. Three years ago, that number was under $350,000.

Check Out DFW caught up with Marissa Benat, president of Collin County Association of Realtors to discuss home affordability in Collin County. She's also the co-owner of The Benat Team Family of Realtors. 

Here are a few questions she answered:

As home prices continue to go up, has Collin County, in your opinion, run into an affordable housing challenge/crisis?

Affordable housing, particularly in Collin County, has been an oxymoron for quite some time. The problem is not so much as having affordable housing, it is a myriad of other economic factors such as inflation that are also affecting if the median income family can afford a median valued property in their city. Simply, we are seeing a trend where the median income of a family is not keeping up with the increase in cost of living which in turn means that they can afford less. This is where the concept of balanced housing comes in.

Has this trend been building for years?

This trend has been building for years. Also, note that the fast increase of property values is due to healthy market conditions based off demand. The COVID bounce is real because people are reassessing where in the country they want to live because of regulations and being able to work remotely.

To ensure people can afford homes, what do you believe has to happen in communities to allow for this to happen?

Currently, the private market has solutions to these issues that offer innovative housing products that are not necessarily currently zoned. We believe that if planning and zoning relax zoning codes, allow for redevelopment of existing infrastructure, and work with private companies to incentivize innovative housing products, we can help ensure that there are enough housing products to meet that median income need.