Rising mortgage rates have eroded almost all the financial relief that buyers might have derived from the slight decline in prices in most areas. On top of that, lenders are now demanding that customers produce larger down payments, more cash reserves in the bank, higher credit scores and less debt — all of which many first-time buyers lack, especially in high-cost states such as California, New York and Florida.As we look into our crystal ball, we can't help but be concerned for our infrastructure. If the trend continues, how will our teachers, police officers, and firefighters afford to live here? The Bay Area housing market has held strong due to a strong and diverse economy, the area's intrinsic desirability, and limited sprawl. But, what will happen if the people who service the needs of our community can no longer afford to live here?
Given increased housing costs and gentrification, how do you see our East Bay culture changing? (Click on text to leave your comment.)